The Ephs Claim 6th Straight NESCAC Title

Ephs Won 6th Straight NESCAC Title and 18 of the 19 Contested
Ephs Won 6th Straight NESCAC Title and 18 of the 19 Contested

MIDDLETOWN, CT -- The Williams Ephwomen competed fiercely in their final session of the 2019 NESCAC Championships, and, ultimately, emerged victorious. Final Scores for the top three teams were as follows: 1. Williams College: 1873; 2. Tufts University: 1439.5; 3. Amherst College: 1322.

The session began with the 1650 freestyle. Laura Westphal '21 completed her three-event sweep, winning the mile in a time of 16:50.89. Teammate Ali McNamara '19 touched second in 17:02.33. From the morning heats, Kristina Barry '19 (7th - 17:27.55) and Kerryann Reynolds (8th - 17:28.90) rounded out the top 8.

The Ephs were well represented in the 200 backstroke. In the pre-consolation final, Courtney Brown '21 (20th - 2:07.41) and Caroline Conforti '20 (17th - 2:05.44) both improved on their prelims times, and, in the Consolation Final, Gabby Granata '22 (12th - 2:06.37) did the same. In the A Final, frosh Abby Matheny finished third in 2:02.98, and her teammate, Gwenyth Maloy '21, claimed her first ever individual NESCAC title, finishing in 2:01.91.

Up next was the 100 freestyle. The seniors represented well in the Pre-Consolation final with Dana Chung (22nd - 53.33) and Erin Kennedy (21st - 53.25). The Consolation Final was a similar story, but this time with the frosh- Georgia Panitz finished 12th in 52.55 and classmate Anna Peterson touched 15th in 53.00. Finally, in the A Final, Casey Delano '21 placed 8th in a time of 52.22.  

Caroline White '20 also made it 3/3 on the meet, claiming another breaststroke victory, this time in the 200. She cleared the rest of the field by 3 seconds, finishing in 2:14.72. Franny Dean '19 also represented the Ephs in the Championship Final, touching fifth in 2:24.45.

The final individual swimming event of the meet was the 200 butterfly. In the Consolation Final, Katie Orringer '21 finished 16th in 2:14.00 and Rollie Grinder '21 placed 11th with a 2:08.06. Three more Ephs were in the Championship Final: Veronica Wolff '20 (8th - 2:07.01), Ellie Sherman '20 (7th - 2:06.16), and Molly Craig '21 (4th - 2:03.55).

Gabby Mercier '21 wrapped up a great meet on the boards today. She matched her 1m board finish, coming 2nd on the 3m board as well, finishing with 453 points.

The final event of the meet was the 400 Freestyle Relay. The 'B' Relay of Dana Chung (53.21), Casey Delano (52.41), Molly Craig (52.21), Erin Kennedy (52.12) finished first among the Consolation relays. In the Championship heat, the 'A' team of Georgia Panitz (52.52), Anna Peterson (51.77), Gwyneth Maloy (51.44), and Laura Westphal (50.24) combined for a final time of 3:25.97, well under last year's qualifying standard, and good for a first place finish overall.

After the meet, the NESCAC presented their awards. Williams was well represented, with Laura Westphal winning Swimmer of the Meet and Ali McNamara taking the 4-year High Point Award.

Eph head coach Steve Kuster takes a celebratory dip in the pool with his Ephs

Eph head coach Steve Kuster remarked: "Obviously, our performances in the pool were really good, but I am as proud of the team's effort on deck being a spirited and supportive unit. It was great to be a part of a total team effort this weekend. Proud of our Ephwomen!"

The Ephs will return to Williamstown champions yet again, and, for those who qualify, pivot and set their sights on the NCAA Championships next month.