Report contributed by Robert Reiser
2019 NESCAC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS – WOMEN’S MEET
- February 14th-17th, 2019
- Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
- Teams: Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan, Williams
- Live Results
The Williams College Ephs increased their lead after Saturday night at the 2019 NESCAC Women’s Championships. Their score of 1331 is well ahead of second place Tufts’ 1063.5 with one day to go in the Championships. That 267.5 point lead for Williams is even bigger than the 226-point lead they carried into the final day of competition last season (albeit with a different 4-day meet format). Amherst College is third with 947 followed by Bates in fourth (732), Connecticut in fifth (700) and Wesleyan in sixth (653). Bates, Connecticut, and Wesleyan have notably outperformed their seeds and qualified a number of swimmers for NCAA’s.
200 Medley Relay
- Williams 1:42.68
- Wesleyan 1:43.15
- Bates 1:43.87
Williams won its fourth of four relays in a time of 1:42.68, a new pool record and two seconds below what it took to qualify for NCAA’s in 2018. The Ephs were fast across the board but junior Caroline White’s 28.73 breaststroke split was the fastest in the field and sophomore anchor Gwyneth Maloy had the second fastest anchor in :23.28, just behind Connecticut College’s Olivia Haskell’s :23.06. Wesleyan took 2nd place in 1:43.15, matching their position in the 400 medley earlier in the meet. The Cardinals actually led after three legs, starting with a :25.45 leadoff leg from Caroline Murphy, the fastest in the field. Bates was a surprising third in 1:43.87, just ahead of first seeded Tufts in 1:43.93. Fifth place finisher Connecticut College was also under the 2018 qualifying time in 1:44.73. .
- Alison McNamara, Williams 10:11.11
- Casey Delano, Williams 10:16.51
- Julia Ruggiero, Amherst 10:18.68
Defending 1,000 champion and 500 free runner-up Alison McNamara won her first individual title of 2019 in a time of 10:11.11, over five seconds ahead of teammate Casey Delano. The Ephs took four of the top eight places with Kerryann Reynolds in seventh and Kristina Barry in eighth. Amherst’s Julia Ruggiero kept the Ephs from dominating the podium by finishing third in 10:18.68, a nearly twenty second improvement on her seventh place finish time of 10:34.71 from a year ago.
2018 NCAA champion Molly Craig continued the Williams win streak with a win in the 400IM. Her time of 4:20.76 was almost a second faster than her performance last year and the second fastest in DIII coming into this weekend behind Emory Freshman Clio Hancock – look for the two to battle for the title at NCAA’s in a month. Bridgitte Kwong repeated as runner-up in 4:25.53 while Craig’s Williams teammate Ellie Sherman was third in 4:26.89. Connecticut College’s Andrea Higgins and Tufts’ Abby Claus were fourth and fifth in 4:28.96 and 4:29.19 respectively, under the 2018 qualifying time of 4:29.37. 200IM winner and 2018 400IM third place finisher Sterling Dixon of Bowdoin skipped arguably her best event in favor of the 200 free. While Dixon’s best is 4:22 from 2017 she did drop two seconds off her previous best 200IM time from the same year and may have been able to push Craig. It will be interesting to see which event she chooses to swim at NCAA’s.
- Caroline Apathy, Bates :54.54
- Maia Hare, Williams :54.92
- Mary Laurita, Bowdoin :55.15
With the graduation of four time NESCAC champion and 2017 NCAA Swimmer of the Year Emma Waddell the 100 fly was open to a new champion and 2018 runner up Caroline Apathy of Bates continued her excellent meet with the win in :54.54. Her time was nearly a second faster than what she went last year, a new Bates College record, and the fastest time in the nation coming into this weekend. In reverse order of the results from the 50 Fly she was followed by Williams senior Maia Hare in :54.92, a new best time for her. Bowdoin’s Mary Laurita was third in :55.15, just off her best from YMCA Nationals in 2017. The three were joined under the 2018 qualifying time of :56.42 by Tufts’ Amy Socha (:56.09), Williams’ Anna Peterson (:56.14), Tufts’ Sasha Fong (:56.29), and Wesleyan’s Amanda McHugh (:56.38). Interestingly, despite having Wesleyan’s fastest time in both fly events swum so far, McHugh hasn’t been on either of Wesleyan’s A medley relays. At this point she is on the bubble for NCAA’s at best and Wesleyan may need to field their NCAA team without her.
As expected after her win in the 500 free and 1:47 split in the 800 relay, 2018 champion Williams’ Laura Westphal took the 200 free in a personal best time of 1:48.54, .03 behind Denison’s Fiona Muir’s nation leading time entering this weekend. She was followed by 200IM champion Sterling Dixon of Bowdoin in 1:50.55. Dixon’s morning swim of 1:50.28 was a 1.6 second drop off her best from last year. Dixon swam the 400IM at both NESCAC’s and NCAA’s in the past and it will be interesting to see if she leaves that event for the 200 free this year.
Third place went to Amherst’s Natalie Rumpelt in 1:51.21, just ahead of Tufts’s Mary Hufziger in 1:51.34. Connecticut College’s Maddie Ford was fifth in 1:51.48, 3.5 seconds faster than her consolation final finish in 2018 and just ahead of teammate Olivia Haskell in 1:51.73. All sixth were under the 2018 qualifying time of 1:52.20.
- Caroline White, Williams College 1:02.66
- Nina Fitzgerald, Amherst 1:03.58
- Lily Kurtz, Tufts 1:04.56
Williams’ Caroline White repeated as 100 breast champion with a NCAA qualifying time of 1:02.66, almost a second faster than her winning time from last year. She was followed by 2018 third place finisher Nina Fitzgerald who was 1.5 seconds faster than her time from 2018. Fitzgerald entered college with a best of 1:06.03 and has continually improved to the point where she is considered one of the top swimmers in the NCAA. Tufts’ Lily Kurtz was third in 1:04.54. Although her time was slower than the 1:04.42 it took to qualify for NCAA’s last year she has likely already qualified for the meet as part of Tufts 200 and 400 Medley Relays.
- Caroline Murphy, Wesleyan :54.99
- Maeve Wilber, Connecticut :56.39
- Marshall Lowery, Bowdoin :56.42
Wesleyan’s Caroline Murphy picked up her 2nd individual win of the meet by placing 1st in the the 100 backstroke in a time that is exactly exactly one second faster than her winning time from 2018 and the fourth fastest time in the country entering this weekend. Connecticut’s Maeve Wilber and Bowdoin’s Marshall Lowery were a distant second and third in :56.39 and :56.42 respectively, but still under the :56.49 it took to qualify for NCAA’s in 2018.
The meet will conclude Sunday with the 1,650 Free, 200 Back, 100 Free, 200 Breast, 200 Fly, and 400 Free Relay.
Combined Team Scores – Through Day 3/Event 17
- Williams College – 1331
- Tufts – 1063.5
- Amherst – 947
- Bates College – 732
- Connecticut College – 700
- Wesleyan University – 653
- Bowdoin College – 580
- Middlebury College – 524
- Trinity College – 317.5
- Colby College – 313
- Hamilton College – 287