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Leasure, Sparks receive All-NESCAC recognition


HADLEY, Mass. -- Bates senior Kara Leasure and junior Catherine Sparks were officially named to the NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving All-Conference Team, announced on Tuesday by the New England Small College Athletic Conference. The top three times in each event's final earns All-NESCAC recognition.

Leasure (Los Alamos, N.M.) became Bates’ first swimming event winner at NESCACs since 2005, breaking her own team record in the 200-yard breaststroke, to highlight the third and final day of the 2012 NESCAC Womens’ Swimming & Diving Championships at Wesleyan. She beat her own former team record of 2:22.25 in the 200 breast with a time of 2:21.11, her second national ‘B’ cut time of the meet. Leasure beat out the runner-up, Amherst first-year Courtney Flynn, by 0.19 seconds.

She is the team’s first event winner at NESCACs since Kelsey Lamdin ’09 swept the diving crowns in 2009, and the first swimmer to win an event since Vanessa Williamson ’05 in 2005. It is the second All-NESCAC of her career -- Leasure finished second in the 200 breast a year ago.

Sparks (New Canaan, Conn.) broke Bates' team record in the 50-yard breaststroke on Friday, edging Trinity's Audrey Butler by .01 seconds for third place in a time of 30.12. Sparks has broken her own Tarbell Pool record in the event twice this year as well.

NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving All-Conference Team Announcement