'We Won't Back Down'

'We Won't Back Down'

HOLLAND, Mich. – Collecting 14 points in the 200-yard individual medley put Albion College in position to claim a dual meet victory at Hope College.

Ultimately, Hope would go on to edge Albion in the 400 freestyle relay that carried the Flying Dutch to a 13 point margin, 155 ½ - 142 ½, in the meet.

"We almost pulled it off," Albion Head Coach Jake Taber said. "It was a meet filled with close races for every scoring position."

Taber altered the lineup late in the meet, inserting Anna Moore in the IM. It worked out as Kylene Slocum reached the wall first (2:14.01), Moore was second (2:16.33) and Sarah Kilbride was fifth (2:17.41) to set up the relay to decide the meet.

Mary Noble, swimming the butterfly, turned in a 55.39 split to shave nearly a second off Hope's lead in the relay, but the Flying Dutch reached the wall first by seven tenths of a second. Hope's team of Molly Meyer, Chloe Palajac, Abigail Brinks and Sydney Asselin achieved a time of 3:39.19. Albion's foursome of Camila Manrique, Nicole McCann, Noble and Alexandra Horman completed its race in 3:39.88.

"I love that our women won't back down," Taber said. "They will fight all the way to the wall."

While she finished second in the race, Moore turned in an encouraging moment with her performance (58.87 seconds) in the 100 backstroke. Meyer won the event for Hope in 58.67.

"It's as fast as Anna has been in the event in season," Taber said. "It was good for Anna to compete against Molly. We are confident about how things are coming together for Anna."

Taber also noted how Albion earned important points from Marisa DeCamp and Lauren Young who finished second and third, respectively, in the diving events.

Nearly lost on the day was the continued steady performances of Slocum, the team's senior co-captain. In addition to helping Albion take the early lead with a first place finish with Moore, Sarah Kilbride and McCann in the 200 medley relay and the 200 IM, she won the breaststroke events.

"Kylene is a testament to how far hard work can take you," Taber said. "She is understanding the recovery process and that's why she is achieving the times she has this season."

Camila Manrique swam to victory by nearly three seconds in the 200 freestyle and McCann tied for first in the 50 freestyle.

Albion, ranked 21st in the latest Division III poll conducted by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, will recognize the contributions of the senior members of the program prior to the Feb. 3 home meet against Olivet College.

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