MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan women's swimming and diving team has its sights set on moving up in the conference ranks this weekend when it hosts the 2019 NESCAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championship. Williams is in pursuit of its sixth-straight conference crown and 18th overall when the four-day meet begins on Thursday, February 14th. Last season, Williams outdistanced the field with 1,971 points to win its fifth straight NESCAC title. Amherst (1,615) finished second and was followed by Connecticut College (1,060.5) in third. Tufts (1,023.5) and Bowdoin (998.5) rounded out the top five in the team standings. Bates (943), Middlebury (826) and Wesleyan (725) took places six through eight, respectively, while Trinity (443.5), Hamilton (382) and Colby (296) rounded out the field.
The 800 freestyle relay will jump start the weekend, as the sole event on Thursday begins at 7:00 p.m. Competition on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday begins with preliminary heats at 10 a.m. Finals are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, 5:50 p.m. on Saturday, and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. All tickets will be sold at the door and are $8 per session for adults ($5 on Thursday) and $3 per session for children and students. There will only be 42 general admission tickets available for each session. Doors will open 60 minutes prior to the preliminaries and finals.
A live webcast will be available at NESCAC.com and on Roku, AppleTV, and Amazon Fire (search NESCAC Network). Results from the NESCAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships will be available throughout the weekend at NESCAC.com and via the NESCAC Twitter account (@NESCAC).
CARDINALS TO WATCH:
- Caroline Murphy looks to three-peat as the NESCAC Champion in the 50 backstroke, and crown her second-consecutive title in the 100 backstroke. She is seeded second in the 50 back to Middlebury's Frances Vandermeer, and fourth in the 100 back with less than one second between her and the first seed.
- Off the 3-meter board, Devon Cooper is situated well to place among the top-eight, having established the varsity record in 2018. Cooper looks to qualify for the NCAA Regional competition in early March at MIT. Wesleyan has two other competitors off the boards, which gives them great depth and a competitive advantage.
- First-year Mengmeng Gibbs has had a stellar rookie season, opening her campaign with three first-place dual-meet finishes. Gibbs has a great chance to place in the top-eight in both the 100 breast (fourth seed) and the 50 breast (fifth seed) and will also be competitive in the 200 breast, as she is seeded seventh.
- Julia Dietz finished in the top-eight in the 50 back in 2018 and looks to find herself back in the top-eight in both the 50 back and the 100 back.
- Hannah O'Halloran will look to break into the top-eight in both the 100 and 200 back, as she placed ninth in the 100 back a year ago.
- The 200 freestyle relay, 400 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay teams hope to push for top honors in all three events, as they look to also qualify for NCAA's.
- "With our senior leadership and home court advantage, the coaches and athletes could not be more excited about what this year's NESCAC Championship meet has in store. The competitiveness in our conference always brings out the best in our team when it matters most. We have put in the work and our team is peaking just at the right time for exciting races in the pool and performances on the diving boards. This meet marks the celebration of our long season supporting each other and with parents and alumni in the stands cheering us on, I look forward to some pretty special moments this weekend."