Women's Swimming & Diving Posts Best-Ever 2nd Place Finish at NESCAC Championships

Amy Socha became the Jumbos' first NESCAC event winner since 2014

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Jumbo women's swimming & diving team recorded its best finish ever at the NESCAC Championships by earning second place at the 2019 meet hosted by Wesleyan University Thursday through Sunday.

Tufts, who has been third four times, including three seasons in a row from 2011-13, earned 1,439.5 points over the weekend for their runner-up finish. Williams College won the Championship with 1,873 points, Amherst placed third with 1,322 points and Bates scored fourth (1,021).

On the final day of the 2019 NESCAC Championships Sunday, Tufts broke three more program records and collected six NCAA B-cut times. Sophomore Amy Socha also posted Tufts' lone victory of the meet in the 200 butterfly.

In the 200 fly prelims Sunday morning. Socha broke teammate Colleen Doolan's 2:03.77 school record from 2016 with her 2:03.15 mark. The finish won the preliminary round and was an NCAA B-cut time. The sophomore then broke the record she had set earlier in the day with a time of 2:01.83 to win the 200 fly final on Sunday night. The victory improved her NCAA B time and earned Socha the Tufts women's team's first individual title since Jenny Hu won the 50 breaststroke in 2014. Sophomore Abby Claus swam a pair of NCAA B times in the 200 fly as well, with her best of 2:05.77 coming in the prelims. She was sixth in the final (2:05.82).

Another program record that was broken came from first-year Mary Hufziger in the 100 freestyle. She swam a time of 51.84 seconds in the consolation final, which broke Samantha Sliwinski's 52.29 mark from the 2013 NESCAC's. Hufziger won the consolation final with Sunday's record result.

Sophomore Lily Kurtz recorded an NCAA B-cut time with her 2:21.03 mark in the 200 breaststroke preliminaries and then bettered it in the final by improving her time to 2:20.57. She earned All-NESCAC honors with a third-place overall and lowered her NCAA time. Tufts had great depth of scoring in the 200 breast including three top-eight finishers. Sophomore Emily Mendelson (2:23.66) and first-year Juliette Bichon (2:29.38) placed fourth and eighth, respectively.

In the final event of the night, the brown and blue's "A" foursome of Hufziger, junior Grace Goetcheus, Socha, and senior Colleen Doolan set a school record with a time of 3:28.76 in the 400 freestyle relay, which was also good for an NCAA B-cut time. That was more than three seconds faster than the previous record (3:32.18) that had been set in the 2013 NESCAC's.

The Jumbos got two NCAA B-cut times in the 1,650 freestyle from sophomores Sook-Hee Evans (17:26.66) and Rhys Empey (17:30.29). They were sixth and 11th in the event, respectively.

Junior Kate Brown posted a victory in the 200 breaststroke consolation final with her 2:26.07 mark. Like Brown, Doolan won the consolation race in the 200 butterfly with a mark of 2:07.20.

Tufts also received eighth-places finishes on Sunday from Goetcheus in the 200 backstroke (2:04.74) and sophomore Brooke Peterson in three-meter diving (346.80 points).

Through the four days of the meet, Tufts established 14 new school records and notched 19 NCAA B marks. The Jumbos earned All-NESCAC honors (top three) in seven events. Eight swimmers received the conference honor in total. In addition, Adam Hoyt was named NESCAC Co-Coach of the Year. A two-time conference Coach of the Year with the Tufts men, this is his first women's honor since taking over that program in 2015. He shares the award with Wesleyan's Peter Solomon.

Tufts will await the NCAA's announcement on national qualifiers coming soon. In the meantime, the Jumbos will compete again next Sunday in the February Invite at Middlebury.


Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello