WILLIAMSTOWN, Massachusetts, February 19. WILLIAMS College nearly doubled its lead over the rest of the field on Day Two at the NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving Championships, which are being held at the Ephs' Muir-Samuelson Pool. Williams' two-day total of 1,366 puts it 273 points ahead of rival Amherst (1,093). Tufts is in third with 931 points.
The first race of the evening, the 200-yard medley relay looked like it was going to be easy going for Williams, whichhad broken a 17 year old pool record in the preliminary heats with a time of 1:46.45. Although no other team had come within two seconds of the Ephsi in the preliminary heats, the final raceproved to be a whole different affair, with all eight squads staying close up until the final 50. With Williams holding a slight lead at the 150 yard mark junior Carolyn Geller, the current NESCAC champion in the 50 yd freestyle, entered in the water and proved unbeatable once again, bringing the Ephs home victorious in a time of 1:46.82.
Williams senior Erin Altenburger would go out quickly in the 1,000-yard freestyle, opening up a large lead en route to finishing in a time of 10:02.82, a new championship and pool record. Altenburger shaved nearly three seconds off the previous record, and finished over 20 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.
The Ephs packed the final heat of the 400-yard IM, an event in which they took first through fifth at last year's NESCAC championships. With four out of those five swimmers in the race again, it promised to be an exciting intrasquad showdown. Williams sophomore Caroline Wilson pulled away in the breaststroke leg, leading to an anticlimactic but dominating finish in a time of 4:23.97, nearly five seconds under the previous pool record. Teammate Katherine O'Leary came in second with a time of 4:27.65. Williams junior Bonnie Patchen came in third in 4:28.28, ahead of teammate Ellen Ramsey, who finished fourth in 4:31.51.
Logan Todhunter, the two time defending NESCAC champion in the 100-yard butterfly, got her third title in emphatic fashion, cruising to victory in 55.84.
Amherst senior Kendra Stern continued her dominance in the 200-yard freestyle. The three-time champion cruised to her fourth title with a time of 1:47.21.
In the 100-yard breaststroke the race came down to a photo finish between Amherst junior Rebecca Kelley, the two time champion in the 50-yard breaststroke, and newcomer Jenny Hu, a first year from Tufts. Kelley would defeat Hu by the extremely narrow margin of two hundredths of a second with a time of 1:06.26.
Hamilton first year Maggie Rosenbaum tied a 17 year old pool record in the preliminary heats of the 100-yard backstroke, posting a time of 56.67. She would drop nearly a second in her finals performance, claiming the record for her own in a time of 55.70 as well as the NESCAC title.
The final event of the evening was the 800-yard freestyle relay, a challenging mix of speed and distance. Ultimately, though, Williams held on to claim victory over Amherst and Connecticut college in a time of 7:35.75, breaking the 17 year old pool record.
Following Williams, Amherst, and Tufts are Connecticut College and Bates, as the two round out the top five with 797 and 623.5 points respectively. Hamilton is in sixth with 498 points; Colby is seventh with 491 points; Wesleyan is eighth with 452 points; Middlebury is ninth with 450 points; Bowdoin is 10th with 408 points; Trinity is 11th with 345.5 points.
Tomorrow will be the final day of the championship meet. Preliminary heats begin at 10:00 a.m.
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