University of West Florida Maintains Lead at Midway Point of NSISC Championships
University of West Florida starts to show depth on second day of championship
By Brian Henry
CLEVELAND, Miss. – The University of West Florida women’s swimming & diving team collected four top-3 finishes and saw its depth come through in a number of races to maintain its lead after the second day of competition in the New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference Championships at the DSU Aquatics Center Thursday.
UWF continues to lead the 9-team field with 855 points. Delta State cut into the Wednesday’s 100-point lead slightly and is in second place with 771 points, followed by St. Cloud State at 630, Minnesota State, Mankato with 595 and Minnesota State, Morehead with 418.
“We had some girls step up and do a wonderful job,” UWF head coach Andrew Hancock said. “We had some disappointing swims in the morning, but they are being resilient and not taking swims with them from swim to swim. They just keep getting it done and that’s a sign of a mature team.”
Sophomore Madeline Pitt opened the individual races with a bronze in the 400 Individual Medley. She collected her second medal of the championships with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 4:25.49.
Sophomore Amelia Strom posted a strong morning swim to get into the championship finals of the 400, where she was eight in the field. Senior Paulina Szydlo (9th) and junior Allison Lehr (16th) also scored for the Argonauts in the consolation final.
Junior transfer Theresa Michalak and senior Peggy de Villiers outpaced the field in the 100 Butterfly, posting two of the three fastest swims in UWF history and two of the nine fastest nationally this year. Michalak’s 53.72 in the finals set the UWF, NSISC and DSU pool marks, while reaching the A cut level with a lifetime best swim in the 100. De Villiers’ time of 55.22 was also a top-10 time this year, ranking ninth currently.
The depth showed in the two consolation finals as junior Karissa Kostecki was 12th, sophomore Nicole Machado was 13th and freshman Pia Hulley was 18th.
In the 200 Free, junior Rebecca Halfast won silver with a personal best time of 1:52.05 to [ut her in consideration for the NCAAs with a B cut. Sophomore Danica Burnett won the consolation final with a B cut of her own at 1:53.30.
Sophomore Sophia Oliva, freshman Lauren Harper, sophomore Angelina Gallastegui and junior Mariana de Paula were also point scorers for UWF in the 200 Free.
UWF got a pair of B cut times in the 400 Medley Relay to end the night, with fifth and 10th place finishes from it’s a and B relay units.
The meet continues Friday with the 500 Free, 100 Backstroke, 100 Breaststroke, 200 Fly, 1-Meter Diving and 800 Free Relay. Preliminaries will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the finals at 5:00 p.m.
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