Liberty to Host TYR ’85 Senior Celebration

by SwimSwam 0

January 23rd, 2020 College

Courtesy: Liberty Athletics

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Liberty swimming & diving team will conclude its regular-season schedule by hosting Campbell and James Madison for the TYR ’85 Senior Celebration, Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Liberty Natatorium.

The Lady Flames will honor their five graduating student-athletes – Hannah Baker, Colleen Donlin, Mikayla Herich, Kendal Irwin and Brittany Weiss – with a Senior Day ceremony prior to the meet. During the last four years, Liberty has posted a 47-7 record in dual meets, including 20-1 against CCSA competition. These athletes have combined for 25 top-eight finishes and 10 podium placings at CCSA Championships.

Liberty, James Madison and Campbell all competed in the TYR ’85 Invite in November at Liberty Natatorium, with JMU finishing in fifth place, Liberty sixth and Campbell seventh.

Liberty posted a 131.5-125.5 win at Campbell on Oct. 11. During that meet, Liberty won eight individual events and one relay, while the Camels posted four individual-event victories and one relay win.

How to Follow the Meet

Saturday’s meet will be available for viewing, via subscription, through ESPN+, with Melanie Newman and Bethany (Wakeley) Kennon calling the action. Live results will also be available both online and on the MeetMobile app.

Liberty’s CCSA Award Winners this Season

Jr. Payton Keiner – CCSA Women’s Swimmer of the Week (Jan. 7)

So. Abigail Egolf-Jensen – CCSA Women’s Diver of the Week (Oct. 15)

So. Lauren Chennault – CCSA Women’s Diver of the Week (Nov. 26)

Team Notes

  • Liberty’s divers competed at the Navy Diving Invitational last weekend, with Abigail Egolf-Jensen taking home a fifth-place finish in one-meter diving on Friday and Kendal Irwin placing fifth on platform on Sunday.
  • Liberty opened the calendar year with a pair of meets in Florida. The Lady Flames went 2-1 at a quad meet hosted by then No. 7 Florida on Jan. 3, defeating Vanderbilt and North Florida. The next day, Liberty swept FGCU, Illinois State and Tulane in a meet hosted by FGCU.
  • Liberty sent a program-record five student-athletes (Lindsey Cohee, Colleen Donlin, Emma Hazel, Mikayla Herich and Eva Suggs) to the 2019 Toyota U.S. Open in Atlanta, Ga.
  • The Lady Flames’ last regular-season meet of 2019 was the TYR ’85 Invite, at which the host Liberty Lady Flames finished in sixth place. Payton Keiner (200 back), Abigail Egolf-Jensen (platform diving) and Lauren Chennault (one-meter diving) all won events at the invitational.
  • Liberty is 11-3 in dual meets this season, its fourth 10-win season in a row and seventh double-digit win season in 10 years of a program history.
  • The Lady Flames are 4-0 against CCSA opponents this season and have won their last 19 CCSA dual meets in a row since a 137-125 loss at FGCU on Jan. 7, 2017.
  • Liberty earned its 100thwin in program history to open this season, defeating St. Bonaventure 269.5-82.5 at the Penn State Sprint Fest on Oct. 4.
  • 10th-year Head Coach Jake Shellenberger has led the Lady Flames from the program’s inception. He has posted a 110-32 dual-meet record, being named CCSA Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year three times (2012, 2014, 2019). His teams have gone 56-14 all-time against CCSA competition.
  • Liberty won its second-ever CCSA title in 2019, and first since 2014. The Lady Flames scored a meet-record 1,859.5 points while ousting four-time defending champion FGCU by nearly 200 points. It came five years to the day after Liberty’s first championship.
  • Liberty’s diving program made a dramatic rise last season, led by 2019 CCSA Women’s Diving Coach of the Year Tori Wood. Liberty divers contributed 225 points at the 2019 CCSA Championships. Also, then freshmen Lauren Chennault, Abigail Egolf-Jensen and Olivia Robinson became the first three divers in program history to qualify for the NCAA Zone Championships.
  • A program-record six Lady Flames earned CSCAA Scholar All-America honors last season, in Lauren Chennault, Abigail Egolf-Jensen, Alicia Finnigan, Mikayla Herich, Payton Keiner and Olivia Robinson.
  • A total of 13 current Lady Flames have posted CCSA podium finishes in their career, led by four from Payton Keiner. Hannah Baker and Mikayla Herich have both earned three top-three finishes, while Lauren Chennault, Lindsey Cohee, Colleen Donlin, Emily Manly, Olivia Robinson and Brittany Weiss have two podium finishes each. Arielle Arnett, Emma Hazel, Kiah Francis and Emily Zimcosky have each posted one podium finish.

Student-Athlete Notes

  • A total of 15 different Lady Flames have recorded at least one individual-event victory this season.
  • Junior Payton Keiner, a three-time CCSA champion, is the conference leader in both the 100 back (54.71) and 200 back (1:53.75). The NCAA B cut 1:53.75 she swam at the TYR ’85 Invite is ranked 23rdin the nation. The 2018 Most Outstanding Freshman of the CCSA Meet, she holds the CCSA record in the 200 back (1:53.68). The junior is second in the CCSA in 100 free (50.87) this season.
  • Senior Brittany Weiss is a two-time CCSA champion in the 100 back, winning in program-record 52.81 in 2018. She was named the 2017 Most Outstanding Freshman of the CCSA Meet. Weiss leads the CCSA in 100 IM (58.31) and is second the 100 back (55.49) this season.
  • Redshirt junior Mikayla Herich holds program records in the 1650 free (16:37.35) and 200 IM (1:59.82) after winning both events at the 2019 conference meet. She set a program record at last year’s CCSA Championships by scoring 101 points. Her season-best 16:51.74 for 1650 freestyle is ranked second in the CCSA this season.
  • Senior Hannah Baker set Liberty’s record in the 200 free (1:46.55 – L) in 2018. She is one of three Liberty captains this season, joined by Colleen Donlin and Kendal Irwin. Baker’s 51.63 for 100 free is the seventh fastest in the CCSA so far this year. Donlin (23.74) is seventh in the CCSA in 50 freestyle so far in 2019-20.
  • Freshman Eva Suggs’ 1:50.96 for 200 freestyle is tied with Incarnate Word’s Ximena Conde Merlos for the fastest 200 free by a CCSA swimmer so far this season. Suggs is also second in the CCSA for 500 freestyle with her 4:55.95 from the TYR ’85 Invite.
  • Junior Lindsey Cohee ranks second in the CCSA in the 200 fly this season (2:02.19). She is currently ranked third in program history with a lifetime-best 1:57.85 in 200 fly from 2018.
  • Freshman Jessica Schellenboom ranks sixth in the CCSA in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.38) and seventh in the 200 breaststroke (2:22.24) this season.
  • Sophomore Olivia Robinson, the 2019 VaSID State Rookie Diver of the Year, scored the most points by a Liberty diver at the 2019 CCSA Championships (62), taking second in both one-meter and three-meter. She holds Liberty’s record for platform diving (229.58). Robinson has already qualified for the 2020 Zone Championships in one-meter diving, scoring 267.80 at Penn State.
  • Sophomore Lauren Chennault enters the season as Liberty’s program record holder in one-meter (291.15) and three-meter (317.85) diving. Chennault posted two third-place finishes at the 2019 CCSA meet. She broke her own program record in three-meter diving at the TYR ’85 Invite, and has qualified for 2020 Zone Championships in both one-meter and three-meter.
  • Sophomore Abigail Egolf-Jensen qualified for the 2020 Zone Championships in three-meter diving (283.50) against UNC Asheville.

Meet Highlights

  • Liberty is 14-2 all-time against Campbell, winning the last 14 meetings in a row. The Lady Flames have face the Camels more times than any other opponent, with Georgia Southern being second (9-2).
  • The Lady Flames and JMU are tied 3-3 in the all-time head-to-head series. Liberty won the last meeting, 160.5-139.5, on Oct. 20, 2018 in Harrisonburg, Va.
  • Liberty is 11-0 all-time in dual meets at Liberty Natatorium after winning its home opener against UNC Asheville, 203-134, Oct. 25-26.
  • Campbell is 8-7 so far this season. The Camels finished fifth at the 2019 CCSA Championships. Campbell’s Annie Sanchez (100 free – 50.91; 200 free – 1:49.49), Megan Everitt (100 back – 55.08) and Maddie Baiotto (100 fly – 54.83) all hold program records.
  • James Madison has won back-to-back CAA titles in 2018 and 2019. The Dukes (6-0) are on an eight-dual-meet winning streak that began with a win over Richmond on Jan. 26, 2019. JMU features 2019 CAA Swimmer of the Year Bonnie Zhang, 2019 CAA Rookie Swimmer of the Year Morgan Whaley and 2019 CAA Diver of the Year Faith Anderson.

Order of Events

TYR ’85 Senior Celebration

Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020

Liberty Natatorium

Lynchburg, Va.

  • 200 Medley Relay
  • 1000 Freestyle
  • 200 Freestyle
  • 100 Backstroke
  • 100 Breaststroke
  • 200 Butterfly
  • 50 Freestyle
  • 3-Meter Diving
  • 100 Freestyle
  • 200 Backstroke
  • 200 Breaststroke
  • 500 Freestyle
  • 100 Butterfly
  • 1-Meter Diving
  • 200 IM
  • 200 Freestyle Relay

Up Next

For the first time since 2014, the CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships will be held at Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn., Feb. 19-22. The last time the CCSA Championships were held at Tennessee, Liberty earned its first-ever conference title. The facility was also the site of current Liberty diving coach Tori Lamp Wood’s All-American career.

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