Pawlak Secures Sprint Victories as Women’s Swimming & Diving Falls to Wheaton

Cailin Gonyea

WORCESTER --- Sophomore Katherine Pawlak (Westford, MA) dominated the sprint events, swimming to two of WPI Women's Swimming and Diving's four event victories on Wednesday evening as the host Engineers fell to Wheaton by a score of 166-127. 

Pawlak secured a victory in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.05 seconds and then turned around and won the 100 freestyle just four events later, coming in at 56.20 seconds to edge out teammate Kimberly Hazeltine (Stratham, NH) in third place (56.86). 

Along with her individual wins, Pawlak anchored both of WPI's second-place relay teams, joining forces with Jenn Brownell (Spring, TX), Molly Silsby (Augusta, ME) and Carol Wang (Framingham, MA) in the 200-yard medley relay (1:52.95), and Molly Sykes (Falmouth, MA), Wang and Hazeltine in the 400 freestyle relay (3:44.03). 

Wang and Sykes had the Engineers other two solo wins, with the former finishing tops in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:00.61 and Sykes taking home the 200 individual medley (2:14.13). 

Sykes was also WPI's top finisher in the 200-yard breaststroke (2nd, 2:33.42), followed by Olivia Petropulos (Hollis, NH) in third (2:35.66), while Wang took third place in the 200 butterfly (2:18.50), coming in just after runner up Rayna Harter (Plainfield, IL) in 2:16.04. 

Senior Cailin Gonyea (Southbridge, MA) stood out in the distance events, touching the wall second in the 1,000-yard freestyle (11:12.31) and third in the 500 freestyle (5:31.22).  

Brownell finished just ahead of Gonyea in the 500-yard freestyle, taking second place with a time of 5:28.27, and was WPI's top swimmer in the 100 backstroke (1:04.00). 

Sydney Seo (North Andover, MA) had three top five finishes, coming in second in the 200-yard backstroke (2:18.77), fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:04.00) and fifth in the 200-yard individual medley (2:22.78).Olivia Hanson (Anchorage, AK) finished ahead of Seo in the 200 IM (3rd, 2:20.32) and just behind her in the 100-yard backstroke (5th, 1:04.20). 

Jillian Clemente (Killingworth, CT) finished a close runner up in the 200-yard freestyle in 2:01.17, ahead of teammates Monika Nowak (Longmeadow, MA) and Anna Matsco (Windham, NH) in third (2:05.06) and fourth place (2:05.31). 

Silsby and Petropulos had a photo finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, with the former clocking in at 1:10.53 to come in second and Petropulos following in third with a time of 1:10.93. 

Julia Noël Beverly, MA) claimed second in the 1-meter dive with a score of 217.27, while Alexis Mittelman (Montgomery, NY) took the same spot in the 3-meter dive (197.78).

The Engineers will start a busy stretch of four meets over the course of a week on Saturday afternoon, traveling to Berkeley Aquatic Club in New Providence, N.J., for a four-team meet against Rowan, Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore.