The Lyons made a splash at the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, which took place at MIT on the weekend of Feb. 22. Throughout the four-day event, both men and women broke school records and clinched NCAA berths, featuring some impressive showings from Jenna Hayden ’18 and Jonathan Dunnett ’18. Overall, the teams fared well, with the men finishing fourth overall and the women second.
Perhaps no star shone as bright as Hayden over the weekend, as she placed first in three individual events: the 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle. Hayden achieved an NCAA cut time in the 100 back and broke the school record she set the previous year. She even managed to break the school records for both freestyle events, all en route to her second consecutive NEWMAC Women’s Swimmer of the Year.
Hayden wasn’t the only star for the women, however, as Lydia DaCorte ’21 turned heads for Wheaton with new school records in the 500 and 1650 freestyle.
While both DaCorte and Hayden impressed individually, they were equally as effective in relay events. The Lyons team, which also included Aleza Epstein ’18 and Caitlin Daley ’20, finished above MIT, the long-standing champions of the event. This wasn’t all, though, as Wheaton fared well in the 400 medley, even posting NCAA cut times and a new school record in the effort. The medley team was anchored by Hayden, DaCorte, Eva Pet ’21 and Erin Kean ’20. Kean will compete in the 200 breaststroke at the NCAAs in late March.
The Wheaton women weren’t the only winners, as a number of men had their own accolades to highlight. Dunnett had arguably the most notable weekend, as he broke a new school record in a third-place finish in the 100 fly. Furthermore, Dunnett broke his own school records in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, earning him places at the NCAAs.
Another notable name for the Lyons was Jacob Cost ’19, who proved to be a workhorse for the team throughout the event. He was a key member of a number of relay teams, going so far as to post an NCAA cut time as the lead in the 400 medley team, which also included Dunnett, Christ Steward ’19 and Daniel Roch ’21. This wasn’t all for Cost, as he will represent Wheaton at the NCAAs in the 100 and 200 backstroke races.
James Horne ’19 was one of the final men to have a notable finish, as he won the B finals of the 100 free.
Overall, the men were able to secure a fourth place finish for the weekend.
While Hayden and DaCorte received honors for their fantastic weekends, they weren’t the only Wheaties to receive accolades, as Coach Barrett Roberts received his second consecutive NEWMAC Coach of the Year award. This came on the back of the best finish for the women’s team in program history, with a second place spot coming at over 1,000 points scored. The Wheaton ladies had a truly memorable weekend and hope to sustain this success heading into the NCAAs.