Ephs Post Strong First Day at NCAAs; Laura Westphal Wins 500 Free

Laura Westphal 500 freestyle champion
Laura Westphal 500 freestyle champion

Complete Results

WATCH Post-Race Interview with 500 Free Winner Laura Westpahl starting at 21:20

Greensboro, NC-- Day One of the 2019 NCAA Championships kicked off with a bang, as a number of Ephs made their mark on the national stage.

The first event, the 500 freestyle, was a nailbiter. Sophomore Laura Westphal, who won the event last year represented the Ephs in the Championship Final. Westphal got out to a hot start, but at the halfway mark was second to Rebecca Erwin, the top seed coming into the meet. Westphal utilized her back-half speed by a half second on the closing 100 yards to take the win by one tenth of a second, claiming her second consecutive national title in the event in a time of 4:48.15.

The second event of the evening was the 200 IM, where Sophomore Molly Craig and Junior Caroline White represented the Ephs in the Championship Final. Craig further lowered her lifetime best from the morning heats to touch fifth in 2:01.42, and White finished eighth, both earning All-American accolades.

The final event of the evening for the Ephs was the 200 Medley Relay, where the quartet of Caroline Conforti '20 (26.31), Caroline White '20 (28.63), Maia Hare '19 (24.27), and Gwyneth Maloy '21 (23.39) touched fifth, securing All-American finishes for the four, White's second of the evening.

On day one, Head Coach Steve Kuster remarked: "This morning was a bit of an up and down morning.  There were some great swims, and at the same time I think we let a few opportunities fall by the way side. Those who raced this evening did a very good job. Laura had a fantastic finish to win another 500 free title. The 500 free boys did a very nice job as well highlighted by Jamie's 2nd place finish and new school record.  It was great having 2 women IM'ers in the big heat this evening and the women's 200 MR finished the evening off with a strong swim."

Tomorrow, the Ephwomen will return to competition in the 200 Freestyle Relay, 400 IM, 200 Freestyle, 100 Fly, and 400 Medley Relay.