LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Liberty swimming & diving team begins its 2015-16 season, Saturday at CCSA opponent Campbell. The meet between the Lady Flames and Camels is set for a 1 p.m. start at Johnson Aquatic Center.
This will mark the second year in a row, and fourth time in program history, that Liberty has opened its swimming & diving season against Campbell. The Lady Flames hold a 5-2 record all-time against the Camels, winning the last five meetings in a row.
Last season, Liberty began the year with a 140-121 victory at Campbell. The Lady Flames then downed Campbell, 196-65, on Jan. 3, 2015 at the Florida Gulf Coast Quad Meet.
The Lady Flames, coming off of their first-ever Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) conference championship in 2014, placed second at the 2015 CCSA Championships.
The 2014-15 Lady Flames posted a 13-4 record in regular-season dual meets. Liberty recorded wins over Oregon State, 2015 CAA runner-up James Madison, and five-time Atlantic 10 champion Richmond.
At the 2015 conference meet, Liberty registered 11 podium finishes (six individual, five relay), six program records and seven NCAA B cuts.
Sixth-year Head Coach Jake Shellenberger has guided the Lady Flames since the program’s inception. A two-time CCSA Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year, Shellenberger has taken the team to a 55-21 all-time dual meet record, including 32-12 against CCSA opponents.
Last season, the Lady Flames were ranked as highly as No. 47 in the CollegeSwimming.com Power Rankings.
This year’s roster features 17 returnees and 10 freshmen. Liberty’s returning group of student-athletes includes three conference medalists and four additional swimmers who swam on medal-winning relays at the conference championship meet last year.
Current Lady Flames with Program Records
1000 Free – Hannah Wakeley (10:06.55; 2/21/15)
1,650 Free – Hannah Wakeley (16:45.43; 2/21/15)
50 Back – Kendall Hough (24.97 – L; 2/18/15)
100 Back – Kendall Hough (53.98; 2/20/15)
1-Meter Diving – Courtney Fox (228.67; 2/1/14)
3-Meter Diving – Madi Long (201.00; 1/17/15)
Kendall Hough returns after a standout junior campaign. She earned three podium finishes at the 2015 CCSA Championships. Hough placed second in the 100 back, and third in both the 50 free and 100 free. In the process, she became the fourth Lady Flame all-time to ear top-three finishes in three separate events at the same CCSA Championships. Additionally, she swam NCAA B cut times in both the 50 free (22.92) and 100 back (53.98).
Junior Victoria Tschoke had a strong showing at the 2015 conference meet, placing fourth in the 100 back, 200 back and 200 IM. She also came through with a pair of NCAA B cuts in the 100 back (54.89) and 200 back (1:58.39).
Hough and Tschoke, along with graduated seniors Meghan Babcock and Emily Duff, were named CSCAA Individual Scholar All-Americans for the 2014-15 season. Additionally, Liberty has earned CSCAA Scholar All-America Team awards each of the past eight semesters.
Senior Hannah Wakeley claimed the first two podium finishes of her career at the 2015 CCSA Championships. She set a new program record in the 1,650 free (16:45.43), placing third, while also setting the 1,000 free record in 10:06.55 on the way out. Wakeley completed a challenging double, taking second place in the 200 fly (2:00.05) on the same day as her mile swim.
Senior Kristin VanDeventer placed third in the 1,650 free at the 2014 CCSA meet, before posting top-eight finishes in the 200 free (8th), 500 free (5th) and 1,650 free (5th) last year.
Sophomore Prudence Rooker finished fourth in the CCSA in the 100 breaststroke last season. She added sixth-place finishes in both the 200 breaststroke and 200 IM.
For the first time in program history, Liberty features multiple divers. The Lady Flames welcome back sophomore Madi Long, who set the program three-meter springboard record at 201.00 last season. Senior Courtney Fox returns to the team, after serving as the first diver in program history in 2013-14. Courtney’s sister, Brooke Fox, joins the diving squad as a freshman this year.
A total of this year’s 13 returnees scored at the 2015 CCSA Championships. Among Liberty’s returnees, Natalie Beale (100 fly, 200 back), Sarah Browning (1,650 free), Rachel Hoeve (50 free), Kendall Hough (50 free, 100 free, 100 back), Prudence Rooker (100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, 200 IM), Victoria Tschoke (100 back, 200 back, 200 IM), Kristin VanDeventer (200 free, 500 free, 1,650 free) and Hannah Wakeley (500 free, 1,650 free, 200 fly) all posted top-eight finishes last season. Additionally, Ranndi Grubbs and Morgan Noonan have recorded top-eight placings during their careers.
Campbell earned a sixth-place finish at the 2015 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships, a meet that saw the Camels set four program records. The Camels finished the season with a 4-10 dual meet record, before finishing fifth at the postseason CSCAA Collegiate Classic.
This season, Campbell returns four program record holders. Sophomore Lily Tang holds school standards in the 50 back (26.28), 100 back (55.40) and 200 back (2:00.20). Tang placed fifth in the 200 back and seventh in the 100 back at the 2015 CCSA Championships. Caroline Clark set the program’s 100 fly record in 56.22 as a sophomore last season. Senior Carly Bowles is the program record holder in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.93), while sophomore Michelle Case holds Campbell’s record in the 100 free (51.96) and 200 fly (2:03.59).
Following Friday’s meet, Liberty will head to Atlanta, Ga., for a tri-meet against Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Penn State Nittany Lions,next Friday at 4 p.m.
The Lady Flames will continue their tradition of facing major conference opponents this season, including the ACC’s Georgia Tech and NC State, TCU (Big 12), and Penn State and Rutgers of the Big Ten.
Schedule of Events
- 200 Medley Relay
- 1000 Free
- 200 Free
- 100 Back
- 100 Breast
- 200 Fly
- 50 Free
- 400 Medley Relay
15 Minute Break
- 100 Free
- 200 Back
- 200 Breast
- 500 Free
- 100 Fly
- 400 Free Relay
15 Minute Break
- 200 IM
- 200 Free Relay
Swimming news courtesy of Liberty Swimming & Diving.