Strong Start for the Blue as Swimming Opens Season at New England Invite

Strong Start for the Blue as Swimming Opens Season at New England Invite

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- The Wellesley College swimming and diving team opened the 2013-14 season on a high note, winning seven of 15 events at the 2013 New England Invitational, hosted by Wesleyan University. Six different individual swimmers and one relay team brought home wins for the Blue.

Overall, Wellesley recorded seven first place finishes, while racking up 20 top-five finishes. Three different Wellesley first-years contributed wins at the event, with
Sharon Wu, Sarah May, and Leah Furman all making a splash in their collegiate debuts.

The Blue had strong performances in both of the relay events contested. Wellesley recorded a first place finish in the 200-medley relay and finished second in the 200-free relay. In the medley, the team of Wu, sophomores
Charlotte Harris and Dorothy Ren, and senior Keelin Nave, touched the wall in a time of 1:50.49.  In the free, senior Mariam Amirkhanashvili, May, Ren, and Nave, teamed up for a time of 1:41.57. 

Individually, Wu, May, Furman, Galinyte, Ren, and Harris all accounted for Wellesley victories. Furman lapped the competition in the 1,000-free, turning in a final time of 10:50.02 in her first collegiate race. May topped the field in the 100-fly, recording a team of 59.41, while Nave took second (1:00.47), and sophomore
Suman Kumar placed fifth in 1:01.99.

Wu's victory came in the 50-back, where the Blue went 1-2. Wu finished in 28.45, edging teammate, senior
Emma Mrkonic, who recorded a 28.75. Harris picked up her win the 100-breast, touching the wall in 1:09.34. Rounding out the winners for the Wellesley, Ren led a trio of top finishers for the Blue in the 100-back, recording a 1:01.06. Mrkonic took second in 1:01.30, while senior Gabriela Kovacikova placed third in 1:01.90. 

In the 500-free, Wellesley's Nave and Galinyte finished second and third overall. Nave touched in a time of 5:17.32, while Galinyte finished in 5:20.08. The Blue also nabbed second place finishes in the 400-IM and the 100-free. In the 400-IM, Ren recorded a time of 4:54.74, while in the 100-free, Amirkhanashvili finished in 56.83, just .54 behind the winner. 

Wrapping up the top-five finishes at the event, were May and Amirkhanashvili. May touched third in the 200-IM (2:18.09), while Amirkhanashvili was fifth in the 50-free in 26.28.

Wellesley swimming and diving now heads to dual meet competition. The Blue will swim on Saturday at Clark University against the Cougars and Roger Williams. The event begins at 1:00pm.