Emory Women’s 200 Medley Relay Repeats as National Champion; Eagles Lead After Day 1 of NCAAs
The Emory University men's and women's swimming and diving teams started off the NCAA Division III Championships on a strong note on Wednesday, as the women's 200-yard medley relay won the event for the second-straight season to help the team end the first day in first place. The Emory men ended day 1 in third place.
The Emory women scored 180 points, taking a day one lead over second-place Williams (100 points) and third-place Denison (82 points). Emory's men ended the first day in third place, behind Kenyon and Denison.
In a thrilling finish to the first day, Emory's 200-yard medley relay team of sophomore Sadie Nennig, senior Jennifer Aronoff, junior Leslie Hackler and senior Claire Pavlak won the event with a time of 1:42.27. After starting the fourth leg of the race in third place and trailing the leader by almost half a second, Pavlak swam a 50 free split of 22.33 seconds to pass both teams in front of her, and guide the Eagles to a victory.
It marked the second-straight season that Emory has won the 200-yard medley relay at the D-III Championships, and the second time overall in the program's history. The event win marked the ninth women's relay national championship overall in Emory history, and the program's 33rd National Title.
For Pavlak, swimming at her final NCAA Championships, it was her seventh career National Championship, the most in the program's history. It was the third National Title each for Nennig and Hackler, and the first for Aronoff.
Nennig also broke an individual school record on the first day of competition, finishing second in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:02.78 to earn all-America honors in the event. Junior Mia Michalak added an all-America performance with a fifth-place finish (2:04.21), while sophomore Brooke Woodward (ninth place, 2:03.59) and Aronoff (12th place, 2:05.59 in the preliminaries) each claimed honorable mentions in the 200 IM.
Senior Anne Culpepper claimed all-America honors in the 500-yard freestyle for the fourth-straight season, finishing fourth with a time of 4:55.29, including a mark of 4:53.31 in the preliminaries. Sophomore Courtney McDermott also earned all-America honors in the event, finishing sixth with a time of 4:56.37. In the consolation finals, freshman Megan Beach finished ninth (4:55.98), senior Whitley Taylor 12th (4:58.83) and freshman McKenna Newsum-Schoenberg 14th (4:59.69) to each earn all-America honorable mentions.
Pavlak was Emory's top finisher in the 50-yard freestyle, claiming third place for the second-straight season with a time of 23.10 seconds in the finals, after swimming a mark of 22.86 in the preliminaries, the best time of the day. Junior Renee Rosenkranz claimed fifth in a time of 23.35 seconds and junior Anna Dobben finished sixth with a time of 23.47 seconds, as each earned all-America honors. Junior Ann Wolber finished 10th with a time of 23.49 seconds to earn an honorable mention.
On the men's side, a pair of school records fell to honorable mention finishers. In the 50-yard freestyle, sophomore Ryan Bass finished 10th with a school-record time of 20.37 seconds. Junior Miller Douglas set a new Emory record in the 200-yard individual medley, swimming a time of 1:49.69 to win the consolation final.
Also in the 200-yard individual medley, junior Peter O'Brien finished seventh (1:50.50) and sophomore Jake Stephens eighth (1:50.80 in the finals, 1:50.61 in the preliminaries) to each earn all-America honors. Senior Patrick Augustyn claimed 12th with a time of 1:51.30 to claim an all-America honorable mention certificate.
The Emory men rounded out the first day of competition with a runner-up finish in the 200-yard medley relay, as Douglas, O'Brien, junior Stephen Czaja and Bass earned all-America honors with a time of 1:29.87, just four hundredths of a second shy of the school record.
All together, Emory swimmers collected 11 all-America certificates, including the National Championship in the women's 200-yard medley relay, and nine all-America honorable mentions.
Action at the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana will continue tomorrow, with event preliminaries at 10:00 AM, and the finals at 6:00 PM.