March 20, 2013

Kokensparger Leads MIT on Day 1 of NCAAs with 2nd Place Finish in 200 IM

SHENANDOAH, Texas - Seven members of the MIT women's swimming and diving team swam individual events on the first day of competition at the 2013 NCAA Division III Championship on Wednesday, with two of them making it back to finals that night. Senior Anna Kokensparger (Omaha, Neb.) became the national runner-up in the 200-yard Individual Medley with her time of 2:01.74. In the 50-yard freestyle, freshman Lena Yang (East Stroudsburg, Pa.) finished fifth in the consolation heat with a 23.60. After the first day of competition, MIT are in seventh place with 45 points.

Going into the meet, Kokensparger was seeded in second place in the 200 IM with her time of 2:03.87, a time that earned her a first place finish at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship late last month. In the preliminary session, she swam a 2:01.58, crushing her own MIT record from the 2009-10 season and making it back seeded third overall. At finals, she came into the wall in second place with a time of 2:01.74, out-touching Michelle Howell of Denison with a 2:01.99. Last year, she finished in 16th place with a 2:09.13.

In the pre-meet seedings of the 50 free, Yang was 13th in the event with her 23.61. She moved up to ninth place after going 23.52 in prelims, earning a personal best time and a new MIT school record. In the consolation final, she came in fifth with her 23.60, finishing 13th in the entire event.

To start off the preliminary session of the four-day, eight-session meet, freshman Kate Yu (San Jose, Calif.) swam in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in 35th place with a time of 5:08.90. Swimming the 200 IM with Kokensparger was junior Katelyn Rossick (Middletown, Md.), who came in 25th place with her time of 2:08.26.

In the 50 free this morning, freshman Katie Siegel (San Jose, Calif.) moved up 22 places from her seeding to tie for 20th place with a 23.72, improving her time from NEWMACs by over half a second and narrowly missing out on making it back to finals. Junior Christy Rogers (Bend, Ore.) finished in 28th with a 23.95 and senior Elina Hu (Oshkosh, Wis.) came in 32nd place in 24.06.

The 200-yard medley relay wrapped up the first day of competition. The combined effort of Rogers, freshman Kristen Finney (Lake Orion, Mich.), Siegel and Yang that were seeded in seventh with a 1:44.82 after prelims, stayed true to the seedings, touching in seventh in 1:44.82.

After the first day of competition, the Engineers sit in seventh place out of 29 teams with 45 points. Last year's champion, Emory University, is currently in first place with 151.5 points.

Day two of NCAAs will begin with the 200-yard freestyle relay and will be followed by the 400-yard Individual Medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relay. Prelims every day will start at 10:00 a.m. CDT/11:00 a.m. EST and finals will begin at 6:00 p.m. CDT/7:00 p.m. EST.

Live stats- http://collegeswimming.us/results/21478/

Video- http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2013/03/20