Feb. 22, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT enjoyed another spectacular day in the water, and finished in second place at the 2009 NEWMAC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. With numerous school and personal records in tow, the Engineers secured their eighth consecutive runner-up finish.
Amy Jacobi started MIT’s last-day run with a strong performance in a 100 fly time trial. The senior star eclipsed her previous best and NEWMAC record with a swim of 5718, nearly solidifying a spot at the national championships.
In the first official event of the evening, senior Nicole O’Keeffe broke through with an outstanding swim in the 1650 free. She smashed her previous best in the race, while finishing less than one second off the Institute record. Swimming nearly even splits the whole distance, O’Keeffe closed in 17:26.56 to finish second overall and earn All-Conference honors.
In the 200 back, rookie Allison Alwan continued her impressive championship debut by snatching a third-place finish in an individual event for the third time on the weekend. Improving her prelim time by over four seconds, Alwan finished in 2:09.78 in notching the second-fastest time in MIT history.
The Engineers picked up significant points in the 100 free. Jacobi paced MIT’s depth with a sixth-place finish (53.28), while Katie Creasey, Sarah King, and Sydney Giblin finished second through fourth in the consolation final.
Although MIT didn’t have any entries in the championship final of the 200 breast, the Engineers once again relied on their depth in adding to their scoring total. Junior Ellie Soudanidis and senior Abby Clark finished 1-2 in the consolation heat, with senior Caroline Lowenthal closing in fifth.
Senior Jen Chao delivered one of the most impressive races of the weekend with a dominating win in the 200 fly. Securing her first individual victory at the NEWMAC Championships, Chao swam 2:08.58 to set a new meet record while posting the best time for an MIT swimmer in 21 years.
In the final event of the meet, MIT ensured its runner-up finish in the team standings with two great efforts in the 400 free relay. In the consolation, junior Ashley Pinchinat delivered a huge personal record by splitting 54.70 in the lead off spot. O’Keeffe closed out her NEWMAC career in winning fashion while teaming with sophomore Lauren Hernley and Katie Creasey, who split 3:40.17 to win the heat by three seconds. The Engineers finished fourth in the championship final, but nearly set another school record as the team of King, Chao, Giblin, and Jacobi split 3:34.22.