Women's Swimming and Diving Prepared to Compete at NESCAC Championship This Weekend

MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University women's swimming and diving team will compete at the three-day New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship, beginning this Friday and running through Sunday (Feb. 16-18) hosted by Williams College.  

"We're going into the meet looking to improve our times, diving scores, and our eighth-place finish from last season," head coach Adam Hoyt said. "We're excited to see how high we can place at such a competitive meet."

Senior captains from left to right: Jess Lee, Alli Dorneo, and Anna Kimura.

Swimming trials will begin Friday at 10 a.m. with diving preliminaries kicking off at 2 p.m. The event will run through the entire weekend, until the last set of finals begin at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Last season, the Jumbos came in eighth place with a score of 700.5, 50.5 points behind seventh-place Wesleyan and 312.5 points ahead of ninth-place Hamilton. Williams claimed the top spot with an 1856, with Amherst at 1367, and Connecticut College at 1268.5 taking second and third.

Tufts goes into the conference championship with 13 athletes having participated in at least one NESCAC Championship in previous seasons.  The list includes senior captains Alli Dorneo, Jess Lee, and Anna Kimura, senior Meghan Casey, juniors Colleen Doolan, Alexandra Good, Sydney Nasson, Ailish Dougherty, Christiana Hug, and Caroline McCormick, and sophomores Katherine Brown, Grace Goetcheus, and Hannah Truslow.

These athletes saw some impressive results at last year's conference championship. Doolan claimed a third-place finish in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:03.86 and represented the Jumbos in three event finals overall.

As a freshman, Goetcheus broke three individual program records at NESCACs. The first came in the preliminaries of the 200 backstroke and the next two in the finals of the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke.

Doolan, Lee, and Nasson were part of the 400 freestyle relay team that posted a time of 3:34.85 and claimed 42 points for Tufts. Kimura, Casey, and Brown all performed well in the 200 breaststroke as Truslow capped off her freshman championship with a strong race in the 200 backstroke.

"Our mindset is the same as it's been all year long," Hoyt said. "Come in prepared with a high level of focus and look to keep the energy level high throughout the entire weekend."

Junior Sydney Nasson will compete at her third confrence championship.

That shouldn't be a problem as 11 Jumbos will be making their conference championship debut. Freshmen Sasha Fong, Rhys Empey, Jackie Crater, Amber Chong, Abby Claus, Lily Kurtz, Katherine Sweetser, Sook-Hee Evans, Emma Seymour, and Emily Mendelson, and sophomore Taissa Gladkova will all be competing at their first NESCAC Championship.

Crater comes into the event as the top-ranked swimmer in the 100 backstroke in the conference, having posted a 57.72 earlier in the season, as well as in the 200 backstroke with a 2:03.43. She also checks in at sixth in the 50 backstroke.

Kurtz enters the conference championship ranked third in the 200 breaststroke and fifth in the 100 breaststroke. Fong comes in at third in the 50 butterfly and fourth in the 100 butterfly.

Chong, after posting a 404.30 in the one-meter dive earlier in the season, enters the championship ranked third in the event, as well as fifth in the three-meter dive.

The Jumbos have compiled five dual-meet wins on the year as well as a third-place finish at the MIT Invitational. The wins were 180.5-109.5 over Coast Guard, 155-134 over Middlebury, 214-81 against Wesleyan, 206-113 against WPI, and 173-120 over Wheaton. The squad has also collected a combined 34 individual and relay first-place finishes on the season.

Tufts has been off since the Middlebury Invitational on Feb. 3. They will go into NESCACs with two weeks-worth of rest and preparation.

"We've rested for the NESCAC Championship as it's one of our biggest focuses of the season," Hoyt said. "For other meets, we typically do not rest as much and train more."

The Jumbos will look for that strategy to pay off come this weekend when they hit the water at Williams.

Watch the 2018 NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving Championship at https://www.nsnsports.net/conferences/nescac/. Follow live results of this weekend's NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving Championship at http://www.collegeswimming.us/results/104693/.


Written by Curtis Stoychoff, Athletic Communicatins Intern