Campus News

March 22, 2010

Eagle swimmers are national champs

For the third time in the history of the Emory University swimming and diving program, the Eagles are National Team Champions. The Emory women finished first at the 2010 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships.

This is the third National Championship for the Emory women’s swimming and diving program.  The Eagles won National Championships in both 2005 and 2006.

It also marks the 11th Division III Championship in the history of Emory Athletics.  Besides the women’s swimming and diving team’s three, the women’s tennis team has won five, the men’s tennis team two, and the volleyball team one.

The Eagles finished the meet with 568.5 points scored, placing them well ahead of second-place Denison University (452 points) and third-place Williams College (367 points).

Sophomore Anne Culpepper earned the first individual National Championship of the meet for Emory, winning the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:59.74, the second-fastest in school history.  It is the first National Championship of Culpepper’s career and the 21st individual championship in the women’s program’s history.  She also becomes just the second Eagle ever to win the 200-yard backstroke, joining Rachael LeClair who won the event in 1989.

The Eagles also won their first-ever National Championship in the 400-yard freestyle relay, as Ruth Westby, Lillian Ciardelli, Ann Wolber and Claire Pavlak won the event with a time of 3:22.44.  It was the fifth-career National Championship for Westby, third each for Ciardelli and Pavlak, and second for Wolber.

Sophomore Whitley Taylor also earned an all-America honor with a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke, while Tayrn Lushinksy finished ninth and Natty Chalermpalanupap 15th to earn all-America honorable mentions.

Junior Liz Horvat opened the evening session for Emory with a second-place finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle, swimming a time of 16:52.01.  It was the third individual honor of the meet for Horvat, and 12th of her career.  Culpepper and junior Amy Minowitz claimed sixth and seventh, respectively, in the event to earn all-America honors as well, while freshman Theresa Gallagher claimed 14th to earn an all-America honorable mention.

Senior Westby capped off her career with a third-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.01 seconds.  With the all-America finish in the event, coupled with all-America finishes in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, Westby became the first swimmer in Emory history to earn all-America honors in the same three individual events all four years of her career.

Senior Ciardelli would finish 11th, and freshman Wolber 12th, to earn all-America honorable mentions in the 100-yard freestyle.

In the final individual event of the meet, Katie Mroz finished second with a time of 2:18.17 in the 200-yard breaststroke, and was followed closely by third-place finisher and teammate April Whitley.

In addition to National Championships in the 200-yard backstroke, the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Eagles finished the meet with 22 all-America honors and 12 all-America honorable mentions in individual events.  In the relays, the Eagles earned an additional five all-America honors, finishing no worse than fourth in any relay.

The meet also marks the end of a number of history Emory careers.  Westby added on another seven all-America honors to her resume during this year’s meet, and will graduate as the most decorated swimmer in Emory history with 27 all-America honors, one short of the maximum, in addition to five National Championships.  Ciardelli added five more all-America certificates this season to graduate with 15, the fourth-most in school history, in addition to three National Championships.

The meet concludes the 2009-10 season for the women’s swimming and diving team.

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