Middletown, CT — Holding an impressive 283.5 point lead following the first two days of competition Women's Swimming and Diving entered the final night of the NESCAC Championship determined to finish strong and close out another championship season. The Ephs, winners of the previous eleven consecutive conference titles, earned a twelfth trophy in emphatic fashion by winning three more individual events and a relay event to finish with 1826 points, slightly off pace of the previous year's total of 1923 points, but still nearly 400 points ahead of their closest challenger.
En route to being named Diver of the Meet sophomore McKenzie Murdoch smashed the College record in the 3m springboard, an 8 year old record held by two time national champion Rachel Gealy. Murdoch's score of 493.15 was four points higher than Gealy's previous record of 489.10, set in 2004. Murdoch also won the 1m competition on Friday evening with a score of 462.67. Senior Hannah Wilson was named the senior high point diver of the meet, awarded to the senior diver with the highest cumulative point total at the NESCAC Championships over her career. Wilson placed third in the 3m event with a score of 439.45. She paired that with her earlier third place finish on the 1m board (405.38 points). Diving Coach Kit Koch was named the NESCAC Diving Coach of the year for the second consecutive year.
|McKenzie Murdoch||Hannah Wilson||Logan Todhunter|
In the first event of the evening, the 1650 yd freestyle, reigning national champion and NCAA record holder Caroline Wilson pulled away from the field early to earn her third consecutive NESCAC title in the event. Wilson's time of 16:58.10 was over eight seconds faster than her closest competitor, first year Sarah Thompson. Thompson, competing in her first ever NESCAC championships, swam an impressive 17:06.58. Junior Rebecca Maher made it three Ephs in the top 8, placing seventh with a time of 17:26.80. All told Williams had six swimmers in the top 24 slots, with first year Erica Bucki (14th, 17:51.08), sophomore Julie Okorn (18th, 17:59.14) and senior Kathleen Morrison (21st, 18:10.59) all earning points for the team.
Next up was the 200 yd backstroke, where Williams placed two swimmers, sophomore Stephanie Nguyen and first year Tess Vorselen, in the championship final. Nguyen placed third with a time of 2:05.86, while Vorselen placed seventh in 2:08.07. In the 100 yd freestyle senior Carolyn Geller suffered a rare setback, as she was barely outtouched by Hamilton's Megan Gibbons for first place. Geller finished in 51.54, a scant four hundredths of a second behind Gibbons. First year Catherine Treesh (14th, 53.79) and junior Bryn Dunbar (17th, 53.94) also placed in the top twenty-four for the Ephs. In the 200 yd breaststroke first year Molly Prindle wrapped up a very successful debut championship by making her third individual podium in a breaststroke event. Prindle dropped over a second off her time in preliminaries to finish in fourth place (2:25.19). Junior Lizzy Visconti also swam well to grab 10th place (2:27.43).
Well known for their depth in the individual medley events, the Ephs redefined the meaning of the term in the 200 yd butterfly, which saw the awards podium turn into a sea of purple as Williams placed an astonishing six swimmers in the top eight spots. Senior stalwart Logan Todhunter, reigning national champion and record holder, won the event with a time of 2:03.21. She was followed by juniors Kathryn Ha (2nd, 2:03.98) and Kelsey Roggensack (3rd, 2:04.87). Senior Bonnie Patchen placed fourth with a time of 2:06.83. Rounding out the incredible display were junior Katherine O'Leary in sixth (2:07.12) and sophomore Alyssa Levine in seventh (2:07.19).
In the final event of the championships the Williams relay of Thompson, Nguyen, Wilson and Geller set a new pool and meet record in the 400 yd freestyle relay. The quartet dropped a blistering time of 3:27.17 in setting both records, with Geller bringing the team from behind in the final leg with a split of 50.77 to capture the victory. The Williams 'B' relay also turned in a very impressive swim, winning the second championship heat with a time of 3:34.09.
Williams finishes the Championship with a healthy 395.5 point lead over second placed Amherst (1430.5 points). Tufts placed third with 1261.5 points, while Middlebury was the only other school to break 1000, placing fourth with 1125.5 points.