Emory makes it back-to-back titles
Eagles dominate 2011 DIII Swimming & Diving Championships
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Emory capped off an incredible four day run at the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships, winning its second-consecutive National Championship.
It marks the fourth National Championship in the history of Emory's women's swimming & diving program, and the second time that the team has gone back-to-back. The Eagles also won NCAA DIII Team Championships in both 2005 and 2006.
It is also the 12th NCAA Division III Team Championship in the history of Emory Athletics. Besides the women's swimming & diving team's four, the women's tennis team has won five, the men's tennis team two, and the women's volleyball team one.
The Emory women ran away with the championship, scoring 614 points during the meet to finish well ahead of second-place Denison (428 points) and third-place Williams (382 points). For his coaching efforts this season, Emory's Jon Howell was named the NCAA Division III Women's Swimming Coach of the Year, the fourth time he has received the honor.
Emory senior April Whitley capped off her fantastic meet with her fourth National Championship, winning the 200-yard breaststroke with a school-record time of 2:14.62. With National Championships in both the 200-yard and 400-yard medley relays, in addition to the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststrokes, the senior matched Liz Horvat (2009) and former Eagle Julie Hogan (1985) for the most titles in a year. Senior Katie Mroz (third place, 2:17.43) earned an all-America honor in the event, while junior Jennifer Aronoff (15th place, 2:21.84) claimed an honorable mention.
Meanwhile, Emory junior Anne Culpepper won the 200-yard backstroke during the final day, becoming the first Emory swimmer to repeat as National Champion in an individual event since Samantha White won the 500-yard freestyle in 2005 and 2006. En route to winning the title, Culpepper set a school record in the event with a time of 1:58.62.
The Eagles also claimed a National Championship in the 400-yard freestyle relay for the second-straight year, as sophomore Ann Wolber, freshman Suzanne Lemberg, Culpepper, and junior Claire Pavlak won the event with a time of 3:22.39, also a program record. It was the sixth National Championship of Pavlak's career, the most in the program's history.
Also earning all-America honors in the 200-yard backstroke were freshman Sadie Nennig (third place, 2:00.93), junior Whitley Taylor (fourth place, 2:01.44 in the preliminaries), and sophomore Taryn Lushinsky (eighth place, 2:02.35 in the preliminaries). Sophomore Jacqueline Schneider (11th place, 2:02.12) added an honorable mention in the event.
Emory's Horvat opened the day with a second-place finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:44.27. It gave Horvat her third individual all-America honor of the meet, and fourth overall. The senior will end her collegiate career with 17 all-America certificates, including one in each of the 500-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley, 1,650-yard freestyle and 800-yard freestyle relay in each of her four seasons.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Pavlak finished eighth with a time of 50.50 seconds in the preliminaries to earn an all-America honor, while Wolber claimed an honorable mention with a ninth-place finish after notching a time of 51.02 seconds in the preliminaries.
Emory won six National Championships during the meet (three in individual events and three in relays), besting the previous school record of five titles, set in 2009. The Emory women's swimming and diving team has now compiled 32 National Championships, 25 in individual events and seven in relays. Emory added on 28 all-America certificates during the meet and 19 all-America honorable mention finishes.
The meet concludes the 2010-11 swimming & diving season for the Emory Eagles.