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Women’s Swimming & Diving Finishes in Tie for 17th Overall at NCAA Championship

Murphy recorded a pair of first-place finishes on Sunday (Ronald Wimer P '19)
Murphy recorded a pair of first-place finishes on Sunday (Ronald Wimer P '19)
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Sophomore Caroline Murphy of the Wesleyan University women's swimming & diving team earned the first All-American honor of her career on Friday evening at the four-day NCAA Division III Championship, as she placed fourth overall in the championship final of the 100-yard backstroke with a school-record time of 54.97 in Indianapolis, Ind.

The Cardinals finished in a tie for 17th overall out of 60 teams with 37 team points during the four-day meet, ranging from Wednesday-Saturday. Emory finished atop the team standings with a score of 603, while Kenyon (500) and Williams (412) checked in at the No. 2 and 3 slots, respectively. Wesleyan tallied one All-American accolade, and two Honorable Mention All-American awards.

During final-day action on Saturday, Wesleyan broke the school record in the 400 freestyle relay twice, as Murphy, senior Zoe Kerrich, and sophomores Grace Middleton and Hannah O'Halloran earned Honorable Mention All-American honors in the final of the event with a new school-record time of 3:26.29 en route to placing ninth overall. The elite group of women also grabbed ninth-place acknowledgement in the preliminaries of the event with a time of 3:27.25.

During the preliminaries of the 400 freestyle relay, Kerrich, who grew up in Chappaqua, N.Y., also established a school record in the 100 freestyle (51.36) during her leadoff leg. Kerrich had bigger aspirations, as set another varsity record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.29 during the final of the 400 freestyle relay.

Murphy, Kerrich, Middleton and O'Halloran were fantastic during the opening day of the meet on Wednesday, as the four women collected Honorable Mention All-American accolades in the final of the 200 medley relay with a 15th-place nod (1:44.83). In the preliminaries of the event, the unit shattered a school record, clocking a time of 1:44.36, which was good for 11th overall.

Murphy, who hails from Gardiner, N.Y., had more to say during opening-day action, as she broke her own varsity record in the 50 backstroke twice. During her leadoff leg in the preliminaries of the 200 medley relay, she posted a school-best time of 26.07 in the 50 backstroke, and then shaved 0.04 seconds off that performance with a time of 26.03 during the leadoff leg in the finals.

During the second day of competition on Thursday, Kerrich, Murphy, O'Halloran and Middleton finished 19th overall in the preliminaries of the 400 medley relay with the second-fastest time in school history at 3:50.89, as they moved up three places in the standings from their No. 22 seed.

The Cardinals also performed admirably in the preliminaries of the 200 freestyle relay, with that same group of women compiling a 24th-place finish, moving up eight slots from their 32nd seed with a time of 1:36.95.