Aided by a victory from Frances VanderMeer during day one of the 2019 NESCAC Women's Swimming & Diving Championship, Middlebury sits in eighth place among 11 teams competing. The championship meet is being held in the Wesleyan University Natatorium. Williams leads the way with 781 points, while Tufts (641) and Amherst (590) round out the top three. The Panthers have 359 points following Friday's action.
VanderMeer led the field to the wall in the 50-yard freestyle with a victorious time of 23.55, besting the runner-up swimmer by .04 seconds. She picks up her second-straight top-two effort in the event, swimming to the runner-up spot last winter. Her winning time is an NCAA 'B' cut mark. A few events earlier, VanderMeer garnered All-NESCAC honors with a third-place finish in the 50-yard backstroke, missing the school record in the event by .01 seconds. She also finished third in the event during the 2017 championship meet.
During the final swim of the evening, the 400-medley relay team consisting of VanderMeer, Kelly, McKean and Hsi stopped the clock with an eighth-place time of 3:57.83.
Other notable performances in the pool came from Karpowicz and Hannah Wander. Karpowicz was seventh in the 500 free (5:01.47), while Wander finished 10th in the 50 breaststroke (30.82).
On the diving boards, Olivia Rieur just missed the evening's final in the 1-meter competition. She dove to ninth place in the event with 342.70 points.
The Panthers return for the second full day 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.