Casares, Bates women haul in Coach of the Year, eight All-NESCAC honors

Photo by Tom Leonard '78
Peter Casares was named NESCAC Women's Swimming Coach of the Year on Feb. 18, 2014. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

HADLEY, Mass. -- Peter Casares was named Swimming Coach of the Year, topping off a record haul of honors for Bates as the 2014 NESCAC Women's Swimming and Diving All-Conference Team was announced Tuesday by the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Casares guided the Bobcats to their best finish in the 14-year history of the NESCAC Championship meet, in his seventh year at the helm of the program. It is the first NESCAC Coach of the Year honor for the former North Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. Under Casares' direction, Bates took fourth place with a program-record 1,132 points, only 84.5 points shy of second-place Amherst.

Awarded for top-three finishes at the NESCAC Championship, All-NESCAC honors were earned in six individual events and two relays, the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays:

  • First-year Sara Daher (Marblehead, Mass.) leads the way with four All-NESCAC honors. Daher placed second in the 200-yard individual medley, second in the 400 IM and swam in both of Bates' all-conference relays. 
  • Sophomore Whitney Paine (Auburn, Maine) claimed her first All-NESCAC honor by placing second in the 50 backstroke.
  • First-year Julia Smachlo (Rexford, N.Y.) won the 1,000-yard freestyle conference title.
  • Senior Gabrielle Sergi (Newburyport, Mass.) earned her second career individual All-NESCAC award by taking third place in the 50 free. Sergi will finish her career with four all-conference honors to her credit.
  • Sophomore Lindsey Prelgovisk (Oakland, Maine) took third place in the 100 butterfly.
  • Bates was third in the 400 free relay, on legs swum by Sergi, Daher, Prelgovisk and sophomore Caroline Depew (Hudson, Ohio). 
  • Bates' second-place 800 free relay team comprised Smachlo, Caroline Depew, Prelgovisk and Daher.

Daher, who is currently ranked third in the country in the 200 IM and fourth in the 400 IM, will likely be joined by other team members at the NCAA Division III Championships, Mar. 19-22 in Indianapolis. The swim season resumes this weekend at Bowdoin with the NESCAC Men's Championships.

2014 NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving All-Conference Team