By Cathleen Pruden, Swimming World College Intern
Both the Washington and Lee women and men look to defend their Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship titles next weekend in Greensboro.
The Washington and Lee women are chasing their ninth straight conference championship next weekend. Washington and Lee is lead by 2015 Swimmer of the Year Emily Rollo, 2015 Rookie of the Year Kira Tomenchok, multiple event record holder Elisabeth Holmes, and freshman Elle Chancey. Rollo is the top seed in the 200 IM (2:09.95), three seconds off her meet and open record. She is also top seed in the 100 backstroke (56.47), after she set the ODAC open record in November. Tomenchock (58.81) is on her heels. The teammates will also battle for the 200 backstroke title. Rollo (2:04.59) holds the meet and open record (2:02.35) from her races last season. Tomenchok is seeded second (2:06.62).
Holmes is the top seed in the 500 freestyle (5:07.14) and will be looking to break her own meet record (5:08.49). She is followed closely by freshman teammate Jordan Watson (5:07.74). Holmes will also look to defend her title and meet and open records in the 200 freestyle (1:53.30), ahead of teammate Chancey (1:53.54). Chancey is the top seed in the 100 freestyle (52.66) while Holmes is third (53.72). Emory and Henry’s Jessica Richardson (53.29) is seeded between the Generals.
Sophomore Michaela Nolte leads Emory and Henry’s quest to upset the Generals, after finishing second last year. Nolte is the meet and open record holder in the 200 breaststroke (2:22.07) and is this year’s top seed by nearly eight seconds (2:22.96). In the 100, the Wasp is seeded at a 1:04.99 with a new open record she set in December. Nolte also leads the way in the 50 freestyle (24.22). The Wasps and the Generals should have some incredibly close relay races. All of their seed times are within one second of each other, except for the 800 freestyle relay in which the margin is a mere two seconds.
Last year was the first season the ODAC included men’s swimming, and Washington and Lee took the inaugural title. The team will be looking to repeat the feat this year.
Last year’s Rookie of the Year Tommy Thetford is already making a case to be this year’s Swimmer of the Year. The sophomore holds dominant top seeds in all three of his individual events. In the 100 freestyle Thetford tops the rankings with an NCAA B cut time of 45.49, ahead of second seed Mohamed Saleh (47.14) from Randolph-Macon. In the 200 freestyle Thetford (1:43.50) is the first of the Generals, who hold the top five seeds. His margin in the 50 freestyle is also impressive, seeded in 20.10 seconds, ahead of Saleh (21.35) and teammate Andrew Botelho (21.94).
The 400 IM features only six swimmers, but Randolph-Macon’s Ivan Fadeyev (4:13.51) will be in pursuit of his own meet and open records (4:05.61). His Yellow Jacket teammate Robery Redenz will seek to defend his own conference title in the 100 breaststroke. The junior is also the top seed in the 200 breaststroke (2:13.35), just ahead of teammate Josh Carter (2:13.41).
Full Psych Sheet available here: 2016 Old Dominion Athletic Conference: Psych Sheet – Results