Emory & Henry Women’s Swimming Ready For The 2014 ODAC Championships

The Emory & Henry College Women’s Swimming Team will conclude the 2013-14 season this weekend at the 2014 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships, held at the Greensboro Aquatics Center. The three-day, 16-event meet will run from Friday morning to Sunday evening with preliminary races in the morning and finals in the evening.

Emory & Henry will for a second year in a row be competitive in every race, but the fact that the Wasps still do not have a full roster will play a large factor in the composite team score at the end of the weekend. The championship format allows for 18 swimmers to compete in three individual races. With only 13 swimmers and 36 individual entries, Emory & Henry could potentially win all 16 events and still not top league-favorite Washington and Lee University.

The Wasps are set up to defend their title in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. Sophomore Payton Shirey (Seaford, Del.) is tied with freshman Jessica Richardson (Vero Beach, Fla.) for the fastest time in the 50-free (:24.44) while freshman Michaela Nolte (Hillsborough, N.C.) has the fourth fastest swim in the league this season. The 100-free has Nolte with the top seed (:53.30) while Shirey and Richardson are close behind in second and third.

Freshman Allison Fowler (Morristown, Tenn.) is fourth in the 200-yard freestyle while Richardson is seeded 10th. In the 500-yard freestyle, sophomore Taylor Guardalabene (Charlotte, N.C.) has put up the second fastest time over the season while Fowler is 10th.

The 100-yard backstroke will be tightly contested as the top three spots are separated by just .83 seconds. Freshman Liz Kleveno (Fredericksburg, Va.) is the number two seed while Richardson is seeded third in the event. Kleveno is the favorite coming into the weekend in the 200-backstroke with a time of 2:09.21 while freshman Jordan Greenburg (Cordova, Tenn.) holds the fifth seed.

Nolte holds a 5.03-second edge in the 100-yard breaststroke and could earn a NCAA Division III “B” cut with a strong swim this weekend. Freshman Kia Hamilton (Memphis, Tenn.) is seeded seventh in the event. Nolte is also the swimmer to beat in the 200-breast (2:25.83) while Kleveno turned in the third fastest time over the season.

Guardalabene has the second-fastest swim in the 100-yard butterfly while Shirey is seeded seventh. Fowler is third in the 200-yard butterfly while Guardalabene and sophomore Nicole Powell (Apex, N.C.) are seeded sixth and seventh.

Fowler has the fastest time in the 200-yard individual medley (2:11.69) but will more than likely be alone in the finals as W&L holds seven of the top 10 places. Fowler is also the favorite in the 400-yard individual medley (4:38.27) and could earn a NCAA “B” cut, while Kleveno and Powell occupy the second and sixth spots, respectively.

Emory & Henry has a chance to win all five relays and holds the top time in two events. The Wasps posted an ODAC-record swim of 1:36.96 earlier in the season in the 200-yard freestyle relay, a time that is currently 13th in Division III and will more than likely earn a trip to the 2014 NCAA Championships if the “B” qualifying standard is met this weekend.

E&H also has the top time in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:34.01) and is just .3 seconds off Washington and Lee in the 200-yard medley relay. Emory & Henry is also within striking distance of first in both the 800-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relays.

For live coverage of the 2014 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Women’s Swimming Championships, visit the ODAC Championship Central hub. The Championships also mark the official launch of ODAC.tv where viewers will be able to watch each event live. The Preliminaries are set to start at 10:00 a.m., daily. The Finals will be at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

 This release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of Emory & Henry College Swimming.

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What a meet! Fast year for the ODAC for sure. It would be fun to go back and fact check these predictions now. For instance, E&H ended up winning 2/5 relays with W&L taking the other 3. Now we have to wait on the other results to see NCAA invites, but I have to imagine 1:36.96 will be on the outside looking in. Great job to all!!

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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