Aided by a school-record performance from Frances VanderMeer and a victory by Maya Gomez during day one of the 2018 NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving Championship, Middlebury sits in seventh place among 11 teams competing. The three-day event is being hosted Williams in the Samuelson-Muir Pool. The Ephs lead the way with 687 points, while Amherst (617) and Connecticut College (456.5) round out the top three. The Panthers scored 301 points during Friday's action.
During the second event, Gomez led the field to the wall in the 50 breaststroke with a victorious time of 29.14, besting the runner-up swimmer by .26 seconds. Gomez's win marked the second-straight year which she claimed the event title at the conference meet.
VanderMeer's school record took place in the 50 free, posting a runner-up effort and NCAA 'B' cut mark of 23.51. She erased the previous record of 23.60 set by Emily McDonald in 2009. In the consolation final of the same event, Stephanie Andrews was second with a time of 24.14.
In the evening's first event, the 200-free relay team of VanderMeer, Gomez, Erin Kelly and Andrews tallied a fifth-place time of 1:34.75, good for an NCAA 'B' cut.
During the final event of the evening, the 400-medley relay team consisting of Sarah McEachern, Gomez, VanderMeer and Andrews stopped the clock with an eighth-place time of 3:52.72.
Other notable performances in the pool came from Sarah Bartholomae and Kristin Karpowicz. Bartholomae was in 11th place during the 50 backstroke (27.54), while Karpowicz finished 12th during the 500 free (5:04.69).
On the diving board, Elissa DeNunzio amassed an NCAA 'B' cut total of 426.30 points during the 1-meter final and finished in fifth place.
The Panthers return for day two of the championship on Saturday. Morning preliminaries are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m., while the finals session will start at 5:50 p.m.