Ephwomen In Fourth After Day Two of NCAAs

Ephwomen In Fourth After Day Two of NCAAs
Maia Hare 100 Fly Post-Race Interview

Greensboro, NC-- Day 2 of the NCAA Championships got underway, with the Ephs putting swimmers in the finals of the 200 Freestyle Relay, 400 IM, 100 Butterfly, 200 Freestyle, and 400 Medley Relay. The Ephs emerged from Day 1 in fourth, and were looking to move up on the second day of competition.

The first event of the evening was the 200 Freestyle Relay, where the quartet of Maia Hare '19 (23.89), Dana Chung '19 (24.06), Gwyneth Maloy '21 (23.36), and Laura Westphal '21 (23.02) improved their prelims time by over a half second to take 11th place in the event.

In the consolation final of the 400 IM, Ellie Sherman '19 improved on her season best time to finish 11th, touching in a time of 4:26.29. In the Championship Heat, all eyes were on sophomore Molly Craig, who won the event last year in a time of 4:18.56 and took the top seed in the morning. At the 300 Craig had about a body length lead over NYU's Collins, but despite a valiant effort on the closing stretch was narrowly out-touched at the wall. Despite what her second place finish, Craig still put together an incredible race, destroying her previous best and winning time from last year in a time of 4:15.46.

The second individual event of the evening was the 100 Fly. In the Consolation Final, Williams was represented by first year Anna Peterson, who finished 15th in 55.82. Maia Hare returning for her second swim of the evening in the Championship Final. Hare, who entered her first ever Championship Finals seeded third after posting a best time this morning, swam a beautifully executed race. Despite starting slightly slower than the leaders, Hare didn't panic and utilized her incredible underwaters to touch the wall not only with a new best time, but also as an NCAA Champion.

The final individual event of the evening was the 200 freestyle, where Casey Delano would represent the Ephs in the Consolation Final and Laura Westphal would do the same in the Championship Final. Delano was just her prelims time to touch 13th in 1:51.22. Westphal, in lane 3, was set to battle against 50 free National Champion Fiona Muir of Emory, in lane 4. Muir flew out to the lead at the 100, but Westphal battled back over the final 100 yards. At the wall it was anyone's race, but Muir just edged out Westphal for the win. Westphal knocked nearly three quarters of a second off her best time in the race, finishing in 1:47.74.

On the day, Head Coach Steve Kuster remarked: "After a decent first day I challenged them to be better in all facets today (in and out of the water) and they responded.  I thought we had a great day, the team really stepped up theirs efforts. There were a ton of great swims, highlighted by Laura Westphal, Molly Craig, Jamie Lovette and of course Maia hare who picked a great time to have the 2 best 100 flys of her life. We don't have as many swims over the next two days, but I'm looking forward to seeing the team keep the momentum going."

The final event of the night was the 400 Medley Relay, where the combination of Caroline Conforti '20, Caroline White '20, Maia Hare, and Laura Westphal touched 4th in a time of 3:43.90. The Ephwomen head into day 3 in fourth place, comfortably ahead of fifth, but with some solid ground to make up on third place Denison.