CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Wellesley College swimming and diving team closed out the fall semester of competition with an outstanding performance at the MIT Invitational. The Blue finished third of seven teams, competing against MIT, Harvard, Tufts, Wheaton, Bowdoin, and Colby.
Wellesley recorded 16 top-five finishes at the event, which included a pair of victories, an NCAA "B" cut, and two new school records. The Blue finished behind only MIT and Harvard, while topping Tufts, Wheaton, Bowdoin, and Colby. Sophomore Dorothy Ren and first-year Leah Furman led the way for the Blue individually. Ren won the 100-fly and set a school record in the 200-IM, while Furman surpassed a six-year old school school record in the 1,650-free.
Ren finished the meet with four individual top-10 finishes, including a win in the 100-fly, where her time of 57.52 hit NCAA qualifying standards. Ren surpassed a school record in the 200-IM, swimming a 2:11.12 to finish fifth in the event. She also placed fifth in the 100-back (59.11) and eighth in the 100-free (54.28). Furman had an excellent swim in the 1,650-free, competing the event for the first time this season. Her time of 17:51.33 shaved almost nine seconds off the previous Wellesley mark, and gave her second place overall at the event, behind only a Harvard swimmer. Furman also placed seventh in the 500-free, in a time of 5:15.64.
Senior Keelin Nave finished with three individual top-five finishes at the meet, while sophomore Charlotte Harris and first-year Sarah May also nabbed top-five placements. Nave took third overall in the 200-free (1:55.42), while taking fifth in both the 500-free (5:17.32) and the 200-fly (2:11.10). Harris placed fifth in the 200-breast (2:27.75), while also placing seventh in the 100-breast (1:08.80) and eighth in the 500-free (5:15.66). May was third overall in the 200-fly (2:09.57), while also placing seventh in the 100-fly (59.03).
Other Wellesley swimmers who recorded top-10 finishes at the meet included seniors Gabriela Kovacikova, Emma Mrkonic, Mariam Amirkhanashvili, and Anne Hamilton, sophomores Erin Yang, Theresa Mitchell, and Ieva Galinyte, and first-year Sharon Wu.
Kovacikova placed in the top-10 in three events, while Mrkonic added a pair of top-10 finishes. Kovacikova placed eighth in the 100-back (1:00.59), ninth in the 100-fly (59.48) and 10th in the 200-back (2:12.43). Mrkonic was seventh in the 100-back (59.32) and ninth in the 200-back (2:10.86). Elsewhere, Mitchell was eighth in the 200-fly (2:13.62), Yang was ninth in the 100-breast (1:09.99), and Amirkhanashvili was ninth in the 100-free (54.35). Galinyte was ninth in the 400-IM (4:51.15), Hamilton was ninth in the 1,650-free (18:55.07), and Wu was 10th in the 100-back (1:01.39).
In the relay events, the Blue combined for nine top-eight finishes, led by the 800-free relay team that recorded a victory. Harris, Furman, Galinyte, and Nave teamed up to finish in 7:55.09, a 3.5 second win over second place, MIT. Wellesley's "B" relay of Amirkhanashvili, juniors Tiffany Chen and Grace Bachman, and Hamilton, also finished in the top-five, with a time of 8:14.86.
Wellesley relays took third overall in both the 200-medley relay and the 400-free relay. In the medley, Mrkonic, Harris, Ren, and Nave, teamed up for a time of 1:48.62, while in the free, Amirkhanashvili, Ren, Galinyte, and Nave finished in 3:36.69, just one second off a school record.
In the 400-medley relay, the Blue took fourth and fifth places. Ren, Harris, May and Nave finished in a time of 3:58.16, while Mrkonic, Yang, Mitchell, and Amirkhanashvili teamed up of a 4:04.43. Rounding out the relay action, the Blue's 200-free relay team of Amirkhanashvili, May, Ren and Nave finished fifth in 1:39.85.
Wellesley's Gabby Cooper-Vespa was the lone diver for the Blue, recording ninth place finishes in both events. On the 1-meter board, she finished with a score of 221.75, and on the 3-meter board, she recorded a 238.50.
Blue swimming and diving will return to action after the new year. Wellesley will host Babson and Coast Guard at home on January 8th at 4:00pm.