NESCAC Claims Three Wins On Opening Night of NCAA Championships

Photos Courtesy of Carolyn Miles

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Three individual national titles for NESCAC athletes highlighted the opening night of the 2019 NCAA Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C. 


Williams leads the NESCAC women's teams with 73 points and sits fourth in the team standings. Amherst is 12th with 25 points while Bates stands at 14th (22 points) and is followed by Connecticut College (16th - 19 points), Tufts (20th - 13 points), Bowdoin (22nd - 12 points) and Wesleyan (24th - 10 points). Kenyon stands atop the standings after Day 1 with 103 points.

Denison leads the men's championship standings with 136 points. Tufts stands sixth with 44 points and is followed by Williams in ninth (30 points) and Amherst in 11th (27 points).

In the evening's first event, Williams sophomore Laura Westphal defended her national title in the 500 freestyle. Westphal, the 2019 NESCAC Swimmer of the Year, touched the wall in a winning time of 4:48.15 to pick up 20 points for the Ephs and earn All-America honors for the second year in a row. Sophomore Amy Socha of Tufts finished sixth and set a Tufts school record with a time of 4:58.38 to earn All-America recognition. Amherst junior Natalie Rumpelt placed fourth in the consolation final with a time of 4:57.27 to earn honorable mention honors.

In the men's 500 freestyle, Eph teammates James Lovette and Jackson Karofsky finished second and seventh, respectively, in the championship final. Emory senior Thomas Gordon captured first place with a time of 4:24.19. Lovette, a sophomore and the NESCAC Champion in the event, was the national runner-up finishing with a time of 4:24.28, while Karofsky, also a sophomore, placed seventh (4:26.57). Both swimmers earned All-America honors, while classmate and fellow Eph David Pearcy added a 16th place finish (4:32.92) in the event.

In the women's 200 individual medley NESCAC swimmers finished 5-7-8. NYU's Honore Collins set an NCAA record with a time of 1:58.18 to capture the individual title. Williams sophomore Molly Craig led the NESCAC contingent, finishing fifth (2:01.42), while Bowdoin senior Sterling Dixon was seventh (2:03.78) and Eph junior Caroline White was eighth (2:05.52). All three swimmers earned All-America honors.

Tufts sophomore Roger Gu turned in a national championship performance in the men's 50 freestyle and became the first Jumbo to win an NCAA swimming title since 1982. Gu, who broke his own NESCAC record in the prelim swim with a time of 19.69, was the top qualifier for the finals. In the evening session, Gu lowered his NESCAC record, posting a time of 19.49 to capture the NCAA title after finishing fourth in the event a year ago. Amherst first-year Scott Romeyn, the NESCAC Rookie of the Year, earned sixth place (20.10) and both swimmers garnered All-America honors.

Emory senior Fiona Muir posted a time of 22.75 to win the women's 50 freestyle race. Connecticut College senior Olivia Haskell, a consolation finalist last season, earned a spot in the championship final this year and placed eighth (23.38) to earn All-America recognition.

In the women's 3-meter diving event, Amherst sophomore Lindsey Ruderman, the NESCAC Diver of the Year, claimed the national title in the event. She posted a total of 498.45 points to earn All-America honors and 20 points for the Mammoths.

The 200-yard medley relay closed out the first evening of competition. Denison won the race with an NCAA-record time of 1:40.11. The Williams team of juniors Caroline Conforti and Caroline White, along with senior Maia Hare and sophomore Gwyneth Maloy combined for a time of 1:42.60 to finish fifth. The Bates team of juniors Janika Ho and Helen Daigle, along with sophomore Caroline Apathy and first-year Suzanna Ryckman placed eighth (1:44.09). 

In the consolation final, Wesleyan placed 12th and Connecticut College followed in 13th place. Junior Caroline Murphy, first-year Willia Gibbs, senior Maela Whitcomb, and junior Hannah O'Halloran led the Cardinals with a time of 1:44.45. Senior Maeve Wilber, sophomore Mackenzie Healy, first-year Vaughn Ammon, and senior Olivia Haskell posted a time of 1:44.49 for the Camels.

In the men's race, Denison won the title with a time of 1:27.83. Tufts finished seventh in the championship final. Senior Kingsley Bowen and juniors Matthew Manfre, Costantino Camerano, and Roger Gu combined for a time of 1:29.44. The Amherst foursome of sophomore Ang Li, juniors Sean Mebust and Jack Koravos and Scott Romeyn finished 10th in the consolation final with a time of 1:29.93.

Day 2 of the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships begins with preliminary races at 10 a.m. on Thursday followed by championship races at 6 p.m.