Feb. 19, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT women's swimming and diving closed out an outstanding effort at the 2006 NEWMAC Championships, earning two more national cuts and setting two additional Institute records while securing second place in the team standings. National power Springfield College won an unprecedented sixth consecutive team crown with Wellesley College finishing 140 points behind the Engineers for third.
Springfield senior Sarah Strout delivered the highlight of the night in Sunday's first final, winning the 1650 free with a championship and open record time of 17:18.62. Her time was five seconds under the NCAA "A" cut, while her performance off-set a great swim by MIT junior Kate Thornton, who finished second with an NCAA "B" cut and a clip of 17:32.16.
MIT's highlight of the night presented itself in the next event. While the Engineers had races that were equally as strong during the night, none proved more important than Julianna Edwards' first-place effort in the 200 back. Edwards completed the circuit in 2:07.46 to set a new Institute record. The NCAA "B" cut-performance also gave Tech a fourth swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Edwards had a slight edge at the 50 before powering past a duo from Springfield with a tremendous second lap.
Sophomore Sasha Brophy authored the second consecutive individual win for the Engineers, delivering outside heat en route to a first-place finish in the 100 free. Brophy started the race in lane eight, but a devastating final 25 yards powered her ahead of Springfield senior Emily Phillips and the rest of the chase pack as Brophy closed with a time of 53.41. Phillips' final time was 53.48.
Sophomore Doria Holbrook finished second on the three-meter board, despite setting another Institute record in diving. Battling alongside Smith sophomore, Shanti Freitas, the NEWMAC boasts two of the top divers in the nation. Freitas grabbed a commanding lead in prelims during the three-meter competition, but Holbrook tightened the gap at finals. Her final dive was easily the best of the night, but it couldn't off-set the great performance by Freitas, who grabbed the Gold with a score of 487.80. Holbrook's record-breaking mark was 478.50.
Holbrook's scores at this year's championships tops the oldest records in the books for MIT women's swimming and diving as Lori Peterson set both previous records during the 1985 season.