Daher, Smachlo claim final All-America awards as NCAAs close

(From left to right) Sara Daher '17, Lindsey Prelgovisk '16, Caroline Depew '16 and Julia Smachlo '17 earned 17th place among 51 scoring teams in the final points count at the 2014 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships. (Bates Swimming & Diving Facebook photo)

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bates first-year students Sara Daher and Julia Smachlo won their fourth and third All-America honors, respectively, as the four-day NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships came to a close.

With 49 points, Bates' women's team finished in 17th place among the 51 participating teams that scored points for top-16 event performances. A NESCAC rival, Middlebury, was 18th with 44 points, while another one, Connecticut College, was 16th with 56 points.

Daher (Marblehead, Mass.) reached the consolation final of the 200-yard backstroke event with the 14th-fastest time in Saturday morning's preliminary heats, at 2:02.45. Daher dug deep in her final race of the season in the consolation final, finishing in 2:02.08 for 13th place, 10 places ahead of her seeding. Daher finished 0.20 seconds behind Denison sophomore Elizabeth Dalziel and 0.88 seconds ahead of 14th-place Christy Rogers of MIT. Daher lowered her own program record in the event by 0.87 seconds, having swum a 2:03.32 at the NESCAC Championships on Feb. 16.

Smachlo (Rexford, N.Y.) placed 15th in the 1,650-yard freestyle race, 10 places ahead of her seeding, with a time of 17:11.72, just 0.10 seconds shy of 14th-place Emma Stewart-Bates of Kenyon. Smachlo shattered her own former team record of 17:26.70, set at the NESCAC Championships on Feb. 16, by 14.98 seconds.

Bates also finished 20th in the 400 freestyle relay, with sophomore Caroline Depew (Hudson, Ohio), sophomore Lindsey Prelgovisk (Oakland, Maine), Smachlo and Daher registering a 3:32.00 prelim time, 20th-fastest among 29 squads.

On the men's side, Bates junior Matthew Gagne (Winnetka, Ill.), the Bobcats' first male at NCAAs since diver Erik Baker in 2004, placed 55th in the 100 free, with a prelim time of 47.80 seconds.

Daher is suddenly tied with Melissa Sander '96 for the second-most All-America awards ever won by a Bates female swimmer, and Smachlo is right behind with three. Current assistant coach Vanessa Williamson won eight All-America plaudits in her career and heads the list of Bates swimmers; divers Kelsey Lamdin and Kara Seaton won eight and six apiece.

2014 NCAA Championship -- Final Women's Team Scores 

2014 NCAA Championship -- Women's Full Results 

2014 NCAA Championship -- Men's Full Results