SYRACUSE, New York, February 21. THE Ithaca women's swimming & diving team won the state championship in addition to the Empire 8 title as the Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming Association / Empire 8 Championship concluded at Nottingham High School. The Bombers scored 1,338 over the three days of competition. It was Ithaca's 10th consecutive Empire 8 title.
Senior Lauren Botterbusch (Dallastown Area/York, Pa.) finished first in the finals of the 200-yard breaststroke and met the NCAA "A" Provisional Qualifying Standard with a meet and school record time of 2:20.07. Sophomore Becca Blazak (Quaker Valley/Sewickley, Pa.) finished second with an NCAA "B" qualifying time of 2:22.53.
Sophomore Sheila Rhoades (Dryden/Dryden) won the association and conference titles in the 100-yard freestyle with an association, conference and school record time of 50.84 seconds. That time also met the NCAA A qualifying standard, sending Rhoades to the NCAA championship meet. Sophomore Joanna Ferreri (Niskayuna/Niskayuna) was sixth with a time of 53.53 seconds.
Freshman Missy Keesler (Union-Endicott/Endicott) met the B qualifying standard and finished second in the finals of the 200-yard backstroke in 2:05.27, an Ithaca record.
Freshman Kelly Murphy (Blake/Silver Spring, Md.) finished third in the finals of the 1,650-yard freestyle with a school-record time of 17:42.48, also an NCAA B cut.
The 400 free relay team of sophomore Rhoades, sophomore Maddie Kennedy (Head Royce/Alameda, Calif.), Ferreri, and Botterbusch finished third in the finals with a time of 3:32.31, which was an NCAA B cut.
Freshman Cali DeSanto (Mexico/Mexico) was eighth in the finals of the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:17.12, an NCAA B cut.
Freshman diver Jodi Costello (Framingham/Framingham, Mass.) was third in the finals of the 3-meter diving competition with a score of 374.50. She scored 391.05 in the preliminaries.
Special thanks to Ithaca for contributing this report.