Someone posted that Stern has sat out relays in the past so I looked at last year’s results. The prelim results aren’t archived but Stern swam in finals (or consol finals) as the freestyle leg in 4 relays so it would appear she swam in prelims last year as well as finals in 4 relays. (Amherst made top 8 in all but 1 of those relays — a result that seems unlikely without Stern.)
I believe that the reference to the past was with respect to the 2009 meet, where both Kendra and her sister Meaghan sat out at least the 400 Medley relay at finals to rest for their other events. There may have been one more but I don’t remember specifically.
Other Amherst swimmers swam those legs finishing 16th. If the Stern sisters had swum, and the relay repeated their morning time, they would have finished 16th at night.
If we want to be 100% accurate, putting Kendra’s freestyle split on the end (using the time from her 400 free relay split in the same meet), the relay would’ve gotten 14th and been within a few tenths of 10th place, not accounting for any improvement the other swimmers might have had if they hadn’t been told that the team was waving the white flag for the night.
You can’t be 100% accurate when you make up data.
But the 2009 meet can’t be what was referenced in the first place. I looked up that year’s results, and the Amherst women finished 5th overall, 133 points behind 4th place Williams. I’m not very good with math, but I don’t think the difference in points between Amherst’s 400MR finishing 16th (as they did) and 9th (best case scenario speculating that the Stern sisters swam the event in the evening) would have bridged that gap.
I remember the Amherst women having a much deeper team that year, and once the Stern sisters qualified the relay for the evening session it was decided to stick some other girls in for the night. The point difference didn’t matter (as I said above), and it obviously gave the Sterns a chance to rest (I’m fairly certain that swimmers can get fatigued and that fatigue might effect their later performances, anyone who has ever had a rigorous swimming schedule at a high level meet would agree, even if you may not). The decision also gave two other girls–were they seniors??–the opportunity to suit up again for Amherst at Nationals. Seems like a good decision all around.
You are right though, LordJeffFree, about Amherst having some history of egotistical swimmers–and not only on the women’s side. Swimming, as this forum has pointed out, is also a team sport where support and respect for for one’s current (or former) teammates should be part of the game, and it truly is sad when it is not. One guy in particular stands out- an ’09 grad whose name I can’t recall (obviously wasn’t that memorable). He was an average swimmer– I think he might have scored a handful of points for the team in the 200 free consols his senior year, but not as many as you would have guessed from his arrogance. He seemed to have little respect for his teammates and constantly sought recognition. I wonder if he browses these forums still looking for some even though he graduated years ago.
But I digress. Looking back at past meet results it also came to my attention that Kendra Stern always had a very tough schedule, and always did very well. I can’t find any example of where you might accuse her of taking it easy. And if Wilson, Todhunter, and Whitley should have gotten more consideration for Swimmer of the Meet this year for their efforts, Stern should have gotten more consideration as a freshman, sophomore, and junior. Bottom line, there will always be multiple deserving candidates for the award. Stern won this year, and to berate her for it and label her as “selfish” for not swimming on a team relay seems judgemental and unfair, because we cannot know what her reaction was to the news. It may indeed have been hard for her to sit those events out, no matter whose decision it was. Since we are (obviously) not inside the heads of these swimmers or coaches, it’s impossible to discuss their feelings about not swimming an event. So let’s not, and stick to talking about performance in what they do swim.