2006 NCAA Division III Women's Swimming & Diving Championships
Minneapolis – Emory University (Ga.) held off rival Kenyon College (Ohio) in the closest team margin in the 25-year history of the NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships and Lindsay Payne of Williams College (Mass.) won her third event of the competition and took home “Swimmer of the Meet” honors for the second straight season as competition at the three-day concluded at the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Center.
Payne set her third NCAA Championships record in the 200-yard breaststroke preliminaries in 2:12.83, lowering her own NCAA meet and overall record by 2.37 seconds, an amazing time drop. She cruised in the finals, winning by almost four full seconds and capped the meet by leading the Ephs to an upset win in the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Emory and head coach John Howell used the Eagles’ depth and a strong second day of competition to win the team title for the second consecutive year, scoring 428 points to outdistance second-place Kenyon with 418 points. The Ladies, 20-time champions at Division III, have now gone two years without a title, the longest streak since 1982 and 1983 for the most dominant swimming and diving program in Division III. Williams was third with 293 points, followed by Amherst (Mass.) at 232 and Washington University (Mo.) in fifth with 218 points. Amherst head coach Nick Nichols was named swimming coach of the year.
Calvin’s Becky Weima was the meet’s other three-time individual winner, as she completed a sweep of the freestyle sprint events by grabbing the 100-yard freestyle title in 51.03 to go with earlier wins in the 50- and 200-yard freestyle events.
Amherst’s Brittany Sasser and Whitworth’s Samantha Kephart also won for the second time in the meet and set new NCAA Championships and overall records. Sasser, who earlier won the 100-yard backstroke, blazed to a win in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:59.87, sahving 0.05 seconds off her own national record and breaking the meet record of 2:00.85. Kephart won in 2:00.15, breaking her own national record by 0.30 seconds and taking down the meet record of 2:02.02, set in 2003.
Other individual winners included Emory’s Sam White in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 16:56.71, with teammate Holly Hinz second in 16:59.70. It marked White’s second title of the meet, as she won the 500-yard freestyle on Thursday. Lake Forest sophomore Kendall Swett became the first student-athlete from her school to win a Division III swimming or diving title, as she took the three-meter title with a record score of 489.00, beating defending champion Doria Holbrook of MIT who was second with 476.30. Swett’s total was a new Division III record and she was named “Diver of the Meet” while her coach, Susan Bromberg, was named diving coach of the year.