Williams women's swimming and diving wins 2017 NESCAC championships

2017 NESCAC Champions -- 4th Straight & 16th Overall
2017 NESCAC Champions -- 4th Straight & 16th Overall

Complete Results

BRUNSWICK, ME—Williams women's swimming and diving earned their fourth consecutive and sixteenth overall NESCAC title this evening at Bowdoin College, with a total score of 1856 points. After three days of competition, the Ephs leave Bowdoin pool with numerous personal bests, pool and meet records, and NCAA provisional times. For Head Coach Steven Kuster as well as many women alumni, this victory is particularly sweet, as Bowdoin was also the host of the championships for their infamous fall to Amherst College in 2013.

The Ephwomen did not hold back on the last session, claiming first in every event of the evening. The night began with the longest event of the weekend: the 1650-yd freestyle. The Ephwomen were well represented with three swimmers in the top heat. Megan Pierce '17 held onto her title from last year, touching the wall at 16:53.09, just before Alison McNamara '19 in second with a 16:56.41. Emma Sawkins '18 also had an impressive race, clinching sixth with a 17:38.59. This success carried into the 100-yd freestyle, further demonstrating the Ephs' versatility in the water. Emma Waddell '18 earned another first-place finish at 50.58, just off the meet record of 49.87 that she set in the preliminary session. Lauren Jones '17 (51.26) touched after Waddell for second, followed by Madeline Wessel '20 (52.19) and Delaney Smith '18 (52.39) in fourth and eighth respectively.

Moving into the 200-yd stroke events, the Ephs went into the 200-yd backstroke represented by Olivia Jackson '17 and Caroline Conforti '20 in the top heat. Jackson once again proved unstoppable, touching first at 1:58.44, almost four seconds ahead of the second place competitor. Conforti followed her for sixth-place with a time of 2:03.24. The next win came from Caroline White '20 in the 200-yd breaststroke, in which she posted a new pool record of 2:14. 53. Franny Dean '19 also represented the Ephs in the heat, and touched fifth for a lifetime best of 2:20.03. The last individual event of the evening was the 200-yd butterfly, a race in which Williams always has a strong showing. Tonight's race went to Veronica Wolff '20, who touched at 2:03.04. The Ephwomen also placed 4-5-6 by Maddie Deardorff '20 (2:05.20), Megan Pierce '17 (2:05.70), and Maddie Downs '18 (2:06.13) respectively.

Ariana Ross '17 concluded her NESCAC career with a victory on the 3-meter diving boards, breaking the pool record in the process with a score of 526.30 points. Ross now moves on to represent Williams at both the Regionals and NCAA Championships.

The meet concluded with the 400-yd freestyle relay, in which the Williams 'A'-relay of Lauren Jones '17, Maddie Downs '18, Delaney Smith '18, and Emma Waddell '18 rounded the weekend off with another victory. Touching at 3:24.77, the Ephs beat out rival Amherst College by almost three seconds.

After such a strong showing, many Ephs hope to continue their seasons at the 2017 NCAA Championships at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis this March. Last season Williams placed third overall at that competition.

Team Standings

1. Williams-1856

2. Amherst-1367

3. Connecticut College-1268.5

4. Middlebury-1174

5. Bates-1159.5

6. Bowdoin-994.5

7. Wesleyan-751

8. Tufts-700.5

9. Hamilton-388

10. Colby-284

11. Trinity-281