Ephs hold on to fourth at NCAAs behind divers, relays

Ephs hold on to fourth at NCAAs behind divers, relays



Shenandoah, TX – During Day Three of the Div. III National Championships, the Ephwomen held onto fourth place behind strong performances from two divers. The women currently have 254 points, trailing only Denison, Kenyon, and first place Emory.

The women's sole individual finalist of the evening was junior Aly Levine, who continued her impressive NCAA debut with another scoring swim. After swimming to a personal best in the morning in the 200-yard butterfly, Levine came back at night to shave another second off her best time, taking 12th place with 2:04.73.

"Aly Levine finished a great meet, going a lifetime best time by a collective three seconds," said head coach Steve Kuster. "I'm very proud of her for earning finals swims in two events at her first NCAAs."

On the boards, the Ephwomen posted two great finishes in the one-meter competition. Sophomore Michelle Higgins, making her NCAA debut, qualified for the consolation final in the morning prelims. With the final competition only 30 minutes later, Higgins showed remarkable mental toughness and went on to take first in her heat for ninth overall. Junior McKenzie Murdoch continued her hot streak, taking sixth place for All-American honors.

The women capped off the evening with an emphatic finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Senior Kate O'Leary wrapped up her career as an Eph with a lifetime best time in the leadoff position. With clutch swims from rookie Emma Nuzzo, Sarah Thompson, and senior co-captain Caroline Wilson, the Ephs surged to fourth place in 7:21.96. Thompson and Wilson had the fastest two splits in the entire field.

"We've done really good work in the first three days to put ourselves in a position to finish fourth," said Kuster. "We have fewer scoring swims tomorrow, so every race will count, but I'm confident in our chances."