Ephs defeat Middlebury 199-100

Ephs defeat Middlebury 199-100

Middlebury, Vt.-- Looking to continue their unbeaten streak against Division III opponents, women's swimming and diving traveled up to Middlebury College for their final dual meet of the season. The Ephs were able to walk away 199-100 victors against their hosts, wrapping up a perfect 4-0 conference record in the process.

The team opened up the meet strong, with the relay of Stephanie Nguyen, Liz Visconti, Kathryn Ha, and Carolyn Geller taking first place in the 200 yard medley. The Ephs then emphatically set the tone for the meet by going 1-4 in the 1650 yd freestyle. Senior Erin Altenburger won the event in a time of 17:32.90, an NCAA 'B' qualifying time. She was followed by sophomore Rebecca Maher, senior Ryan McChesney, and first year Julie Okorn.

Ngyuen, the Ephs' top backstroker this season, followed up on her lead off performance in the medley relay by winning the 100 yd backstroke. Her time of 58.43 was also an NCAA 'B' qualifying time. Nguyen would also qualify for NCAAs in the 200 backstroke with her time of 2:07.12, although she would come in behind teammate Caroline Wilson, who finished in 2:06.94. Wilson also qualified for NCAAs in the event.

In the 200 yd butterfly Kathryn Ha would qualify for NCAAs with her time of 2:07.64. Junior Bonnie Patchen came in second in the event. In the next event Wilson, Geller, and sophomore Bryn Dunbar would lead a Williams sweep of the 50 yd freestyle. It was senior Jillian Hancock who won the 500 yd freestyle, finishing in a time of 5:14.34, ahead of teammates McChesney and Maher.

In the diving events, Williams continued their season long string of excellence. First year McKenzie Murdoch would win the 1m springboard, followed by teammates Hannah Wilson and Taylor Stevens. The positions would be reversed in the 3m event, with Stevens taking first place followed by Murdoch and Wilson.

Williams put a final exclamation point on the meet by sweeping the 400 yd IM in dominant fashion. Sophomore Caroline Wilson would win the event in 4:28.46, narrowly out touching classmate Katherine O'Leary at the wall by five hundredths of a second. Both swimmers' times were good enough for NCAA 'B' cuts. Junior Bonnie Patchen completed the sweep, 10 seconds back.

Overall the Ephs had some great individual swims in a thorough and consistent team performance. The team will now head into a week of preparation for their final tune up meet, the Middlebury Invitational, before beginning to taper their training for the NESCAC Championships, which will be held at Williams on February 18-21. 

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