Williams Captures NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving Title

Williams - 2019 NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving Champion (Photo Credit: Ron Wimer)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Williams won its sixth straight NESCAC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship and 18th overall with a commanding performance. The Ephs won 15 of 24 events in the meet and sealed their win with five first-place finishes in seven events on Sunday evening.

DAY 4 RESULTS | COMPLETE RESULTS | TEAM STANDINGS | ALL-NESCAC HONOREES

Williams finished with 1,873 points. Tufts posted 1,439.5 points to finish second, marking the Jumbos’ best finish in program history. Amherst was third (1,322 points) and followed by Bates (1,020 points) in fourth and Connecticut College (932.5 points) in fifth. Wesleyan finished sixth (899 points), Bowdoin was seventh (836 points) and Middlebury was eighth (730 points). Colby (445.5), Trinity (408.5) and Hamilton (397 points) rounded out the team standings.

The first event of the final night of the NESCAC Championships was the 1650 freestyle. The Ephs finished 1-2 as sophomore Laura Westphal captured the NESCAC crown for the second year in a row. Westphal touched the wall in a time of 16:50.89 and senior Alison McNamara followed with a time of 17:02.33. Amherst sophomore Julia Ruggiero placed third (17:14.62) and all three swimmers achieved an NCAA B-cut time.

In the 200 backstroke, sophomore Gwyneth Maloy earned another win for Williams, recording a winning time of 2:01.91. Amherst senior Bridgette Kwong finished second (2:02.69), just ahead of Williams first-year Abby Matheny (2:02.98). Each swimmer reached the NCAA-B cut qualifying time.

Senior Olivia Haskell of Connecticut College captured first in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.15 and achieved an NCAA B-cut time. Junior Natalie Rumpelt of Amherst and Middlebury junior Frances VanderMeer were top-three finishers for the second consecutive season. Rumpelt touched the wall with a time of 51.36, while VanderMeer registered a time of 51.46, both posting NCAA B-cut marks.

Junior Caroline White of Williams defended her NESCAC title in the 200 breaststroke, posting a winning time of 2:14.72 to finish first place for the third consecutive year. Sophomores Nina Fitzgerald (2:17.44) of Amherst and Lily Kurtz (2:20.57) of Tufts followed in second and third place, respectively. All three swimmers reached the NCAA B-cut time.

Sophomore Amy Socha of Tufts claimed the NESCAC title in the 200 butterfly. She clocked a winning time of 2:01.83 and achieved an NCAA B-cut time. Bowdoin senior Sterling Dixon earned another podium appearance with a second place finish and time of 2:02.07, while Amherst first-year Marie Fagan placed third with a time of 2:02.87. Both Dixon and Fagan also achieved NCAA B-cut times.

Amherst sophomore Lindsey Ruderman completed the sweep of the NESCAC diving competition for the second straight year. After winning on the 1-meter board earlier in the meet, she won the 3-meter event, totaling 514.00 points. Williams sophomore Gabby Mercier placed second with 453.65 points and senior Jacqueline Palermo of Amherst finished third (425.45 points).

The final event of the 2019 NESCAC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships was the 400 freestyle relay. The Williams team of first-years Georgia Panitz and Anna Peterson, along with Maloy and Westphal combined for a time of 3:25.97 to extend the Ephs’ win streak in relay events to 25 straight victories. Connecticut College was second (3:26.95) and Wesleyan placed third (3:27.07).

The NESCAC individual awards were handed out to conclude the championship meet. The individual award winners were:

2019 NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving Individual Winners Swimmer of the Year – Laura Westphal, Williams
Westphal was named the NESCAC Swimmer of the Year. She won three individual races (500 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 1650 freestyle) and was a part of four relay victories for the Ephs. Westphal is the seventh Williams swimmer to earn the honor and just the third sophomore. She joins former Ephs: Meredith Olson (2001), Cristin Brennan (2002), Lindsay Payne (2003, 2005 & 2006), Logan Todhunter (2009), Sarah Thompson (2014 & 2015), and Emma Waddell (20017 & 2018).

Rookie of the Year – Addie Paige, Colby
Paige is the first Colby swimmer to garner the NESCAC Rookie of the Year honor since the award was introduced in 2013.

Diver of the Year – Lindsey Ruderman, Amherst
Earns the NESCAC Diver of the Year award for the second consecutive year. She swept the 1-meter and 3-meter titles for the second straight year and is the second Amherst diver to garner the accolade, joining Meggie Meisinger (2011).

4-Year High Point Swimmer – Alison McNamara, Williams
Senior Alison McNamara of Williams was named the 4-Year High Point Swimmer. She is the second 13th Eph to earn the award, joining Amy Warren (2001), Cristin Brennan (2002), Zibby Stokes (2003), Meredith Olson (2004), Lindsay Payne (2006), Amanda Nicholson (2009), Logan Todhunder (2012), Caroline Wilson (2013), Sarah Thompson (2015), Megan Pierce (2017), Emma Waddell (2018).

4-Year High Point Diver – Rebecca Stern, Bowdoin
Senior Rebecca Stern of Bowdoin was named the 4-Year High Point Diver. She is the second Polar Bear to earn the honor, joining Victoria Tudor (2006).

Diving Coach of the Year – Kai Robinson, Amherst
Amherst’s Kai Robinson was named the NESCAC Diving Coach of the Year for the second year in a row

Swimming Co-Coaches of the Year – Adam Hoyt, Tufts & Peter Solomon, Wesleyan
Adam Hoyt of Tufts and Peter Solomon of Wesleyan share the NESCAC Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year honor. Hoyt earns the honor for the first time in his career on the women’s side and joins former coach Nany Bigelow (2009 & 2012) as the only Jumbo coaches to garner the honor. Solomon picks up his second coach of the year accolade in three years. He was also honored in 2017.

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1. Williams -- 1,873 points
2. Tufts -- 1,439.5 points
3. Amherst -- 1,322 points
4. Bates -- 1,020 points
5. Connecticut College -- 932.5 points
6. Wesleyan -- 899 points
7. Bowdoin -- 836 points
8. Middlebury -- 730 points
9. Colby -- 445.5
10. Trinity -- 408.5
11. Hamilton -- 397 points