Socha's 6th in 500 Freestyle is Women's Swimming's Best at NCAA's Since 2004

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Sophomore Amy Socha of the Tufts University women's swimming team was sixth in the 500 freestyle at the 2019 NCAA Division III Championship Meet tonight.

In the first event of the night, Socha swam 4:58.38 in the finals to earn the first All-American honor (top eight) of her career. She had entered the NCAA meet as the 18th seed and improved upon that by 12 spots.

The finish is the best by a Jumbo swimmer at the national championship since Mika Sumiyoshi was fourth in the 200 individual medley (IM) at the 2004 NCAA's. It's the best NCAA showing by a member of the Tufts women's swimming and diving program since diver Lindsay Gardel was fourth in the 2010 one-meter event.

In the morning preliminaries on Wednesday, Socha broke her own school record in the 500 free event with a 4:56.64 time that was eighth. It lowered her 4:58.64 national qualifying time as the Tufts record.

Two Jumbo swimmers narrowly missed qualifying for the consolation finals (places nine through 16) on Wednesday. In the 200 IM preliminaries, junior Grace Goetcheus swam a school-record 2:05.92 time that was 17th. Finishing just 0.25 out of a spot in the top 16, she broke her own previous school record of 2:05.95.

The Jumbos' 200 medley relay swam a 1:45.11 which also placed 17th, just 0.06 out of the consolation final. Tufts' foursome was freshman Jeanette Khowong, sophomore Lily Kurtz, sophomore Sasha Fong and freshman Hannah Spencer.

Three Tufts swimmers were in the 200 IM overall with sophomore Abby Claus (2:07.34) and Kurtz (2:10.90) placing behind Goetcheus. Freshman Mary Hufziger also swam in the 500 freestyle (5:06.20) today.

With the 13 points scored by Socha tonight, Tufts is tied for 20th place in the team standings. Kenyon leads after one day with a 103 score, followed closely by Emory (101).

The Jumbos will be busy tomorrow with swimmers in the 200 freestyle relay, the 400 IM, the 100 butterfly, the 200 freestyle and the 400 medley relay.

The national championship meet is in Greensboro, North Carolina at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.