2018-19 Coast Guard Women's Swimming and Diving Preview
The Bears return a bulk of their talent from last year’s team as they return all four legs of the 800 freestyle relay that won the NEWMAC Championship and became the first relay in program history to compete at the NCAA Division III Championships.
The returning 800 freestyle relay of sophomore Sarah Passilla, senior tri-captain Kristen Durham-Young, sophomore Emily Benson and senior Christine McCulla, went on to earn honorable mention All-America honors last season with a 16th place finish. The relay also set the school record with a time of 7:34.41 in winning the NEWMAC Championship.
Durham-Young (pictured) would also earn All-NEWMAC honors with a second place finish in the 100 freestyle leading the Bears to a fifth place finish. Leading the women will be tri-captains, Brooke Harkrader (NEWMAC consolation finalist in freestyle events), Celia Marzinsky (NEWMAC finalist in butterfly) and Durham-Young (all-NEWMAC team in sprint and middle distance freestyle).
Joining the three captains are fellow seniors, Samantha Kenis (pictured), the CGA record holder in the 200 backstroke, and McCulla. It is a senior class that has made a mark all over the record board and looks to finish their careers in style. Joining the seniors are a strong contingent of other athletes in all other classes. The hallmark of the women’s program has been the internal development of the team and based on the foundation established last season there should be an improvement.
Returning to the underclass roster is Benson, an NCAA qualifier in the 1650 free, along with Passilla (NEWMAC finalist in both IM’s and 100 free). Entering are a quintet of potential great freshmen, a small but talented freshmen class and three new divers that will bolster the roster.
The Bears will add some new meets this year. Colby-Sawyer College kicks off the season with a home meet to open the season on Oct. 20th and then key first semester match ups with Springfield College, Wheaton College and WPI follow. Joining the second semester slate of meets is Connecticut College, which joins a meet with Wesleyan University and Fairfield University for a battle of Connecticut schools. There are high hopes that the women will return athletes to NCAA championships in March at Greensboro Aquatic Center in North Carolina.