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Women's swimming places fifth in NESCAC for first time since '03

Charlotte Green's anchor leg in the 400 freestyle relay helped set the team record, a fitting final stamp on a highly successful 2011 NESCAC Championship meet for the Bates women. (File photo)











WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Bates College women's swimming and diving team finished fifth in the NESCAC Women's Championship on Sunday, the Bobcats' best place at the conference meet since also placing fifth in 2003.

Bates finished with 784.5 team points, trailing only Williams, Amherst, Tufts and Connecticut College. The Bobcats finished ahead of such rivals as Hamilton (616), Colby (597), Wesleyan (553), Middlebury (511) and Bowdoin (494).

The Bobcats, who had broken nine team records in the first two days of the three-day meet, continued that trend on Sunday, setting three more program standards.

Junior Kara Leasure (Los Alamos, N.M.) smashed her own team record in the 200-yard breaststroke and finished second overall with a national B cut time of 2:22.25. Leasure had broken the old Bates record on Jan. 9 with her time of 2:27.88. First-year Amanda Moore (Shaker Heights, Ohio) placed 16th overall with a B Final time of 2:33.22, following her preliminary time of 2:30.78.

Sophomore Tara Dugan (Wilton, Conn.) broke her second team distance event record, finishing 10th in the 1,650 in a 2010 national B cut time of 17:41.25. Dugan broke the former team record time of 17:43.54 set by Denby Johnson in 1998.

Bates capped the meet by breaking two team records in the final race, the 400 freestyle relay, taking fourth place overall with a national B cut time of 3:32.37. Senior Charlotte Green (New Canaan, Conn.) anchored the quartet that included first-year Gabrielle Sergi (Newburyport, Mass.), first-year Emilie Geissinger (Darien, Conn.) and Leasure. Green underscored her mastery of swimming anchor legs in relay races with a split of 51.49 seconds, lower than the team record of 51.58 that Green set in 2009. The former team record in the 400 free relay of 3:34.31 was set in 2009 by Katelyn Drake '10, Leasure, junior Emily Tato (Chatham, N.J.) and Green.

Just three races prior to the 400 free relay, Green swam a national B cut 52.02 in the A Final of the 100 free to take fourth place. Earlier in the day, she had the second-fastest prelim time in the 100 free, 51.88 seconds. Sergi finished 13th in 53.57.

Green also placed third in the race for the Senior High Point Award, after Amherst's Kendra Stern and Ellen Ramsey of Williams. Green's former teammate Drake won the award a year ago.

Other Bates highlights from Sunday's action included:

  • First-year Emily Depew (Hudson, Ohio) won the B Final in the 200 backstroke, claiming 10th place overall with a time of 2:08.97 that beat last year's national B cut standard.
  • Sophomore Katy Zingale (Sudbury, Mass.) finished 13th in the 200 fly, with a B Final time of 2:11.22.
  • Junior Jessica Howard (Cumberland Foreside, Maine) placed 10th in 3-meter diving, with 319.90 points.

Saturday Recap

Seven more team records fell on Saturday as the Bates women's swimming and diving team held on to fifth place at the NESCAC Championships at Williams.

  • Amanda Moore continued to rewrite the breaststroke portion of the team record book. A day after breaking Bates' 50-yard breast record, Moore broke the team mark in the 100 breast in the prelims with a time of 1:07.60, then took third place in the A Final with a time of 1:06.96. Sophomore Catherine Sparks (New Canaan, Conn.) placed 12th in 1:09.57. The former Bates record in the 100 breast, 1:07.68, was set by Megan Ferrari in 2001.
  • Bates also broke the team record in the 200 medley relay, and hit last year's national B cut in the process, with a sixth-place time of 1:48.74. Depew, Moore, Zingale and Green took fifth place in the event. The former team record time of 1:50.84 was set by Jennifer Rasmussen, Nicole Sparks, Vanessa Williamson and Kate Gatti in 2004. In the same race, Green's anchor leg of 23.64 seconds rebroke the team 50 freestyle record that she set the day before in the anchor leg of the 200 freestyle relay final.
  • Leasure hit the national B cut and set the Bates record in the 400 individual medley, finishing fifth in the A Final in a time of 4:33.50. The former team record of 4:35.27 was recorded 11 years prior, to the day, by Jill Kopicki.
  • Dugan broke her own Bates record in the 1,000 free by precisely nine seconds. Her fifth-place time of 10:32.74 broke the former standard of 10:41.74 she set a year ago. Junior Abigail Hanson (Sudbury, Mass.) took seventh place in the event, and also broke Dugan's former team record, at 10:39.01.
  • Green missed the A Final in the 200 freestyle with her preliminary time of 1:56.57, but she surged back in the B Final, hitting the national B cut, breaking her own Bates record and claiming ninth place in a time of 1:53.71. Green set the former team record of 1:54.11 in 2009.
  • Geissinger, Leasure, Sergi and Green finished sixth in the 800 free relay at the end of the second day, meeting last year's national B cut with a time of 7:47.15. The former 800 free relay team record of 7:48.71 was swum by Drake, Leasure, Tato and Green in 2009.
  • Also on Saturday, Depew finished 10th in the 100 backstroke, at 1:00.06, after a prelim time of 59.92.

Friday Recap

Bates set three team records en route to a first-day showing in fifth place out of 11 teams.

  • Amanda Moore took second place and broke the team record in the 50-yard breaststroke. Moore swam the event in 30.20 seconds in the prelims, shattering the Bates record she had tied on Feb. 5 of 31.27 seconds, shared with Nicole Sparks '05. Moore placed second in the A Final at 30.35 seconds. Catherine Sparks, Nicole's younger sister, finished sixth in the conference and also broke the former Bates record with her A Final time of 30.69 seconds.
  • Leasure also broke the Bates team record in the prelims of the 500-yard freestyle, finishing her heat in 5:09.66. Leasure did not compete in the event final. Tato set the previous team record time of 5:09.76 at NESCACs in 2009.
  • Bates fared very well in the day's two relays, starting with the 200 freestyle relay. Sergi, Geissinger, Leasure and senior Green finished the final in 1:37.15, cutting 1.70 seconds off the former team record of 1:38.85 set in 2008 by Green, Drake, Emilie Swenson '08 and Annie Barton '08. The Bobcats beat out Middlebury by 0.86 seconds for fourth place in the final. In the same race, Green beat her own team record in the 50 free, with her anchor leg of 23.71 seconds. Green's own former Bates record in the event of 24.10 seconds was set in 2009.
  • The night ended with Bates taking fifth place in the 400 medley relay race. The quartet of Depew, Moore, Zingale and Geissinger's time of 3:57.60 laid waste to the team record of 4:00.67, set in 2009 by Drake, Leasure, Tato and Green.
  • Green had another fine performance in the 50 free, coming within a hundredth of a second of tying her own former school record in the 50 free, finishing fourth overall with a finals time of 24.11 seconds. Sergi finished 10th in the event in 24.81 seconds, after a prelim time of 24.49.
  • Depew made the A Final of the 50-yard backstroke with a prelim time of 27.91 seconds and placed eighth in the final at 28.33.
  • Zingale placed 11th overall, third in the B Final, of the 50 fly at 26.89 (prelims) and 27.00 (finals). Geissinger was 15th at 27.20 and 27.25.
  • Jessica Howard placed 12th in the 1-meter diving, with 319.65 points.

Meet Results