March 10, 2006
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - MIT women's swimming and diving raced to 17th place during the first day of the 2006 NCAA Championships with 21 points and a third All-America honor for sophomore diver, Doria Holbrook. The Engineers also finished sixth in the consolation final of the 400 medley relay in the final event of the night.
The diving field at this year's national championship is one of the deepest in the history of Division III. Concordia senior Annie Cullen captured the one-meter crown on Thursday after smashing the NCAA record with a score of 455.20, while Calvin freshman Erica Deur also broke the previous NCAA mark with a total of 439.25. Beth Olsen of Colorado College set the initial standard with a score of 438.25, although that mark was also challenged by the third and fourth-place finishers.
Holbrook picked up her third All-America recognition in three tries with a fourth-place finish in Thursday's one-meter final. She nailed her last three dives to finish just four points out of second place and three points off the existing NCAA record. On Friday, Holbrook begins defense of last season's three-meter diving championship, which served as the first national title in the Tech program.
The 400 medley relay moved up two spots and dropped three seconds off its clip in the prelims to secure the remaining points for the MIT attack. Freshman Nicole O'Keeffe followed a strong breaststroke leg by Kate Thornton with a 59.3-split in the fly. Sophomore Sasha Brophy anchored the unit with a time of 52.8 as the relay completed the second-fastest swim in program history. MIT's final time of 4:01.94 was topped by the Cardinal and Gray at the NEWMAC Championships (4:00.65).
The Engineers compete in every event on Friday's slate.