INDIANAPOLIS – The Williams College women's swimming team opened the evening session of the second day of the four-day NCAA Championships by winning the first three races: 200 freestyle relay, 400 Individual Medley and the 100 butterfly.
On day two the Ephs advanced five swimmers and two relays to Championship Finals races. Williams won the first three Championship Finals of the night taking top honors in the 200 freestyle relay and then Molly Craig came home first in the 400 Individual Medley.
Williams now has 254 points and is in second place behind Emory who has a total of 318 points.
"It was a great day for the Eph women," said Eph head coach Steve Kuster. "We had a couple of really composed and outstanding national title swims along with another great swim for Maddie Downs and Laura Westphal as well. The 400 Medley Relay was also outstanding, just missing the school record. The 200 Freestyle Relay was a great group effort, with an emphatic come from behind 21.95 split from Emma Waddell.
In the first event of the morning prelims, the 200 Freestyle Relay, Delaney Smith, Emma Waddell, Rollie Grinder, and Laura Westphal teamed up to win their heat in a time of 1:33.83. The Ephs finished second overall behind top seed Denison (1:33.33) and advanced to the Championship Final this evening.
The two Ephs swam in the same heat in the prelims and Craig was second in the heat, just .04 off the lead posting a time of 4:20.08. Deardorff was clocked in 4:29.69 and finished 20th overall.
Molly Craig advanced to the evening Championship Final, while Deardorff finished 20th and did not advance to the evening swim.
The Ephs had five swimmers in the 100 butterfly morning prelims with Emma Waddell owning the top seedtime of 53.74. Madeline Downs was seeded 16th with a time of 56.20. Maia Hare was seeded 25th with a time of 56.52, Rollie Grinder was seeded 28th (56.72) and Veronica Wolff was seeded 38th in the field of 45 swimmers with a time of 57.58.
Waddell lowered her seed time in the morning prelim to 53.62 and remained the top seed in the event, finishing first overall and advancing to the Championship Final, Joining Waddell in the Championship Final was Madeline Downs who posted the sixth fastest qualifying time (55.67) and moved up 10 places from her seed time.
Maia Hare's time of 56.15 left her just outside of the qualifying time for the last spot in the Consolation Final as she moved up from 25th place.
In the 200 freestyle the Ephs advanced two swimmers to the evening swims when Laura Westphal finished fifth in a time of 1:49.73 to earn a berth in the Championship Final and Gwyneth Maloy's 1:51.28 secured her a spot in the Consolation Final as he finished 16th overall
The Eph 400 Medley Relay team of Caroline Conforti, Caroline White, Emma Waddell, and Laura Westphal finished second in their heat and fourth overall in 3:43.97 to advance to the Championship Final this evening.
In the evening swims…
Delaney Smith, Rollie Grinder, Laura Westphal, and Emma Waddell brought home the title for the Ephs overtaking Johns Hopkins in the final 20 yards and 1:32.48. Waddell's final leg was in 21.95. Post race Waddell was asked about her finish and she said, "I just put my head down and tried to be the first to touch the wall because I knew my teammates were counting on me." With the win the Ephs all earned All-America honors.
In the 400 IM Molly Craig took the lead on the last touch of the breaststroke and expanded that lead in the final leg, 100 freestyle, to win in 4:18.56. Post race Craig stated, "It's so exciting to win in my first year and I cannot believe I have three more years here." Craig earned All-America laurels with the win.
Emma Waddell defended her title in the 100 Butterfly and she won the race for the third time in her career with a time of 53.39. Madeline Downs took sixth place with a time of 55.33. Both Waddell and Downs collected All-America honors
"I'm just feeding off the energy of my team right now," said Waddell. "It's been an incredible ride all four years at Williams and I just want to close it out for my team."
Competing in the 200 freestyle Consolation Final Gwyneth Maloy was timed in 1:51.68 and that placed her 16th and accorded her Honorable Mention All-American recognition. Laura Westphal came in fifth in the Championship Final in a time of 1:49.73 to capture All-America honors.
In the Championship Final of 400 Medley Relay, the final event of the night, Caroline Conforti, Caroline White, Emma Waddell and Laura Westphal finished in third place with a time of 3:40.81 and securing All-America honors.