WORCESTER, Mass. -- After two days of competition, the Wellesley College swimming and diving team is in third place at the 2014 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships. The four-day event is being hosted by WPI.
Wellesley surpassed three school records tonight and hit a pair of NCAA marks in the process. The Blue also saw seven top-10 finishes in just six events contested.
A strong effort from two relay teams in the 400-medley was one of the days many highlights. Wellesley's "A" relay of sophomores Dorothy Ren and Charlotte Harris, first-year Sarah May, and senior Keelin Nave led the way with a third place finish. The foursome combined for a blistering 3:52.50, hitting an NCAA "B" cut and also shaving nearly five seconds from the school record (3:57.03 - 2013 - Kovacikova, Harris, Ren, Amirkhanashvili).
Also in the 400-medley, the Blue's second relay team of senior Emma Mrkonic, sophomores Erin Yang and Theresa Mitchell, and senior Mariam Amirkhanashvili turned in an impressive swim, as the group recorded a time of 3:58.34. Their effort was the fifth fastest time in the entire field and clocked in faster than seven school's "A" relay teams.
Individually, Ren and first-year Leah Furman each recorded top-five finishes on the night. Ren broke her own school record in the 200-IM, swimming a 2:09.67 to finish fourth overall. Furman was the Blue's top finisher in the 500-free, recording a time of 5:05.06 to finish in fifth place.
In total, Wellesley earned 74 points in the 500-free, the team's highest individual scoring event this meet. Nave and sophomore Ieva Galinyte each qualified for the championship final alongside Furman, with Nave finishing in seventh place (5:08.24) and Galinyte taking ninth (5:14.32). Harris and senior Anne Hamilton each nabbed spots in the consolation final, as Harris took 11th (5:14.94) and Hamilton placed 14th (5:19.00). In addition to the excellent finals swims for the Blue, Nave surpassed Wellesley's school record with a time of 5:03.7 in the preliminaries.
The Blue also recorded a number of points in the 200-IM, with a pair of student-athletes in the consolation final, in addition to Ren's fourth place finish. May took 12th place overall, turning in a time of 2:13.77, while Yang was 19th, recording a 2:16.85.
Wrapping up the individual swimming events, Amirkhanashvili picked up points for Wellesley in the 50-free. The senior qualified to the consolation final and took 18th place overall, recording a time of 25.29.
At the diving end of the pool, Wellesley's lone diver, Maddie Stern, had a career day for the Blue. The first-year made the most of her NEWMAC debut, qualifying to the championship final and finishing seventh overall in a deep field of divers. Stern hit a score of 399.15, which marked a career-best, and also qualifed her for the NCAA Regional meet.
Closing out the day two highlights for the Blue, Wellesley relay teams recorded eighth and 15th place finishes in the 200-free relay. The Blue's "A" team of Amirkhanashvili, Mrkonic, Furman, and Wu paired up to swim a 1:40.49, while the "B" relay of junior Tiffany Chen, Mitchell, Yang, and Galinyte, were right on their tails, clocking in at 1:42.20.
In the team standings, MIT leads the field with 505 points followed by Springfield (446) and Wellesley (309). Wheaton (239) sits in fourth, while WPI (233) and Coast Guard (222) are close by in fifth and sixth. Rounding out the field is Mount Holyoke (198), Clark (183), Smith (155) and Babson (122).
The meet continues tomorrow with another full day of events. Preliminaries will be held at 10:00am in the 400-IM, the 100-fly, the 200-free, the 100-breast, the 100-back, and the 200-medley relay. Finals will begin at 6:00pm.
Live results can be accessed at: http://www.doubletek.org/wpiswimdive/ while live video will be available at: http://wpi.prestosports.com/video/live.