WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Bates women's swimming and diving team got off to a hot start in the 2014 NESCAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, notching four top-three event finishes and breaking five team records.
With two days remaining in the championships, Bates stands in fifth place among 11 teams, with 414.5 points. Connecticut College is fourth at 441 and Amherst is third with 451, while Bowdoin trails Bates in sixth place at 335.5.
Big performances by the Bobcats included:
- First-year Sara Daher (Marblehead, Mass.) broke Williams' pool record in the 200 individual medley in Friday's preliminary heats, blazing to a 2:03.71 finish, first among all competitors, to smash the team record of 2:10.15, recorded by current assistant coach Vanessa Williamson '05 in 2005. In the event's final Friday night, Amherst's Emily Hyde took first place at 2:03.73, with Daher taking second place at 2:05.22. Bates sophomore Lindsey Prelgovisk (Oakland, Maine) placed sixth and joined Daher in recording an NCAA 'B' cut time, at 2:07.93. With her top-three performance, Daher will gain NESCAC All-Conference honors after the championships conclude.
- Sophomore Whitney Paine (Moultonborough, N.H.) took second place in the 50-yard backstroke to notch her first individual All-NESCAC honor. Paine lowered her own team record in the event with a prelim time of 26.70 seconds, cutting a healthy 0.55 seconds off of the mark she set a year ago. In Friday night's final, she was even better, finishing second in 26.58 seconds. Senior Gabrielle Sergi (Newburyport, Mass.) placed seventh in the A Final, at 27.64 following a 27.51 prelim time.
- First-year Julia Smachlo (Rexford, N.Y.) broke Bates' record in the 500-yard freestyle with her preliminary time of 5:01.74, replacing the former mark of 5:04.09 set by Kara Leasure in 2012. Smachlo finished fourth in the finals at 5:02.31, her second NCAA B cut time of the day. Junior Kristen Barry (West Hartford, Conn.) was eighth in the final at 5:10.11, following a stellar prelim time of 5:05.26.
- Sergi made the A Final in the 50 freestyle with a preliminary time of 24.14 seconds. Sergi finished third in the final at 24.05 seconds, just 0.01 away from tying her own team record in the event.
- Senior Emilie Geissinger (Darien, Conn.) trimmed 0.07 seconds off of her own team record in the prelims of the 50 fly, at 26.28 seconds. She joined juniors Eleanor Briggs (Concord, Mass.) and Allie Skaperdas (New Canaan, Conn.) in the event's B Final, where she finished 13th at 26.74. Briggs was 11th in 26.65.
- Bates began the Friday evening session by finishing fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay final, at 1:36.43. Sergi, Daher, Geissinger and sophomore Caroline Depew (Hudson, Ohio) sliced 0.16 seconds off of the team record set a year ago by Sergi, Paine, Geissinger and Caroline Depew.
- First-year diver Emma Jarczyk (Sudbury, Mass.) scored 400.40 points in the 1-meter diving prelims, then went a bit higher in the finals, with 401.20 points, good for fourth place in an impressive conference championship debut. Jarczyk trailed only two seniors and one junior in the event.
The meet continues Saturday at Williams College with sessions at 10am and 6pm.