February 3, 2007

Women's Swimming and Diving Looks Towards Postseason After Impressive Invitational

Feb. 3, 2007

Complete Results

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT's women's swimming and diving team honored the careers of its graduating seniors and post-graduate students this weekend by putting on an impressive display in the MIT Invitational, held over the course of two days in the Zesiger Pool. The Engineers welcomed Middlebury College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, Wheaton College and Williams College to the meet, which served as a tune-up for postseason competition.

Graduate student Katrina Cornell and seniors Jessica Harpole, Stephanie Sidelko and Katherine Thornton were honored in a brief ceremony prior to the start of the first event.

Thornton did not disappoint in her final home competition for the Engineers, displaying why she will be so heavily missed with two stunning performances. Her time of 17:29.11 in the 1650-yard freestyle on Friday night was not only tops among all swimmers, but was over 16 seconds faster than her next closest competitor. The native of El Cajon, Calif., is now ranked fourth in the nation in the event. Then, on Saturday afternoon, she returned to the water to place second in the 500-yard freestyle by clocking in at 5:12.75, just over four seconds off the NCAA "B" cut.

Junior diver Doria Holbrook also proved her importance to the Cardinal and Gray's chances of success in the postseason, as she won the three-meter diving competition with a score of 317.10.

Head coach Dawn Gerken reserved special praise for another junior, Erika Erickson. Her time of 11:42.64 in the 1000-yard freestyle was not only tops among all MIT swimmers, but was also a personal best in the event.

"Our distance team really impressed me," said Gerken. "Erika Erickson's lifetime best in the 1000 free was a great, well-paced swim, while Kate Thornton looked phenomenal in the mile."

The Engineers now have almost two weeks to rest and recuperate before heading to Wellesley, Mass., for the 2007 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Championship, hosted by Wellesley College. The festivities begin on Friday, Feb. 16 and will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 18.