Wellesley Swimming & Diving Rallies To Win 21st Straight Seven Sisters Title

(L to R): Seniors Patricia Chen and Maura Sticco-Ivins, and junior Jessie Feng celebrate with Seven Sisters Trophy (MHC Athletic Communications).
(L to R): Seniors Patricia Chen and Maura Sticco-Ivins, and junior Jessie Feng celebrate with Seven Sisters Trophy (MHC Athletic Communications).

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. -- Wellesley College swimming & diving earned four victories on day two of the 2018 Seven Sisters Swimming & Diving Championship to claim the program's 21st consecutive title, and 28th overall, on Sunday at the Mount Holyoke Natatorium.

The Blue totaled 1,096.5 points to outpace second place Vassar College, as the Brewers finished just 19 points away from snapping Wellesley's unprecedented streak of success. Smith College finished third with 541 points, the host Lyons were fourth with 525 points, and Bryn Mawr College rounded out the field at the 36th annual championship with 370 points. 

After being named the 2018 recipient of the Marly Pineda Seven Sisters Swimming and Diving Award on Saturday evening, Wellesley senior diver Maura Sticco-Ivins (Framingham, Mass.) closed out her Seven Sisters career with a fourth title on the three-meter board, totaling an NCAA regional qualifying mark of 510.95. Sticco-Ivins was undefeated in Seven Sisters Championships in her career, winning eight diving events in all. 

Sticco-Ivins erased Wellesley's day one deficit with her victory in the first event, but Vassar countered with wins by first year Angharad Healey (Summit, N.J.) in the 1650-freestyle (18:12.13) and first year Rhea Randhawa (Dix Hills, N.Y.) in the 200-backstroke (2:06.35). For Randhawa , the win was her sixth victory of this year's championship.

After helping the Blue to a victory in the 200 Medley Relay on Saturday, first year Emma Helmich (Huntington, Ind.) earned her first ever individual Seven Sisters title and helped the Blue retake the lead with a first place time of 55.38 in the 100-free. Following Helmich's win, Vassar first year Shannon Schrope (Kinnelon, N.J.) led a 1-2 Brewer finish in the 200-breaststroke (2:23.98), but the rest of the day, and the Seven Sisters title, would belong to the Blue.

Junior Jessie Feng (Princeton, N.J.) earned her own spot on the Seven Sisters All-Tournament team with a victory in the 200-butterfly (2:13.24). The Blue then clinched their 21st straight championship with a win in the 400 Medley Relay, where Sunny Chiang (Troy, Mich.), Solveig Stensland (Lino Lakes, Minn.), Kayleigh Svensson (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Emily Yeager (Pittsfield, Mass.) edged second place Vassar, 3:41.05 to 3:41.29, in a thrilling finale. 

Wellesley will now begin preparations for the 2018 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship, February 22-25, at MIT.