Swimming and Diving Stands out at NESCAC Championships
Issue   |   Tue, 02/17/2015 - 22:49
David Nam
Sophomore John Brody continues to perform well in the free style swim.

One year after their 2014 second-place finish at NESCACs, the Amherst women’s swim team fought hard over three days to take fourth at this year’s conference championships.

“Even with a couple bumps along the way, everyone really came through on the last day,” said senior captain Sabrina Lee.
Sarah Conklin ’16 started the weekend off well for the Jeffs, winning the 50-yard butterfly for the third consecutive year. Her time of 24.73 set both a pool and program record. Conklin’s first-year season, including her win in the 50 fly, earned her the Rookie of the Year title in 2013. After nine events, Conklin’s would be the only win for the Jeffs after day one.

Amherst finished the day with three second-place races. Emily Hyde ’16 picked up second in the 200-yard IM while Ashleigh Stoddart ’15 claimed the same spot in the 50 free. Both finished in NCAA ‘B’ cut times, finishing in 2:02.73 and 23.81 respectively. The third second-place finish closed out the day, with the 400 medley team of Stephanie Moriarty ’18, Hyde, Conklin and Stoddart finishing in a NCAA ‘B’ cut mark of 3:49.04.

In her only solo race of the day, Moriarty finished seventh in the 50 back with a time of 27.43, followed shortly by Lee, who touched the wall in 27.48.

In the 500 free, Stephanie Ternullo ’15 took third with a NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 4:58.85. In the last individual race of the day, Victoria Chao ’18 took eighth in the 50 breast, finishing in 30.61.

Just before closing out the day with the 400 medley, the 200 free relay team of Lee, Conklin, Moriarty and Ternullo finished in 1:36.72 to take third. The Jeffs closed out day one in fourth with 403 points, behind Williams (686.5), Bates (541) and Middlebury (469.5). Williams reclaimed the NESCAC title in 2014 after Amherst broke the Ephs’ 12-year reign in 2013.
On day two, the purple and white returned to the pool for another eight events, after which they would claim another win and several more top finishes.

“The attitude on deck was really positive throughout the whole meet which made it easier to bounce back from bad swims,” Stoddart said.

Hyde started the day off strong for the Jeffs, finishing first in the 100 breast and cutting her program record time by 1.31 and touching the wall in NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:02.56. Classmate Hannah Hummel placed sixth with a time of 1:05.54.

Conklin carried her impressive performance from day one back into the pool on Saturday to set another program record, this time in the 100 fly. The junior came in second, touching the wall in a NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 55.23. Teammate Geralyn Lam ’18 finished seconds later, with a time of 57.73, to take eighth for the Jeffs.

In the two freestyle events of the day, four Amherst swimmers earned their team points. In the 1,000 free Charlotte Chudy ’16 finished fourth in 10:21.97, while Marie Maxwell ’18 placed eighth in 10:32.11. In the 200 free Ternullo and Stoddart placed third and sixth with respective times of 1:52.24, which earned a NCAA ‘B’ cut mark, and 1:53.71. Moriarty closed out the individual races for the day with a fourth-place finish in the 100 back. The first-year finished with a NCAA ‘B’ cut mark of 57.40.

The Jeffs took second in the last event of the day, as Hyde, Stoddart, Chudy and Ternullo finished the 800 free relay with a NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 7:36.60.

Day two closed with the same top four teams. Amherst, at 757 points, trailed Williams (1,406.5), Bates (1,010) and Middlebury (886.5). Bowdoin sat in fifth with 708.5 points.

Sunday brought the third and final day of NESCAC women’s championships. Amherst would finish the day in fourth, behind Williams, Bates and Middlebury.

Hyde continued her outstanding performance, taking first in the 200 breast with NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 2:16.61. With another ‘B’ cut time, Hummel nabbed fourth in the event, touching the wall in 2:21.07. Chudy took seventh in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 17:30.49 to earn the team another NCAA ‘B’ cut.

Stoddart raced to a third place finish in the 100 free, finishing with a NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 52.01, while Conklin finished her weekend with a second place finish in the 200 fly. Conklin’s 2:04.36 finish earned her another NCAA ‘B’ cut. In the last race of the weekend, Hyde, Ternullo, Stoddart and Lee placed fifth in the 400 free relay with a NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 3:30.03.
“We had a bunch of breakout swims and top place finishes. I think we will have a really solid team going to NCAAs over spring break,” Lee said.

The women return to the pool Feb. 27-28 for NCAA regionals. The men travel to Middlebury Feb. 20-22 for their NESCAC championships.