INDIANAPOLIS — Competing at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships for the first time, senior Milana Socha (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) secured All-America Honorable Mention in her initial event with a 15th-place result in the 50-yard freestyle. She also swam in the 200- and 100-yard freestyle events but was unable to advance past the preliminary round.
Socha posted a 50 free time of 23.67 during the preliminaries, grabbing the last spot in the consolation final by only 0.01 second. She was 23rd at the race’s midpoint but finished with a flurry, covering the final 25 meters in 12.09 seconds, 11th-best in the morning swim to nab the 16th slot by the slimmest of margins over racers from MIT and Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
“Events like the 50 free rely on one's ability to be consistent in every facet of the race: start, turn, and especially the finish,” said Carleton head coach Andy Clark. “Since you only get one of each, if you miss one or are even slightly off, the opportunity for top-end results will quickly vanish.
“In the 50, hundreds of a second are extremely significant and every split decision you make has an impact, which is why this race is often the most unforgiving one contested. Milana showed great poise this morning and swam her race like the veteran she is, and it is fantastic that she has made it back for a consolation swim.”
In Wednesday’s finals, she touched the wall at 23.87, good for 15th place and her first All-America Honorable Mention distinction. She joins Marie Marsman ’05 and Sophie Pilhofer ’13 as the only Carleton women to rank among the nation’s top 16 racers in the 50-yard freestyle.
On Thursday, Socha was back in the water, taking part in the 200 free. She placed 34th out of 42 competitors with a time of 1:54.42. Saturday morning saw Socha compete for the final time in her collegiate career, tying for 23rd as she touched the wall at 52.08. Leaving it all in the pool, Socha closed out her time donning the maize and blue by posting the fifth-fastest final leg of the 34-racer field, clocking a time of 13.23 in covering the final 25 yards.
Milana Socha poses for a snapshot during the senior recognition at the 2014 NCAA Championships
(photo by Jacob Dunn, Macalester College)