LANDOVER, Maryland, February 17. THE Gardner-Webb Lady Bulldog swimmers defended their Three NEC Championships this weekend as they were crowned the NEC Swimming and Diving Champions for the fourth straight year.
The Bulldogs continually increased to their 102 point lead on day three of competition, as they finished the three-day event with 735 points, 125 points ahead of second-place finisher Georgia Southern (610). Central Connecticut State (577), Wagner (491) and Saint Francis University (297) rounded out the top five.
For the second straight day, it was a full team effort for the Lady Bulldogs as they again picked up only two victories-one relay and one individual- on the final day of competition.
Gardner-Webb wrapped up their fourth straight conference title with an exclamation mark as they finished the meet the same way they started it with a Bulldog relay win. The unit of Terra Wilson, Kathryn Williams, Ashley Jones and Kelly Gueltig touched the wall first in the last event of the day, giving them a first-place finish in the 400 free relay with their time of 3:29.60.
Senior Terra Wilson continued her winning ways and went out with a bang on Saturday, as she picked up the first-place victory in the 100 free event with her NCAA "B" qualifying time of 49.52, which was also a new NEC meet record.
Junior Heather Roka set the pace for the Bulldogs early on day three as she took third-place in the first women's event of the day, the 1650 free, with her time of 17.22.42. Roka touched the wall just ahead of teammate Gueltig, who finished fourth in the event with a time of 17.26.60.
In the next event, the 200 back, junior Whitney Hooley turned in a solid performance, finishing second with her time of 2:05.69. Fellow classmate Grace Whiteside touched the wall in fourth (2:07.48), while freshman Corey Hughey finished fifth (2:11.35) and Jones took seventh (2:11.58). Freshman Laura Furnari also scored for the ‘Dogs in the event as she finished 13th overall.
Senior Kathryn Williams aided the Bulldogs in capturing their fourth straight NEC title, as she picked up points for her seventh-place (54.05) performance in the 100 free.
In the 200 breaststroke, the Bulldogs had three swimmers score, as freshman Mallory Baxter finished sixth (2:26.79), junior Isabel Olivas finished eighth (2:28.35) and senior Camille Palacio took 14th (2:33.55).
In the last individual event of the meet, GWU dominated as four different swimmers scored in the 200 fly. Carrie Kibler, Whitney Beachum and Leslie Hallquist took third, fourth and fifth-place, respectively, while junior Lindsay Palmer finished in 15th-place overall.