WORCESTER, Mass. – Wellesley College swimming & diving earned a fifth place finish at the 2017 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships on Sunday night at Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) Sports & Recreation Center.
The Blue amassed 529 points to take fifth. MIT claimed its seventh consecutive conference title with 1,422 points. WPI (769.5) was 3.5 points ahead of third place Wheaton College (766), while Springfield College (742) finished fourth. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy (483) placed sixth, followed by Smith College (359.5) in seventh, Clark University (316) in eighth, Mount Holyoke College (235) in ninth and Babson College (169) in 10th.
Leading the way for the Blue was diver Maura Sticco-Ivins (Framingham, Mass.), as the Blue junior claimed the sixth NEWMAC First Team All-Conference honor of her career with a first place finish in 3-meter diving. Sticco-Ivins scored 525.60 to win the event for the third-straight year en route to winning the third NEWMAC Diver of the Year Award of her collegiate career. Wellesley senior Maddie Stern (Phoenix, Ariz.) joined Sticco-Ivins in the top-five on the 3-meter board, taking fifth with a personal record score of 459.10 in her final NEWMAC Championship appearance. The pair will represent the Blue at next weekend's NCAA Diving Regional at MIT.
Wellesley also placed two in the top-five in the 200 Yard Backstroke, where sophomores Karen Wang (Holmdel, N.J.) and Sunny Chiang (Troy, Mich.) finished fourth and fifth with a pair of very competitive times. Wang touched the wall in 2:09.40, while Chiang completed the race just tenths of a second later in 2:09.43.
Sophomore Jessie Feng (Princeton, N.J.) finished eighth in the 200 Yard Butterfly A – Final, racing to a time of 2:13.15. Feng's performance came on the heels of a sixth place showing from first year Maggie Haley (Shady Side, Md.) in the event's B – Final. Haley recorded a time of 2:17.53.
First year Kayleigh Svensson (Palo Alto, Calif.) and junior Lindsey Wu (Livingston, N.J.) both grabbed top-ten times on Sunday. Svensson earned a spot on the podium with a tenth place finish in the 1650 Yard Freestyle, racing to a time of 18:21.05 during Sunday's preliminaries to finish in the top-ten overall. Wu's preliminary performance in the 200 Yard Breaststroke earned her a spot in Sunday evening's A - Final, where she finished tenth in 2:29.92. Also competing in the 200 Breaststroke, first year Danielle Peterson (Livingston, N.J.) won the B – Final with a time of 2:31.41, improving two spots from her preliminary swim.
The Blue ended NEWMAC Championship weekend with a sixth place showing in the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay. Peterson, Feng, Chiang and sophomore Cathy Chen (Parsippany, N.J.) raced to a time of 3:37.47 in the A – Final. Also in the 400 Free Relay, sophomore Crystal Zhu (Chelmsford, Mass.), Wu, sophomore Francesca Dong (Princeton Junction, N.J.) and junior Patricia Chen (Natick, Mass.) closed out the meet with a time of 3:44.48 to take sixth in the B – Final.
The 2017 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships will take place March 15-18 at the CISD Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas.
2017 NEWMAC Swimming & Diving Championships:
Women's Swimmer of the Year:
Jenna Hayden, Wheaton
Women's Diver of the Year:
Maura Sticco-Ivins, Wellesley
Women's Rookie of the Year:
Kayla Holman, MIT