WORCESTER, Mass. - For the first time since 2010, the Wheaton College women's swimming & diving team tied their best place ever with a third place finish at the 2017 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships with 766 points on Sunday evening, hosted at WPI. Junior Jenna Hayden was named the 2017 NEWMAC Women's Swimmer of the Year as women's first ever honoree.
The MIT Engineers secured their seventh consecutive NEWMAC Championship title with 1,422 points while WPI earned second place with 769.5 points.
DAY 4 (SUNDAY)
Hayden first took the podium after the 100-yard freestyle where she earned was named NEWMAC champion and to First Team All-Conference after a first place finish with a final time of 51.88 to also earn her a NCAA B-Cut time. Right behind her in the race, first-year Caitlin Daley (seventh) and junior Aleza Epstein (ninth) also claimed finalist positions.
Sophomore Rowan Rice guided the way for the Lyons in the 200-yard breaststroke after she tapped in a fourth place finish of 2:28.17 while first-year Erin Kean (seventh) and first-year Elizabeth Bernardy (ninth) clocked in next.
In the 200-yard butterfly, first-year Sophia Hatzikos led the Lyons in the 200-yard butterfly B-Final with a first place time of 2:14.70 to keep Wheaton on the board as junior Catie Ebsary followed in third.
It was nail biting action to complete the four-day meet when the 400-yard freestyle relay team dished out a second place finish with a record breaking time of 3:31.29 with swimmers Daley, first-year Maggie Lawler, Epstein and Hayden who all earned Second Team All-Conference titles.
DAY 3 (SATURDAY)
Hayden was named the 100-yard backstroke NEWMAC champion when she set a record breaking time of 56.16 for first place and received First Team All-Conference honors.
Also in the 100-yard backstroke, sophomore Kathryn Cole (seventh), sophomore Kate Dransfield (eighth) and senior Kelley Baylis (ninth) rounded out the top four spots for Wheaton. Hayden later went on to lead Wheaton in the 100-yard butterfly with a second place finish of 57.39 while Epstein claimed seventh place at 59.54. Bernardy claimed fifth place for the Lyons when she tabbed a final time of 1:06.94 in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Wheaton closed out day three action with a big splash during the 200-yard medley relay with numerous record breaking performances, starting with Hayden, Bernardy, Epstein and Lawler timing in at 1:46.64, which also earned them Second Team All-Conference honors. Within this race, Hayden broke her third record of the day in her 50-yard backstroke with a final of 26.43.
DAY 2 (FRIDAY)
The Lyons opened the day two with a big second place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay, which earned Lawler, Daley, Epstein and Hayden Second Team All-Conference nods when they collected a final time of 1:37.11.
Senior Claire Bollman shattered the first school record of the night for Wheaton when she timed in a final of 5:12.45 in the 500-yard freestyle, a record set back exactly five years ago. In the 50-yard freestyle, Lawler (24.41), Daley (24.84) and Dransfield (25.23) all earned personal best times for the Lyons.
Shattering another record, the 400-yard medley relay team consisting of Cole, Bernardy, Epstein and Hayden, tapped a final time of 3:54.92 for a new school record and Second Team All-Conference titles.
Hayden went on to break a seven year old school record in the time trial of the 200-yard butterfly when she timed in at 2:08.53.
In diving, first-year Maddy Morrison continued her record breaking streak when she competed in the one-meter dive, securing a 393.95 final score to break her own record set earlier in the season.
DAY 1 (THURSDAY):
Hayden started the meet by breaking her tenth school record, this one in the 200-yard backstroke time trial with a final time of 2:05.83.
The 800-yard freestyle relay team went on to earn a fifth place finish thanks to Hatzikos, Bollman, Lawler and Daley who earned a final time of 7:54.41.
The 2017 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships will be conducted March 15-18 at the CISD Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas. Prior to that, qualified divers will head to MIT Friday and Saturday for the NCAA Division III Diving Regional while swimmers await the first round of invites set to be revealed 5 p.m. Wednesday on NCAA.com. The final list is slated for 8 p.m. on Monday, February 27, also on NCAA.com.