BRUNSWICK, ME- The Williams College women's swimming and diving team claimed its ninth consecutive NESCAC Championship Sunday afternoon in impressive fashion. The Ephs beat out second place Amherst by 398 points and third place Tufts by 682 points, and continue to be the only school in the conference to win the NESCAC title.
"This year has definitely been long, in terms of the bumps, bruises and illnesses that our team has had to deal with, but it's been worth it because of the good feeling we have right now," said head coach Steve Kuster. "We came into the meet with high expectations and high intensity and I really stressed to the team that it was important to relax, have fun, and enjoy this experience."
The Ephs added four individual event conference titles on the final day of the meet, giving them a total of 15 over three days. Leading the way for the Ephs were seniors Courtney Asher and Amanda Nicholson who finished first in the 200 yard backstroke (2:02.47) and 200 yard breaststroke (2:24.02) respectively, bringing their combined weekend total to five individual titles.
Another bright spot was the performance of the underclassmen all weekend. First year Logan Todhunter not only grabbed the top time in the 200 yard butterfly (1:59.78), but set a national record in the process, becoming the first Division 3 swimmer to break the two minute mark. The quartet of Todhunter, first year Carolyn Geller and sophomores Erin Altenburger and Jillian Hancock, then proceeded to swim to a NESCAC championship record in the meet's final event- the 400 yard freestyle relay (3:27.14).Todhunter was named Swimmer of the Meet.
Rounding out the top performances on Day 3 of the NESCAC championships was second place finishes for senior Mary Wilson Molen in the 1650 yard freestyle (17:28.90), sophomore Ellen Ramsey in the 200 yard backstroke (2:04.37), and first year Bonnie Patchen in the 200 yard butterfly (2:01.33).
At the conclusion of the meet, Todhunter was named the NESCAC swimmer of the meet, and Nicholson received the four-year NESCAC award, for the most points awarded in her NESCAC championship career.
"This meet was almost like a mini three day season," said Kuster. "We had some outstanding swims and we also had some swimmers who had to battle injury and illness in order to help this team this weekend. I cannot be more proud of this team and the effort they put forth this weekend."
Next on deck for the Ephs is to assemble their qualifying team and prepare for the NCAA Championships, which will be held next month. The Ephs finished fifth at the national championships last season.
Swimmer of the Meet -- Logan Todhunter,
Diver of the Meet, Diving Four year High Point -- Kelsey Lamdin, Bates
Swimming Four Year High Point -- Amanda Nicholson, Williams
Swimming Coach of the Meet - Nancy Bigelow, Tufts
Diving coach of the Meet - Mike Bartley, Bate