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women's swimming & diving 2018-19 season preview

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - The Wesleyan women’s swimming and diving team is coming off of a historic season, which included nine new varsity records, 15 top-eight finishes at NESCAC Championships, two NESCAC titles, numerous All-American performances and a top-20 finish at the 2018 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.

The women’s relay teams re-wrote the record books during the 2017-18 campaign as two relays qualified for NCAA Championships. The 400 Free Relay (Kerrich, Murphy, O’Halloran and Middleton) finished ninth at nationals, earning Honorable Mention All-American honors with the sixth fastest time in the country (3:26.29). The same group finished 15th at NCAA’s, also earning Honorable Mention All-American accolades with a varsity record time of 1:44.36.

The Cardinals will look to its senior leadership, Co-captain’s Kylie Han and Sophia Antonio, as well as Erin Angell. All three seniors were abroad last season and hope to make an immediate impact early this season.

Head coach peter solomon's thoughts

“Our women’s team will have unprecedented depth this season at the NESCAC Championships and looks to make an upwards move in both the conference and on the national level. To do so, we require an all-out effort from both swimmers and divers in all four classes. When all is said and done, I predict that we will surprise a few teams this year with our results on the boards, in individual events and especially in some of our relay performances. We are very excited to be on the threshold of another fun and exciting season.”

key returners

Devon cooper - captain

Photo by Ronald Wimer
  • Hometown: Salinas, Calif.
  • High School: Salinas
  • Class: 2019
  • Event(s): Diving

Cooper is coming off of a great season, qualifying for the 2018 NCAA Diving Regional, while establishing a new varsity record in 1-Meter Diving. At the NESCAC Championships she placed sixth on 1-Meter and fifth on the 3-Meter board.

Caroline murphy

  • Hometown: Gardiner, N.Y.
  • High School: New Paltz
  • Class: 2020
  • Event(s): Back, Free & Fly

Murphy placed fourth at the NCAA Championships last year, earning All-American accolades in the 100 Back. She broke five varsity records during her 2017-18 campaign, was a NESCAC Champion in the 50 and 100 Backstroke, while placing fifth in the conference in the 100-Free.

julia dietz

  • Hometown: Branford, Conn.
  • High School: Branford
  • Class: 2019
  • Event(s): Back & Free

Dietz placed seventh in 5-Backstroke at the NESCAC Championship meet last year and will be a key swimmer again this season.

maela whitcomb

  • Hometown: Northhampton, Mass.
  • High School: Northhampton
  • Class: 2019
  • Event(s): Back, Fly, Free & IM

At the 2018 NESCAC Championships, Whitcomb finished in the top-eight in all three of her individual events (1,000 Free, 500 Free and 650 Free). During the conference championships she was also part of the 800 Free Relay that placed seventh and the 200/400 Medley Relay which finished seventh and sixth, respectively.

the newcomers

rachel cetron

  • Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
  • High School: Academe of the Oaks
  • Event(s): Back, Fly & IM

Cetron is a gritty swimmer and will provide much needed depth in the butterfly and backstroke events.

mengmeng gibbs

  • Hometown: Seattle, Wash.
  • High School: Lakeside School
  • Event(s): Breast, Free & IM

Gibbs looks to add fire power to the relays, sprint free and breakstroke team.

Cameron kahn

  • Hometown: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
  • High School: Marymount
  • Event(s): Back & Free

Kahn will be a key addition in the distance free and backstroke events.

yaiza kinney

  • Hometown: Leesburg, Va.
  • High School: Heritage
  • Event(s): Breast & Fly

Kinney will be competitive at the conference level during her rookie season, competing in the breast and fly.

Talia Lanckton

  • Hometown: Brookline, Mass.
  • High School: Brookline
  • Event(s): Diving

Lanckton looks to help Wesleyan’s stronghold in conference diving.

hayley linder

  • Hometown: Norwalk, Conn.
  • High School: Brien MacMahon
  • Event(s): Back, Free & Fly

Linder is eager to return to the pool after having shoulder surgery this summer, and will prepare to be in top health by the time the NESCAC Championship meet rolls around.

amanda mchugh

  • Hometown: Millwood, N.Y.
  • High School: Horrace Greeley
  • Event(s): Back, Fly & IM

McHugh’s fly times will be very competitive in the conference during her rookie debut, and will also be a factor in some relays this season.

rachel townsend

  • Hometown: Somers, N.Y.
  • High School: Somers
  • Event(s): Back, Breast, Free, Fly & IM

Townsend brings incredible versatility with her impressive times in all four competitive strokes. The Cardinals will look to Townsend to make an impact on all of the relays, the individual medley as well as the spring events this season

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