Wellesley Swimming & Diving Claims 20th Consecutive Seven Sisters Title

Vassar Athletic Communications
Vassar Athletic Communications

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Wellesley College swimming & diving claimed the program's 20th consecutive title on Sunday at the 2017 Seven Sisters Swimming & Diving Championship at Vassar College's Kresge Pool.  Wellesley has now won 27 Seven Sisters Championships in all and every title since 1998.

The Blue finished the meet with 1175 points, with Smith College earning runner-up honors with 803 points. Host Vassar took third with 683 points, while Mount Holyoke took fourth with 512 and Bryn Mawr College rounded out the field with 378 points.

Wellesley won five of the seven events on day two of the meet. Junior Maura Sticco-Ivins (Framingham, Mass.) completed her third consecutive sweep of the Seven Sisters diving events when she earned a victory on the 3-meter board to open competition on Sunday. The Seven Sisters record holder in the event, Sticco-Ivins totaled 508.40 to claim All-Seven Sisters honors. Competing in her final Seven Sisters Championship, senior diver Maddie Stern (Phoenix, Ariz.) took fifth with a score of 414.95, as the top-five divers in Sunday's 3-meter all tallied NCAA Regional qualifying scores.

First year Kayleigh Svensson (Palo Alto, Calif.) claimed her second Seven Sisters All-Tournament honor, and first individual title, with a victory in the 1650 Yard Freestyle. Svensson completed the distance event in 18:13.43. Classmate Veronica Pawlik (Teaneck, N.J.) added the first of back-to-back ninth place finishes with her time in the 1650 Free (20:51.63). Pawlik then turned around to take ninth in the 200 Yard Backstroke (2:25.18), as the Blue swept the top two spots.

Sophomores Karen Wang (Holmdel, N.J.) and Sunny Chiang (Troy, Mich.) paced the Blue in the 200 Yard Backstroke. Wang finished just ahead of her classmate with a time of 2:12.21. Chiang touched the wall in 2:12.58, as Wellesley was the class of the field with the pair of competitive times to earn the 1-2 sweep.

Bryn Mawr sophomore Lillian Oyen-Ustad (Rhinebeck, N.Y.) snapped Wellesley's Sunday winning streak in the fourth event, the 100 Yard Freestyle. Oyen-Ustad took first in 55.40, just ahead of Blue sophomore Cathy Chen (Parsippany, N.J.) and junior Patricia Chen (Natick, Mass.) in second and third. Cathy Chen finished in 55.45 and Patricia Chen had a time of 56.79.

First year Danielle Peterson (Livingston, N.J.) and junior Lindsey Wu (Livingston, N.J.) claimed the top two spots for the Blue in the 200 Yard Breaststroke. Peterson earned the first individual All-Seven Sisters honor of her career with a time of 2:32.25. Wu was the runner-up in 2:34.10. Wellesley also claimed 6th and 7th in the event, with sophomore Crystal Zhu (Chelmsford, Mass.) and first year Sarah Gladstone (Brookline, Mass.) recording times of 2:41.41 and 2:45.13, respectively.

Vassar senior Julia Cunningham (Yardley, Pa.) claimed her fourth Seven Sisters title of the week in the final individual event, adding a first place finish in the 200 Yard Butterfly to her All-Seven Sisters honors in the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 100 Fly, with an NCAA B Cut time of 2:05.95. The Blue claimed third, fourth and sixth in the event thanks to the times of Wang, sophomore Jessie Feng (Princeton, N.J.) and first year Maggie Haley (Shady Side, Md.). Wang finished the 200 Fly in 2:14.82, while Feng had a time of 2:17.64 and Haley completed the event in 2:24.18.

Wellesley locked up their 20th straight Seven Sisters title with a victory in the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, as Chiang, Feng, Peterson and Cathy Chen combined for a time of 3:44.09. The Blue also claimed fourth in the final event, with the 'B' relay of Dong, sophomore Emma MaGee (Stormville, N.Y.), Zhu and Patricia Chen finishing in 3:56.42.

Wellesley will close out the squad's January schedule with a meet versus Trinity College, Conn. College and Wheaton on Saturday, January 28, at 1:00 PM at Trinity College.