The girls varsity swimming and diving team made school history on Saturday Feb. 23, capturing the program’s first ever Founders League championship in Hixon Pool.
The Bearcats finished atop the leaderboard with 446.5 points, easily outpacing the next two schools, Choate and Miss Porter’s, who each finished with fewer than 420 points.
The win was a total team effort for Hotchkiss, who placed a swimmer in the top three in ten different events. The team got an early jump start on Wednesday afternoon, where Meera Kasturi ’22, Olivia King ’19, and Eden Oostenink ’20 swept the first three diving places. Combined with a ninth-place finish by Grace Helm ’21, the team entered Saturday with 62 points already in the bank.
On Saturday, the star for Hotchkiss once again was Jillian Cudney ’20, who won all four of her events. In the 200-yard freestyle, she set a new school record with a winning time of 1:54.22. She also won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.86 seconds.
Cudney also anchored the team’s two winning freestyle relay teams. She and teammates Auden Koetters ’22, Emily Bukowski ’22, and Liz Williams ’19 won the 200-yard relay in 1:40.71. Koetters, Williams, Cudney, and Abby Powell ’21 set a new school record in the 400-yard relay with a winning time of 3:38.36.
In her two other individual events, Koetters finished second in the 200-yard individual medley and third in the 100-yard butterfly.
The boys finished in third place at the event, highlighted by the efforts of swimmer Leo Poggi ’20. The three-year varsity swimmer and current captain won three of the four events in which he entered, including the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.79) and 500-yard freestyle (4:53.12). He swam the first leg in the team’s 400-yard freestyle relay win and the team’s second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay.
Other highlights for the boys included a pair of wins for William Wildish ’21 in the 50-yard freestyle (21.97 seconds) and 100-yard freestyle (48.62).