Ephs Reclaim NESCAC Title With Record Point Total and Record Margin of Victory

Ephs Reclaim NESCAC Title With Record Point Total and Record Margin of Victory

Amherst was the defending champion



WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams College wrapped up its 13th NESCAC championship with the greatest margin of victory in the history of the conference, outscoring second-place Amherst College by a 790.5 point margin. The Williams women won all but one event in the Sunday night session, showcasing its depth and to recapture the conference crown with a NESCAC record 2007 points. Rounding out the top five were Middlebury College (3rd -- 1207), Bates College (4th -- 1132) and Connecticut College (5th -- 1100.5).

In the first event of the night, Williams sophomore Katherine Bennett (1st – 1:59.22) upset defending champion Margaret Rosenbaum of Hamilton (2nd – 2:00.86). Even at the mid-way mark, Bennett pulled away in the last lap, securing the first victory of the night for the Ephs. Rookie teammate Olivia Jackson (3rd – 2:01.98) placed third in a best-time finish. Placing fourth for Bates was rookie Sara Daher (4th – 2:03.32).

The Ephs found another individual title in the 100-yard freestyle, with sophomore Faye Sultan (1st – 51.21) edging out Connecticut senior Julia Pielock (2nd – 51.59) for the win. Rounding out the top five were two more Connecticut women, with sophomore Sam Pierce (3rd – 52.05) and Skye Qi Marigold (5th – 53.05) scoring points for the Camels. Rookie Morgan Pierce of Middlebury (4th – 53.00) took fourth for the Panthers.

Sophomore standout Emily Hyde of Amherst (1st – 2:18.11) won in the 200-yard breaststroke event, repeating her title from 2013. Williams rookie Olivia Clark (2nd – 2:19.59) dropped three seconds from her morning prelim swim to take second place. Finishing in bronze was Middlebury junior Jamie Hillas (3rd – 2:20.21). And Tufts senior Jenny Hu (4th – 2:220.5) finished her career with a fourth place finish in the event.

 Williams swept the 200-yard butterfly event, capturing first through fourth places in convincing fashion. Led by rookie Megan Pierce (1st – 2:05.23), the Williams contingent included senior Aly Levine (2nd – 2:06.46), sophomore Paige Haller (3rd -- 2:06.78), and first year Sofie Pietrantonio (4th – 2:06.94).

In the three-meter diving, Williams won its fourth event of the night. Senior McKenzie Murdoch (1st – 499.70) set a pool record en route to first place finish on the boards, edging teammate Michelle Higgins (2nd – 484.55). Placing third for the Lord Jeffs was senior Lizzy Linsmayer (3rd – 444.05). 

In the last event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Williams quartet of Lauren Jones, Olivia Jackson, Faye Sultan, Sarah Thompson (1st -- 3:27.67 – Pool Record) set a pool record en route to first.

"I think that was one of our best ever final Sunday performances," said Williams Head Coach Steven Kuster. "The women had a great morning, I thought it would be hard to top this evening but they did that and then some."


1. Williams – 2007

2. Amherst – 1216.5

3. Middlebury - 1207

4. Bates – 1132

5. Connecticut – 1000.5

6. Bowdoin – 813.5

7. Tufts – 747.5

8. Wesleyan – 574

9. Hamilton – 503

10. Colby – 443

11. Trinity – 383



200 Backstroke – Katherine Bennett, Williams (1:59.22 – Pool Record)

100 Freestyle – Faye Sultan, Williams (51.21)

200 Breaststroke – Emily Hyde, Amherst (2:18.11)

200 Butterfly – Megan Pierce, Williams (2:05.23)

3 Meter Diving – McKenzie Murdoch, Williams (499.70 – Pool Record)

400 Yard Freestyle Relay – Williams: L. Jones, O. Jackson, F. Sultan, S. Thompson (3:27.67 – Pool Record) 



Rookie of the Meet – Megan Pierce (Williams)

Diver of the Meet – McKenzie Murdoch (Williams)

Swimmer of the Meet – Sarah Thompson (Williams)

Coach of the Meet -- Peter Cesares (Bates)

Senior (4 yr.) High Point Diver – McKenzie Murdoch (Williams) 

Senior (4 yr.) High Point Swimmers

  1. Maggie Rosenbaum – Hamilton (380)
  2. Jenny Hu – Tufts (292)
  3. Julia Pielock – Connecticut (290)
  4. Alyssa Levine – Williams (288)
  5. Andie Tibbets – Middlebury (287.5)


WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Host Williams College leads after Day Two of the three-day NESCAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships with 1341 points. They are 448 points ahead of runner-up Middlebury (893). The defending champion Amherst College is in third place with 875 points, a mere 18 points behind Middlebury. Also in the hunt is fourth place Bates College (838), who moved ahead of Connecticut College (802) after the session.

The Amherst women captured the first event of the night, edging out Middlebury College for first place in the 200-yard medley relay. The Lord Jeff quartet of Sabrina Lee, Emily Hyde, Ashleigh Stoddart, and Sarah Conklin stormed to victory in a pool record time of 1:44.49. The race came down to the wire, with Amherst behind Middlebury after the breaststroke. Behind a blistering anchor leg (23.72) from Stoddart, the Lord Jeffs touched out the Panthers by .02 seconds. Middlebury finished in second with 1:44.51 and Williams placed third in 1:46.51. 

In one of the most exciting finishes of the night, two rookies from Bates and Connecticut matched each other stroke by stroke in the 1000-yard freestyle. In the last two laps, Julia Smachlo of Bates pulled ahead. Smachlo won the event in 10:17.06, a half-second ahead of Connecticut's Valerie Urban (2nd – 10:18.68).

The next event of the evening, the 400-yard IM, saw another duel between two first years. Megan Pierce of Williams (1st – 4:23.02 – Pool Record) edged out Sarah Daher (2nd – 4:24.59) for first place. Rounding out the top three was junior Angela Slevin of Wesleyan, who placed third in a best time of 4:32.15. In the 100-yard butterfly, Amherst took its second title of the night, with sophomore Sarah Conklin (1st – 56.12) outpacing Williams senior captain Aly Levine (2nd – 56.74). The win helped Amherst close the gap with second-place Middlebury to only 32 points after the butterfly. Third place in the event went to sophomore Lindsey Prelgovisk from Bates (3rd – 57.14).

The 200-yard freestyle saw Sarah Thompson repeat her 2013 NESCAC victory, clocking a season-best 1:51.42. Thompson was in sixth after the first 50 yards, but charged back on the last lap to pass Sam Pierce of Connecticut (2nd -- 1:52.09) and teammate Lauren Jones (3rd – 1:52.23). After the Williams win, defending champion Amherst struck back in the 100-yard breaststroke, with sophomore standout Emily Hyde breaking a pool record en route to a first place finish (1st -- 1:03.89). Junior Jamie Hillas of Middlebury improved from her morning swim to place second in 1:03.90.

In the 100-yard backstroke, it was all Hamilton College, with senior Maggie Rosenbaum dropping a pool record 54.95 to take first place over Williams sophomore Katie Bennett (2nd – 56.17).

In the final relay of the night, the 800-yard freestyle, the Eph quartet of Lauren Jones, Breanna Nguyen, Megan Pierce, and Sarah Thompson took first in a pool record time of 7:30.53. The Ephs were behind Amherst by two seconds before the last leg, but Sarah Thompson charged back with an impressive 1:49.49 to take the event. The Bates team of Julia Smachio, Caroline Depew, Lindsey Prelgovisk, and Sara Daher outpaced Amherst in the last lap to capture second (7:34.62). Amherst finished third in 7:34.72.

Preliminary heats resume on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at the Samuelson-Muir pool. Sunday evening will be the last session of competition. Heats will start at 6 p.m.



1. Williams – 1341

2. Middlebury – 893

3. Amherst - 875

4. Bates – 838

5. Connecticut – 802

6. Bowdoin – 615

7. Tufts – 543

8. Wesleyan – 421

9. Hamilton – 369

10. Colby – 347

11. Trinity – 267


200 Medley Relay – Amherst: S. Lee, E. Hyde, S. Conklin, A. Stoddart (1:44.49 – Pool Record)

1000 Freestyle – Julia Smachlo, Bates (10:17.06)

400 IM – Megan Pierce, Williams (4:23.02 – Pool Record)

100 Butterfly – Sarah Conklin, Amherst (56.12)

200 Freestyle – Sarah Thompson, Williams (1:51.42)

100 Breaststroke – Emily Hyde, Amherst (1:03.89 – Pool Record)

100 Backstroke – Margaret Rosenbaum (54.95 – Pool Record)

800 Freestyle Relay – Williams: L. Jones, B. Nguyen, M. Pierce, S. Thompson (7:30.53 – Pool Record)



WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Host Williams College leads after Day One of the three-day NESCAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships with 663 points. They are 190.5 points ahead of runner-up Middlebury (472.5). The defending champion Amherst College is in third place with 451 points.


1. Williams – 663

2. Middlebury – 472.5

3. Amherst - 451

4. Connecticut – 441

5. Bates – 414.5

6. Bowdoin – 335.50

7. Tufts – 287.5

8. Wesleyan – 233

9. Hamilton – 192

10. Colby – 185

11. Trinity – 150 

The Williams women captured the first event of the night in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The quartet of Faye Sultan, Lauren Jones, Breanna Nguyen, and Sarah Thompson clocked 1:34.94, edging out second place Connecticut College (1:35.25). The Ephs kept their lead with impressive top-eight swims across each event during the evening.

In the 50-yard breaststroke, Jenny Hu (Tufts) and Jamie Hillas (Middlebury) tied for first place with a pool record 29.10.  The 50-yard butterfly saw a title for Amherst College, with Sarah Conklin winning the event convincingly with a 25.11, placing ahead of Middlebury's Megan Griffin (25.63). Connecticut College placed two in the event, with Anna Peterson placing fourth (25.80) and Ivy Durepo placing fifth (25.90). In the 500-yard freestyle, the Williams women posted first, third, and fifth place finishes behind swims from Sarah Thompson (1st – 4:57.51) and Lauren Jones (3rd – 5:00.39). Hamilton College took the 50-yard backstroke, with senior NESCAC record-holder Maggie Rosenbaum smashing her own pool record en route to a 26.04. Bates College placed two in the top eight of that event, with a second place finish from sophomore Whitney Paine (26.58). Four Williams women competed in the championship final of 200 IM, with sophomore Katie Bennett leading the Ephs with a third place finish (2:05.46).

In the 50-yard freestyle, Connecticut College's Julia Pielock captured the 50-yard freestyle in a blistering 23.54. She outpaced Williams' Faye Sultan (2nd – 23.90) and Bates' Gabrielle Sergi (3rd – 24.05). In the one-meter diving event, Amherst's Lizzy Linsmayer took first, edging out MacKenize Murdoch and Michelle Higgins from Williams. The last relay of the night went to defending champion Amherst College (3:47.99), who upset first-seeded Williams College (3:48.79) behind a blistering breaststroke leg from Emily Hyde. Williams Junior Sarah Thompson split an impressive 49.8 on the freestyle leg, but the effort came just shy. 

"The women did a good job getting excited and got the meet off to a great start in prelims," said Williams Head Coach Steven Kuster. "We're only one third of the way there, so we've got to stay focused and work on repeating these good efforts throughout the weekend."

The women will continue competition during Day Two on Saturday at the Samuelson-Muir Pool. Finals begin at 6pm.


200 Freestyle Relay – Williams: F. Sultan, L. Jones, B. Nguyen, S. Thompson (1:34.94)

50 Breaststroke – Jenny Hu, Tufts (29.10 – Pool Record) AND Jamie Hillas, Middlebury (29.10 – Pool Record)

50 Butterfly – Sarah Conklin, Amherst (25.63)

500 Freestyle – Sarah Thompson, Williams (4:57.51)

200 IM – Emily Hyde, Amherst (2:03.73)

50 Freestyle – Julia Pielock (23.54 – Pool Record)
1 Meter Diving – Lizzy Linsmayer, Amherst (465.25)
400 Freestyle Relay – Amherst: S. Lee, E. Hyde, S. Conklin, Lulu Belak (3:47.99)



HADLEY, Mass. – Amherst looks to defend its conference title when the 2014 NESCAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships begin on Friday, February 14, with preliminary heats in the morning followed by championship races in the evening. This year's three-day championship will take place at Williams' Samuelson-Muir Pool in Williamstown, Mass.

Competition will get underway each day with preliminary heats at 10 a.m. Finals will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, 5:50 p.m. on Saturday and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $6 per session or $35 for an all-session pass for adults and $2 per session for children and students or $10 for an all-session pass. Doors will open 90 minutes prior to the heats and finals. No pre-sale of tickets will be available, as all tickets will be sold at the door. Live webcasts and results from the NESCAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships will be available throughout the weekend at www.nescac.com.

Last winter at Bowdoin College, Amherst amassed 1,972.5 points to capture its first conference crown and snap
Williams' streak of 12 consecutive championships. Amherst had finished second seven times in the previous 12 years before capturing their first NESCAC title.

The Ephs, who finished 63 points out of
first place with 1,909.5 points, held a 78-point lead after day one before the Jeffs took over
the top spot the following day.

The NESCAC Championship is making its third appearance in Samuelson-Muir Pool.  The Ephs also hosted and won the meet in 2007 & 2011.

Asked what he feels his team needs to do to re-capture the NESCAC title Williams' head coach Steve Kuster said, "Right now we are mostly focused on putting forth the best team effort we can in the pool and out.  Our aim is to be completely focused on what is going on during the three days of competition, and nothing else.  If we can be the team I am envisioning, then the performances will follow and that will hopefully put us in position to win the title."

"On paper, we are pretty solid across the board," added Kuster. "Ideally our strength will be that we don't have a glaring weakness and that everyone contributes."

Amherst will rely on its depth in the hopes of repeating as team champion. The Jeffs won three relays and had five women account for eight individual victories in 2013. Amherst returns last year's Rookie of the Year, Sarah Conklin (Newton, Mass.), and Diver of the Meet, Lizzy Linsmayer (Denver, Colo.). Conklin swept the 50 and 100-yard butterfly, while Linsmayer took first on the 1-meter diving board and placed second on the 3-meter board. Sophomore Emily Hyde (Clinton, N.Y.) looks to defend her titles in the 200 backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley, an event in which she set a new NESCAC meet record. Junior Stephanie Ternullo (Tolland, Conn.) and sophomore Charlotte Chudy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) also seek back-to-back victories in the 500 and 1,000-yard freestyle, respectively.

Williams junior Sarah Thompson (Evanston, Ill.) looks to defend her title in the 200 and 1,650-yard freestyles as she owns the league's fastest times in both events as well as the 500 freestyle. Thompson, the two-time defending champion in the 200, will be tested by first-year teammates Lauren Jones (Frisco, Texas) and Megan Pierce (Wayland, Mass.). In the 1,650 freestyle, Pierce and Wesleyan senior Angela Slevin (Arlington, Va.) look to be top contenders along with Thompson.

Pierce, Wesleyan senior Angela Slevin (Arlington, Va.), Bates first-year Sara Daher (Marblehead, Mass.) and Connecticut College first-year Anna Peterson (Winnetka, Ill.) will contend for the 400-yard individual medley title, which was won the previous four years by last year's Four-Year High Point Swimmer Caroline Wilson of Williams.

In the backstroke events, Hamilton senior Maggie Rosenbaum (Alford, Mass.) looks to continue her dominance in the 50, 100 and 200-yard backstroke. Rosenbaum swept her specialty for the third straight season en route to setting one NESCAC and two championship records and being named Swimmer of the Meet for the second consecutive year. However, Bennett currently sits atop the top times in the 50 and 200-yard backstroke, while Amherst junior Sabrina Lee (Palo Alto, Calif.) holds the league's best mark in the 100-yard backstroke and the second fastest times in the 50 and 200.

Connecticut College senior Julia Pielock (Deerfield, Mass.) returns to defend her 50 and 100-yard freestyle titles. Currently, she owns the top times in both events, but will be challenged by Williams sophomore Faye Sultan (Abu Hasaniya, Kuwait) and Bowdoin first-year Sophia Walker (Dunbarton, N.H.).

Last year's 50 and 100-yard breaststroke champions, junior Jamie Hillas (Woodbridge, Conn.) of Middlebury and Tufts senior Jenny Hu (Oakland, Calif.), will vie for back-to-back titles, respectively. Hillas, who owns the best times in all three breaststroke events heading into the championships, will battle Hu, Amherst's Emily Hyde, Williams sophomore Breanna Nguyen (Longwood, Fla.) and Wesleyan senior Roxy Capron (Canton, Ga.) for top honors.

On the diving boards, the Eph duo of junior Michelle Higgins (Acton, Mass.) and senior McKenzie Murdoch (Winnetka, Ill.) have posted the top two scores so far this season. Murdoch boasts the highest marks on the 3-meter board, while Higgins has turned in the strongest showing on the 1-meter board. Other divers to contend for individual titles include Amherst's Linsmayer, Bowdoin first-year Christine Anderson (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Middlebury senior Colleen Harper (Evanston, Ill.) in the 1-meter event and Andersen, Harper and Williams first-year Ariana Ross (New Canaan, Conn.) in the 3-meter event.

Connecticut College enters the championship with the fastest 200-yard freestyle relay comprised of first-years Skye Qi Marigold (East Hampton, N.Y.) and Ivy Durepo (Petersham, Mass.), Pielock and sophomore Sam Pierce (Windsor, Conn.), while Williams aims to defend its 400 freestyle relay title with Jones, Sultan, Nguyen and Thompson having clocked the top time in the event. Amherst owns the quickest 800 freestyle relay time courtesy of junior Ashleigh Stoddart (Winnetka, Ill.), senior Lulu Belak (New Canaan, Conn.), Lee and senior Allison Merz (Pacific Palisades, Calif.). Amherst, Williams and Middlebury are separated by less than a second in the 200-yard medley relay, while all three institutions have posted the top times in the 400 medley relay as well.

According to Kuster the top five teams this weekend will be grouping of Williams, Amherst, Connecticut College, Tufts and Middlebury.

"I'm excited to see what the team can do," commented Kuster. "We've trained well and have been pretty focused on this weekend all year. The team has competed well thus far, but ultimately this is the weekend that we want to be at our best."