Middlebury, VT-- Traveling up to Middlebury for the second weekend in a row, women's swimming and diving swam well against three other schools in the 2013 Middlebury Invitational. Competing against the hosts, as well as Amherst, Springfield, and University of Vermont, the Ephs competed hard in their final tune-up before the NESCAC championships.
Leading the way in the individual events was Senior Caroline Wilson, who won a staggering four individual events: the 400 yd Individual Medley (4:25.69) and 50 (24.38) 200 (1:52.43) and 500 yd freestyle (4:56.37). Showcasing her talent across multiple distances, Wilson competed hard from start to finish in the rare 4-peat. In the individual medley Wilson took things out hard in the opening 25 yards and never looked back, finishing nearly 18 seconds ahead of her closest competitor. Sophomore Erica Bucki cracked the top five in the event, finishing fifth in 4:47.64. Wilson led from start to finish as well in the 200, her nearest competitor finishing six seconds behind her. Things were much closer in the 500, as teammate Sarah Thompson led for the majority of the race before dropping back at the very end to settle for second place (4:57.60). In the 50 Wilson was able to reach out in front at the wall, defeating Amherst's Katie Vincett by 35 hundredths.
Another senior, Katherine O'Leary, had another strong individual performance in winning the 200 yd Individual Medley. O'Leary was locked in a tight race at the 150 yd mark, although shut things down for good with a quick final freestyle leg to claim victory with a time of 2:09.80. Classmate Jenn Turner dropped nearly nine seconds off her previous season best to finish fourth in 2:14.10. O'Leary would finish third in the 100 yd butterfly (59.84), just out-touching Thompson (4th, 59.89). In another impressive showing Turner dropped two seconds off of her previous season best time in the 100 yd backstroke, finishing in fourth place (1:01.69).
Showcasing once again the talents of an extremely deep senior class, Rebecca Maher easily won the grueling 1650 yd freestyle (17:48.30). Maher took an early lead within the first 100 yds and then put the race on cruise control, finishing nearly 45 seconds ahead of her closest competition. Not to be outdone was first year Faye Sultan, who bolted off the block in the 100 yd freestyle, using a strong initial kick to hold off a tightly packed field to win the event with a time of 53.56.
In the diving events sophomore Michelle Higgins snuck just ahead of junior McKenzie Murdoch to win the 3m competition by 2 points. Higgins finished with a score of 442.75 while Murdoch scored 440.85. Both would lose out in the 1m competition to Lizzy Linsmayer from Amherst, with Murdoch taking second place (443.90) and Higgins placing third (412.45).
With their final opportunity to race before the NESCAC championships behind them the team will now focus on tapering down en route to defending their conference title. The Ephs will travel up to Bowdoin for this year's edition on February 15-17.