Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 SCAC Women's Championship Meet

Trinity Women: SCAC Conference Champions
Last week, Trinity's swimmers and divers enjoyed a great three days of competition at the Conroe ISD Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas. The Tiger women won their 8th consecutive SCAC team title and set five new school records in the process. From start to finish, it was a fun, exciting weekend!

Ruth Hahn: Female Diver
of the Meet
The women's meet kicked off on Thursday, February 17th with a morning prelims swimming session, followed with the 1-meter diving final. Ruth Hahn slipped by NCAA All-America team-mate, Hayley Emerick (475.80 to 473.90), leading a Trinity 1 - 2 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 8 - 10 - 11 finish and giving our team a lead that they then held start to finish over the course of the three day meet. Katie Sheldon and Lynne Bettinger joined Ruth Hahn and Hayley Emerick on the awards stand, with all four divers exceeding the NCAA Championship consideration standard. The Thursday night finals started fast (Ana Price, Mary Price, Rachel Berude, and Jennifer Ince scored bronze with a 1:38.28 in the 200 freestyle relay) and proved exciting. First-year Meghan Varner set a school record while finishing runner-up in the 500 freestyle (5:06.34), followed closely by first-year training partner Marisa Olmo. Next came the 200 IM, where Leslie Butts scored top eight and hit a personal PR of 2:12.99 in prelims). Ana and Mary Price, Rachel Berude, and Jennifer Ince then came back from their relay finish and put individual points on the scoreboard in the 50 freestyle. We closed the night with a runner-up 400 medley relay finish (Kristen Zinser, Morgan Briggs, Leslie Butts, and Rachel Berude).

1st Place 200 MR Team: Ana Price, Morgan Briggs,
Kristen Zinser, and Mary Price!

Friday night opened with a big win! Kristen, Morgan, Mary Price, and Ana stepped up and posted a time of 1:48.95, edging DePauw and Sewanee for our swimmers' first gold medal of the meet in the 200 Medley Relay. Melanie Gustafson then hit a giant PR in the 400 IM, finishing runner-up with a  4:36.82. The 100 butterfly came next and kept the TU Tiger winning streak alive. Mary Price, Leigh-Anne Ladymon, Leslie Butts, and Lisa Tucci finished 3 - 4 - 5 - 8, with Price breaking the school record in prelims (58.94). Lisa's big final swim was especially gratifying, as she had missed over a month of training in December and January as she fought a personal battle with thyroid cancer. The 2010 Conference champion in the 400 IM hit a PR time of 1:00.73 in the fly - a win "for sure" in the hearts and minds of her team-mates. That was the turning point in my mind where I thought for the first time, "We're going to win this meet!" Varner and Olmo then went a solid 2 - 3 finish in the 200 freestyle, with Ana Price and Rachel Berude adding points to our team total. Our lack of depth in the women's 100 breaststroke was evident (Morgan was our only finalist, winning the consolation heat).

Jennifer Ince with Kristen Zinser, the new
 school record holder in the 100 backstroke.

Kristen Zinser and Jennifer Ince finished 4 - 6 in the 100 backstroke, with Kristen establishing a school record (58.45) with her best swim ever. Pretty terrific for a gal with a 1:03 PR back in high school. She got better every year for four years in a row, and was a wonderful role model for our first-year athletes all season long. The evening closed with a 4th place finish in the 800 freestyle relay. That was probably the one disappointing race we had all weekend, as I thought our 7:53.78 was short of our potential. Next February, we need to set a new school record in this race! I hope our swimmers make breaking 7:50.50 their quest in 2011...

Trinity divers making a big impression on the awards stand.
We started Saturday with a 13 point lead over DePauw, and our divers quickly made that spread insurmountable by finishing 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 15 on the 3-meter board. Hayley beat Ruth by .05 points, the smallest margin imaginable (530.50 to 530.45). They were joined on the awards stand by Lynne Bettinger, Katie Sheldon, Madison Kahler, Kristin Nordstrom, and Gabriella Caglieris. Amazing! The evening then opened with the 1650 freestyle, where Melanie Gustafson set a school record (17:37.11) and finished runner-up. She also clipped the TU 1000 record, foot-touching with a time of 10:36.26 there. Kristen and Jennifer finished 3 - 6 in the 200 backstroke, Ana hit 53.78 and Rachel clocked a PR of 53.85 in the 100 freestyle, and Morgan scored 7th in the 200 breaststroke. The last individual race of the meet was the 200 Butterfly, and TU really showed it's stuff by going 2 - 3 - 5 - 8 - 11 - 12 in the long fly event. Meghan Varner and Melanie Gustafson led the way there. Leigh-Anne Ladymon, Leslie Butts, Megan O'Rell, and Marisa Olmo followed their team-mates and put big points on the board there for us. A huge race! We finished the meet with a 3:37.29 in the 400 freestyle relay, where Jennifer Ince opened with a lifetime PR of 53.98.

Final team scores at the 2011 SCAC Women's Championships were as follows:
Trinity - 876
DePauw - 817
Centre - 672
Sewanee - 437
Colorado - 399
Southwestern - 318
Rhodes - 310
Hendrix - 248
Austin - 113

- Coach Ryan
For results and news coverage check out:
2011 SCAC Swimming and Diving Championships
Trinity Tigers

Ana Price celebrating the 200 MR win after
 anchoring with a split of 23.93.
Leslie Butts and Mary Price before the
start of the 100 butterfly finals.
Trinity swimmers and divers form a tunnel as they prepare
 to honor our seniors at their last SCAC Championship.
Mary West making her way through the Trinity tunnel
on her last night of SCAC Competition.
Seniors Mary West, Kristen Zinser, and Leigh-Anne
Ladymon: an awesome trio that will definitely be missed.
Senior divers Hayley Emerick and Rebecca Parrish.
We're going to miss them!
A big win takes hard work all season long.
The Fabulous Freshman Five await the final team scores:
 Morgan Briggs, Melanie Gustafson, Marisa Olmo,
Megan O'Rell, and Meghan Varner.

Click the link above to view the celebration.

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