NEWMAC Champion, Four All-Conference Spots as Blue Finish Third at NEWMACs

NEWMAC Champion, Four All-Conference Spots as Blue Finish Third at NEWMACs
WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Wellesley College swimming and diving team posted a third place finish at the 2014 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships on Sunday. The four-day meet was hosted by WPI.

Wellesley capped an outstanding meet with a fantastic day four effort that boasted a NEWMAC Champion, four All-NEWMAC spots, three NCAA "B" cuts, and a pair of school records.

Blue first-year Sarah May led the way with a NEWMAC Championship in the 200-fly. May recorded a time of 2:06.01 to out-touch teammate, senior Keelin Nave, who swam a 2:06.82. Both athletes hit NCAA marks and earned All-Conference spots. 

Also earning All-Conference honors for the Blue were senior Emma Mrkonic and first-year Leah Furman. Mrkonic was second in the 200-back, recording a time of 2:06.55, over two and a half seconds faster than she swam in prelims. Furman was outstanding in the 1,650 free, taking second in an NCAA "B" cut time of 17:22.78. Her time shattered her previous school record of 17:51.33.

Wellesley grabbed a bulk of the points in the 200-fly, where after May and Nave, two other Blue swimmers qualified to the championship finals and another to the consolation final. Sophomore Theresa Mitchell finished sixth overall, recording a time of 2:11.49, while first-year Misha Olynyk earned a 10th place finish, swimming a 2:19.07. Senior Gabriela Kovacikova qualified to the consolation finals, swimming a 2:18.85 and finishing 15th overall. 

After Furman in the 1,650-free, Wellesley sophomore Ieva Galinyte also had a fantastic swim, taking sixth place overall in a time of 17:42.79. Her time was also lower than the existing school record in the event. Rounding out the top swims in the mile, senior Anne Hamilton finished 15th overall, recording an 18:35.93.

In the 200-breast, Wellesley sophomores Charlotte Harris and Erin Yang each qualified to the evening session. Harris grabbed a spot in the championship final where she was seeded 10th, before shaving over two seconds off of her preliminary swim to take fifth overall with a 2:27.00. Yang also bettered her mark from prelims, finishing 15th overall in 2:30.76. Senior Erin Pomeroy also added a solid performace for the Blue, recording a 2:37.61 in the morning session to finish 21st.

Wellesley had three other top-20 swimming performances on the night, as Kovacikova, first-year Sharon Wu, and senior Mariam Amirkhanashvili each qualified to finals. Kovacikova was 10th overall in the 200-back after going 2:11.91 in prelims, while Wu won the consolation heat of the 200-back, recording a time of 2:11.28. Amirkhanashvili rounded out the top finishes by swimming a 54.66 to take 18th in the 100-free. 

At the diving end of the pool, Wellesley first-year Maddie Stern capped off her first NEWMAC meet with a ninth place finish on the 3-meter board. Stern recorded 416.85 points, improving over 20 points from her previous best score. 

Closing out the championship for the Blue, the 400-free relay team took fouth place. The foursome of Nave, sophomore Dorothy Ren, Amirkhanashvili, and Harris combined for a time of 3:34.55. 

Wellesley finished the meet with 879 total points. MIT took the team title for the fourth straight year, racking up 1405 points, while Springfield finished second with 1209.5. WPI ranked fourth with a 567.5, followed by Wheaton with 521 and Mount Holyoke with 468. Coast Guard (453), Clark (398), Smith (347) and Babson (254) rounded out the team scoring.