RICHMOND, Virginia, January 29. RICHMOND swept the relays and sophomore Lauren Hines won four events as the women's swimming & diving team led wire-to-wire and beat James Madison, 158-149, on Senior Day Saturday at Robins Center Natatorium.
Saturday marked the Spiders' regular-season finale and was the final home meet for seniors Natalie Lewis, Nicole LePere and Chrissy Brodt, who were honored in a pre-meet ceremony.
"It was important to win this one for the seniors," said head coach Matt Barany. "But more importantly we were much improved over last week's performance (at Virginia Tech). The question now is our we improved enough for the A-10 Championship."
The Spiders set the tone from the first event, sweeping the top two spots in the 200 medley relay with Hines, Mali Kobelja, Jill Smaniotto and Lauren Jordan winning in a time of 1:45.31. The relay of LePere, Mary Anne Lerro, Mina Vucic and Liz Cohan was second (1:48.41).
Richmond won all but one individual swimming event and took both relays. With the Spiders' lead secure, the final two events of the night were not scored for Richmond.
"JMU is a very good team and that's a good win for us," said Barany.
Hines was victorious in both the 100 back, 100 free and swam on both the winning 200 medley and 200 free relays. Hines edged out LePere in the 100 back, taking the event in a time of 55.79. Hines also put down a winning time of 51.33 in the 100 free.
LePere set a pair of season-best times Saturday, posting a 56.43 in the 100 back, which was good for second and cruising to a seven-second victory in the 200 back (2:02.25).
Kobelja collected three wins by taking the 100 and 200 breast (1:05.47 and 2:22.69) and the 400 IM in a season-best time of 4:28.18, crushing the field by seven seconds. Fellow freshman Jessie Krebs won the 500 free (4:59.62).
Other winners for the Spiders included Alexi Kuska in the 1,000 free (10:13.90), Charlotte Brackett in the 50 free (23.74) and 200 free (1:52.03) and Jill Smaniotto in the 200 fly (2:08.11). Kuska's 500 free times and Brackett's 200 free time were season-bests.
Hines, Jordan, Vucic and Brackett capped the meet by winning the 200 free relay in a time of 1:35.38.
Richmond, which finished the regular season with an 8-3 record in dual meets, now continues preparations for the Atlantic 10 Championship, which commences February 23rd in Buffalo, N.Y. The Spiders have won a league-record eight titles.
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