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Women's swimming & diving 2019-20 season preview

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan women’s swimming and diving team is coming off a historic 2018-19 season highlighted by its best finish at the NESCAC Championships (sixth) and the NCAA Championships (25th). The National meet was highlighted by an All-American finish from Caroline Murphy and two All-American Honorable Mention finishes (200-yard and 400-yard medley relay teams). At the NESCAC Championship meet, Wesleyan established nine varsity records and placed 15 individuals in the top-eight, while head coach Peter Solomon was named NESCAC Co-Coach of the Year for the second time in three years.

thoughts from head coach peter solomon

“We are coming off of a very successful season, with hopes of continuing to build on last year. We have a very talented and dedicated senior class who have been a huge part of our program’s recent accomplishments and I am excited to welcome seven first-years that will provide us depth and versatility. We will rely on strong leadership from Alex Berger and Leah Cravitz as both have demonstrated a dedication and work ethic that is contagious in our team atmosphere. I am hopeful that if we put in the hard work in the next couple of months, Wesleyan will improve its finishes at both the NESCAC and NCAA meets this coming season.”

key returners

mengmeng gibbs

Photo by d3photography.com

Gibbs returns after a breakout rookie campaign last season, highlighted by her third place finish in the 50-yard breaststroke at the NESCAC Championship meet. Her time of 29.52 was a program-record for Wesleyan, earning her All-NESCAC honors. At the NCAA Championships, Gibbs was part of the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard medley relay, earning All-American Honorable Mention in both events. The 200-yard medley placed 12th, while the 400-yard medley finished in 15th. Three of the relays Gibbs was a part of (200-yard medley, 400-yard medley & 800-yard free) set program-records last year.

sarah goldman

Photo by: Ron Wimer

Junior Sarah Goldman returns after placing in the top-20 in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events at the NESCAC Championships last year. Off the 1-meter, she recorded 274.05 points for an 18th-place finish, while earning 226.75 points off the 3-meter to finish 19th.

talia lanckton

Photo by: Ron Wimer

Lanckton is coming off an impressive finish at the NESCAC Championship meet last year. She placed 13th off the 3-meter board with 315.50 points and finished 19th off the 1-meter with 268.85 points.

amanda mchugh

Photo by: Ron Wimer

Sophomore McHugh returns after a great first-year with the Cardinals. In her rookie season, she set new program-records in the 50-yard butterfly (25.71) and the 100-yard butterfly (56.38). At the conference Championships, she placed seventh in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.38, recording an NCAA “B” standard.

grace middleton

Photo by: Ron Wimer

Entering her senior season, Middleton is looking to build upon her successes from last year. At the NCAA Championships, Middleton was part of the 400-yard medley relay, earning All-American Honorable Mention with a 15th-place finish. The same team also placed second at the NESCAC Championships, while Middleton earned All-NESCAC as part of the 400-yard freestyle relay with a third-place finish. Both the 400-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays set program-records last season. Additionally, Middleton finished 10th in the 100-yard freestyle with a personal best time of 52.09.

caroline murphy

Photo by d3photography.com

Murphy will compete in her final season as a Cardinal this year, as she has rewritten record books throughout her time at Wesleyan. Last season, she won the 50-yard backstroke for the third-straight year and the 100-yard backstroke for the second-straight year at the NESCAC Championship meet. Her winning time of 25.37 in the 50-yard backstroke set a program record, a conference record and a NESCAC Championship meet record, while her first-place time of 54.99 in the 100-yard backstroke set a new Championship meet record. She also placed fourth in the 100-yard freestyle. At the NCAA Championships, Murphy won her second-straight All-American honors in the 100-yard backstroke with a third place finish. She set three individual program-records (50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 50-yard backstroke) and was a part of three relays (200-yard medley, 400-yard medley & 800-yard free) that set new program records.

hannah o'halloran

Photo by: Ron Wimer

Also entering her senior season, O’Halloran is on the heels of her best performances last year. She placed fourth at the NESCAC Championship in the 200-yard backstroke, qualifying her for the NCAA Championships. She was a part of the All-American 200-yard medley relay that placed 12th at NCAA’s and earned Honorable Mention with the 400-yard medley relay. O’Halloran was a part of three (200-yard medley, 400-yard medley & 400-yard freestyle) All-NESCAC program-record setting relays.

rachel townsend

Photo by: Ron Wimer

Last season, Townsend recorded several personal bests. In the 100-yard breaststroke she shaved three seconds off her best time to finish 10th at the NESCAC Championship, while also dropping nine seconds in the 200-yard IM for a 12th-place finish.

newcomers

The Cardinals are excited to welcome seven newcomers this season. The group hails from all across the country and the world, with its furthest member from India. The rookies will provide depth with six swimmers and a diver.

the coaching staff

Peter Solomon enters his eighth season as head coach of the men's and women's swimming & diving programs at Wesleyan in 2019-20. During his time with the Cardinals, he has been named NESCAC Coach of the Year, most recently in 2019, and has coached several All-Americans. Assistant coach Caleb Treadwell is back for his second season, while they welcome Jessica Boni as the new diving coach.