WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The final session of the 2018 Women's NESCAC Championships got underway at the Samuelson Muir Pool. The Ephs entered the night with a total of 1376 points to Amherst's 1150.
The Ephs' final point tally was 1,971 points and that delivered a fifth consecutive NESCAC title to Williams and marked the 17th time in 18 years that Wlliams has won the NESCAC title. Only the 2013 title won by Amherst has eluded the Ephs' grasp.
The session got underway with the 1650 yard freestyle. The timed-finals event featured four Williams swimmers in the evening heat and one in the morning heats. Laura Westphal '21 narrowly out-touched Ali McNamara '19 an amazing race to the finish, with both closing in 27 second final 50s. Westphal won in a new pool record time of 16:53.92, and McNamara was 16:54.41 for a new personal best. Coming in soon after in third was Gwyneth Maloy '21 at 17:11.47 and Courtney Brown '21 at 17:38.60 for eleventh. Kristina Barry '19 replicated her heats performance from yesterday and, despite not swimming in the evening heat, posted a fast enough time to earn herself a spot on the podium. Barry's time of 17:22.89 was good for fourth, completing another Williams distance sweep.
Next up was the 200 yard backstroke. In the Consolation Final Caroline Conforti '20 flew through to win the heat in a new personal best time of 2:02.54. In the Championship heat Katherine Priest '18 touched in 2:04.41 for fifth place.
The final event sprint event of the championships was the 100 yard freestyle. In the Consolation Finals Casey Delano '21 led a contingent of Ephs into the wall, finishing in eleventh with a time of 52.93; Maddie Wessell was twelfth in 53.10; Erin Kennedy was fourteenth in 53.88; Anna Neufield touched in sixteenth with a time of 53.95. In the Championship final two Seniors concluded their individual event NESCAC careers. Emma Waddell blasted by her competition to touch first in 50.45, just missing the pool record. Delaney Smith came fourth in 52.10.
In the 200 breaststroke another pool record was taken down. Caroline White '20 put together a beautifully executed race, using her fantastic closing speed to fly by her competition and touch first in 2:16.44.
Williams put together another sweep in the 200 yard butterfly. Leading the charge into the wall was sophomore Veronica Wolff, who touched in 2:03.98; second was Maddie Deardorff '20 in 2:04.48; third was Molly Craig '21 in 2:04.75; rounding out the sweep in fourth was Maddie Downs '18 in 2:05.00.
Gabby Mercier followed up her strong one-meter performance on the three-meter board this evening. She took second on the higher board with a score of 446.05.
The meet concluded with the 4x100 yard freestyle relay. The 'A' team of Smith, Downs, Westphal, and Waddell combined to touch first in another new pool record time of 3:25.26.
For many, this meet represents the end of a long season, or career, of hard work. A select group will continue on to compete at the NCAA Championships next month.
The top three individuals and top three relay teams earn All-NESCAC honors.
Eph 2018 NESCAC Honors:
NESCAC Swimmer of the Year – Emma Waddell, Williams College
NESCAC Rookie of the Year – Laura Westphal, Williams College
NESCAC Swimming Coach of the Year – Steve Kuster, Williams College
NESCAC 4-Year High Point Swimmer Award – Emma Waddell, Williams College
1. Williams College -- 1971
2. Amherst College -- 1615
3. Connecticut College -- 1060.5
4. Tufts University -- 1023.5
5. Bowdoin College -- 998.5
6. Bates College -- 943
7. Middlebury College -- 826
8. Wesleyan University -- 725
9. Trinity College -- 443.5
10. Hamilton College -- 382
11. Colby College -- 296