Every year brings a new crop of swimmers to D3 swimming – some of whom have been state champions in high school, some of whom were just finding their stroke when high school ended, some of whom may only want to have a group to be part of as they begin living away from home for the first time. It is not possible to predict which of these first year swimmers will make an immediate impact on the D3 scene. So here is a midyear look at the 2010-11 first year women that have already made a mark by recording A-cuts.
As of Dec. 8, 55 A-cuts have been entered into the top times database and 10 of these have been posted by a total of 8 freshman swimmers representing Denison, Emory, Grinnell, Kenyon, Springfield and Stevens.
In the 50 Free, Mary Bank (Kenyon) has a 23.54 which is noticeably faster than her high school state meet times of 24.19 (2010) and 23.85 (2009). Right behind her is Kellie Pennington (Springfield) at 23.55 – both a team record for Springfield and faster than her 23.82 that won the Massachusetts championship last spring.
The 100 Back has three freshmen among its six A-cuts – if fact they hold the top three times overall. Sadie Nennig (Emory) has posted a 56.03, only slightly slower than her high school best of 55.76. Second is Mary Bank’s second A time of 56.44 while third is Lou Moores (Stevens) 56.52. Both Bank and Moores swam the 50 and 100 Free in high school so perhaps their success here in the backstroke is a surprise to them – it certainly is a plus for their teams!
Emory’s Nennig also has A-cut the 200 backstroke with a 2:01.94 – she and Bank above are the two first year swimmers with multiple automatic invites to next March’s meet.
The 100 Breast has two new swimmers among the four A-cuts; Imelda Wistey (Grinnell) and Natalie Lugg (Denison). Wistey’s 1:03.93 is just off her high school championship winning 1:03.75, is a new team record for Grinnell and is the team’s first automatic qualifier in more than 20 years. Lugg’s time is much faster than her high school best of 1:05.74.
The only A time in the 2IM has been posted by Brooke Woodward (Emory) at 2:05.26 – nearly two body lengths better than her previous best time of 2:08.31!
And the eighth A-cut first year swimmer is also Emory’s third (!) entry on this list – Laura Manor who currently sits third on the top times list with a 4:26.33 in the 4IM.
In addition to these automatic qualifying times there are numerous very solid B times that have been posted by first year swimmers – this year is off to a fast start.
Openwater brings with him countless years of sitting in the stands, learning the sport through his children and officiating. His interests these days lie primarily with the D3 Women, so he will post on this topic as often as he is available. We look forward to this perspective, as well as the light it shines upon the deserved women of the sport.