Empire 8 Championships

SYRACUSE, New York, February 20. THE Ithaca women's swimming & diving team won its 11th consecutive Empire 8 title and third straight Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming Association championship Saturday at Nottingham High School in Syracuse. Ithaca finished with 1,403 points, 97 more than the second-place team.

Junior Sheila Rhoades (Dryden/Dryden) highlighted Ithaca's third day of competition by winning the 100-yard freestyle in 50.91 seconds, which met the NCAA A Qualifying Standard and was just seven-hundredths slower than the school record she established in 2009.

Sophomore Missy Keesler (Union-Endicott/Endicott) set a school record and finished second in the finals of the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:04.68. That time met the NCAA B Qualifying Standard and was 59-hundredths faster than the school record she established at the same meet last year.

Ithaca's divers added valuable points in the finals of the 3-meter event and also met the NCAA qualifying score. Sophomore Jodi Costello (Framingham/Framingham, Mass.) was second with a total of 429.95 and senior Naomi Mark (Dansville/Dansville) was third with a score of 423.35. Both scores are career-highs in that event for each diver.

Two Bombers hit NCAA provisional qualifying times in the 200-yard breaststroke. Freshman Carly Jones (Liverpool/Liverpool) finished second in the finals of the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:23.55 and freshman Madi Sherry (Orchard Park/Orchard Park) swam 2:25.68 in the preliminary heats to meet the B cut. Sherry finished sixth in the event finals in 2:26.89, followed by junior Becca Blazak (Quaker Valley/Sewickley, Pa.) in seventh with a time of 2:28.33.

Ithaca closed the meet by placing second in the 400-yard freestyle relay and met the NCAA B standard with a time of 3:33.69. The relay team was comprised of junior Maddie Kennedy (Head Royce/Alameda, Calif.), Jones, junior Joanna Ferreri (Niskayuna/Niskayuna) and Rhoades.

Three Bombers placed among the top-10 during the championship heats of the 1,650-yard freestyle, led by sophomore Kelly Murphy (Blake/Silver Spring, Md.) in second in 17:48.18. Senior Shannon Archer (Niskayuna/Scotia) was fourth in 17:55.74 and sophomore Simone McCarron (Bridgewater-Raritan/Bridgewater, N.J.) was ninth in 18:27.60.

Sophomore Cali DeSanto (Mexico/Mexico) was fifth in the finals of the 200-yard butterfly in 2:10.77.

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World Magazine. It has been posted in its entirety without editing. Swimming World offers all outlets the chance to reach our audience by contacting us at Newsmaster@swimmingworldmagazine.com. However, Swimming World reserves the right to choose what material is posted.

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