Women's Swimming and Diving Moves Into First Midway Through NEWMAC Championship

Photo by Frank Poulin
Photo by Frank Poulin

THE BASICS:

Event: 2019 NEWMAC Championship

Results: 1st of 10 (469 points) - After Day Two

Location: Worcester, Mass. (WPI Sports & Recreation Center)

The Lead: The MIT women's swimming and diving team moved into first place by winning four of six contested events on the second night of the 2019 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship. Between the two sessions today, MIT registered five NCAA 'B' cut times.

The Engineers have 469 points as a team and are followed by Wheaton College (305 points), Coast Guard (291), Springfield College (259), Wellesley College (249), WPI (173), Mount Holyoke College (146), Babson College (142), Smith College (124) and Clark University (122). 

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- MIT began tonight's session by winning gold in the 200-free relay as first-year Shannon Hagmaier (Longwood, Fla.), sophomore Lara Ketonen (Helsinki, Finland), junior Lilia Staszel (Brighton, Mich.) and first-year Lindsey Bjornstad (Mequon, Wis.) clocked an NCAA 'B' cut time of 1:34.65, which was 0.41-seconds faster than this morning's swim. Their time is currently the eighth fastest in Division III.

- Hagmaier and Bjornstad went on to earn NEWMAC All-Conference honors in the 50-free as Hagmaier claimed the league title in the event in 23.76, while Bjornstad was the runner-up in 23.82. Staszel and Ketonen also represented the Engineers in the championship final of the 50-free as Staszel clocked a time of 24.33 for fifth place and Ketonen touched the wall sixth fastest in 24.44.

- MIT took four of the top-five places on the 1-meter board highlighted by a first-place finish by sophomore Deborah Wen (Honolulu, Hawaii) who registered 500.65 points. JuniorBlake Zhou (Palo Alto, Calif.) earned Second Team All-Conference honors with a score of 444.70, while seniors Dolly Payne (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Morgan Matranga (Moraga, Calif.) were fourth and fifth with scores of 421.75 and 428.15, respectively. 

- The 400-medley relay team comprised of first-year Jennifer Yu (Pearland, Texas), sophomore Sara Nicholas (Wilmette, Ill.), sophomore Hannah Mahaffey (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Hagmaier closed the session by taking home the NEWMAC title with an NCAA 'B' cut time of 3:48.67. This time moves the Engineers up to 11th from 16th in the fastest 400-medley relay times in the nation. First-year Laura Rosado (New Haven, Conn.), first-year Julia Gonik (Irvine, Calif.), sophomore Kailey Allen (Tacoma, Wash.) and Bjornstad won the consolation final in a time of 3:53.18.

- Prior to their swims in the 400-medley relay, Mahaffey and Gonik competed in the championship final of the 200-IM. Mahaffey earned NEWMAC Second Team All-Conference honors with a swim of 2:08.11, which was over three seconds faster than her swim this morning, while Gonik finished fifth in 2:09.66.

- The Engineers also had two student-athletes in the championship final of the 500-free as senior Addie Chambers (Seattle, Wash.) touched the wall fifth in 5:04.20 and sophomore Ashley Pearson (Stafford, Va.) finished sixth in 5:09.41.

UP NEXT:

- The Engineers return to the pool tomorrow morning for the third day of the 2019 NEWMAC Championship. Prelims begin at 10:00 a.m. and finals will start at 6:00 p.m. Events scheduled for tomorrow include the 400-IM, 100-fly, 200-free, 100-breast, 100-back, 1-meter diving and 200-medley relay.

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