Full Results (PDF)
MINNEAPOLIS – The Carleton College women’s swimming and diving team concluded competition at the two-day Minnesota Challenge meet held at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. This competition concludes the regular season for the Knights and features NCAA Division I, II and III teams from across the Upper Midwest.
This meet also provides those team members not on the MIAC Championship squad to taper and compete at one of the top facilities in the nation. The non-rested portion of the team participated in its final races before the upcoming conference championships.
“The results for the taper group were exactly what you hope for from both a coaching and swimmer perspective,” said Carleton head coach Andy Clark. “They all had season- or lifetime-best swims in all of their individual events, a feat that is not always easy to achieve especially when expectations are high.
“The tapered team members, though, did not disappoint and they delivered a clear and powerful message to the rest of the team in that there is much to look forward to—in terms of best times—as the squad heads into the final week-plus of preparation for the MIAC Championship meet. This is exactly the kind of momentum we were hoping to have, and I am looking forward to seeing what both teams can achieve at the championships.”
Among the taper group, several performances stood out on day two. Emily Houlihan (Fy./Boulder, Colo./Boulder) and Ashley Paquin (Jr./Ipswich, Mass./Ipswich) posted season-best times of 1:01.36 and 1:05.46 respectively in the 100-yard freestyle. In the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke, Clara Labadie (Sr./Washington, D.C./Lawrenceville School) recorded season-best times (1:08.32 and 2:28.80 respectively) in both races, while Molly Bostrom (So./Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) notched her best time of the year (1:22.58) at the shorter distance, and Alison Byrnes (So./Olympia, Wash./Olympia) did likewise (2:50.28) at the longer distance.
Not to be out-done, the non-rested group had its share of highlight performances.
Alison Coogan (Fy./River Forest, Ill./Oak Park & River Forest) turned in lifetime-best performances in the 400-yard individual medley, and 100- and 200-yard backstroke. She was the second Division III finisher in the 100 backstroke, recording a time of 1:01.04 to place 17th.
Annie Metcalf (Sr./Bath, Maine/Morse) recorded season-best times in the 400 IM and 200-yard backstroke. In the latter event she was the top Division III swimmer, touching the wall at 2:08.07.
Hannah Heavenrich (Sr./Berkley, Mich./Berkley) turned in lifetime bests in both the 200- and 1,650-yard freestyle.
Erin McDuffie (Jr./Anchorage, Alaska/Service) was the top Division III swimmer in both the 100- and 200-yard freestyle. She posted a season-best time of 53.40 at the shorter distance and a lifetime best of 1:57.87, a drop of more than three seconds, as she finished 12th overall in the longer race.
Molly Spence (Jr./Tacoma, Wash./Woodrow Wilson) took more than 45 seconds off her seed time in the 1,650 freestyle, finishing 10th at 18:14.57.
Mallory Pernell (Sr./Austin, Texas/Westlake) was Carleton’s top finisher in the 200-yard butterfly. She shaved more than five seconds off her previous season-best time, reaching the wall at 2:24.67.
Carleton concluded the meet by being the top Division III performer in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Milana Socha (So./Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton), Sophie Pilhofer (Jr./Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Visitation), Maggie Alexander (Sr./Tigard, Ore./Tualatin) and McDuffie posted a time of 3:39.83, good for fourth place.
The Knight divers will participate in the Northfield Invite on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The rest of the team will spend the next two weeks getting prepared for the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships, which will be held at the U of M Aquatics Center from February 16-18.
The taper group registered 100 percent season-best times—if not lifetime-best times—in every event. “It was an outstanding showing for the tapered swimmers, and there is no question that the non-tapered swimmers fed off of the good energy that was brought on by their rested teammates,” said Carleton head coach Andy Clark.
Among the rested swimmers in the 500-yard freestyle that posted significant season bests and lifetime bests were Byrnes at 5:54.22 and Paquin at 6:19.59.
Kicking off the personal records in the 50-yard freestyle was senior Clara Labadie, who led the way with a significant time drop down to 27.87. Houlihan eclipsed the 28-second barrier for the first time ever and posted a 27.49 in the event, while Bostrom narrowly missed breaking that same barrier, posting a 28.02 for a season best.
The day’s competition opened with the 200-yard freestyle relay and Carleton’s top quartet of Pilhofer, Socha, Alexander, and McDuffie placed fifth with a time of 1:39.00. The Knights finished behind St. Cloud State (D-II), Minnesota (D-I), Gustavus, and Illinois (D-I).
Spence was the Knights’ top finisher in the 500-yard freestyle, cutting more than 11 seconds off her seed time to place 17th at 5:18.31.
Coogan grabbed the top spot for Carleton in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing 33rd overall with a time of 2:18.17.
Pilhoffer and McDuffie placed sixth and seventh respectively in the 145-swimmer field for the 50-yard freestyle. Pilhofer posted a time of 24.16, and McDuffie shaved more than 0.8 seconds off her seed time, touching the wall at 24.36.
In the evening’s final event, the 400-yard medley relay, Carleton placed 12th with a time of 4:07.24 behind the work of Metcalf, Pilhofer, Alexander, and McDuffie.
“Looking at the teams as a whole, it was a very impressive display of high-quality swimming for this time of year. We are just beginning the rest phase for the team members who are heading to the MIAC Championships and the majority of them posted new season-best times.
“Often when you head into the early phases of rest, you can have a mixture of performances as your body begins to recover from the hard training. I think that the excitement of today's swimming from the tapered group made a huge difference in how the rest of the team performed and that showed tonight in each event.