Women’s swim & dive take 2nd at NEWMAC

Kokensparger Rookie of the Year

Last weekend, the MIT women’s swimming and diving team traveled to Wellesley College for the NEWMAC Women’s Swimming Championship. After three days of intense competition, the Pride of Springfield College (839 points) emerged in first place, capturing their tenth consecutive title, while the Engineers (694) were runners-up for the eleventh straight year. Wheaton (566), Coast Guard (449) and Clark (382) rounded out the top five teams.

On Friday, MIT’s Anna S. Kokensparger ’13 quickly became the story of the weekend. In her first individual event, the freshman won the 200 IM with a NEWMAC-record swim (2:04.90), finishing over 4.5 seconds ahead of runner-up and previous record-holder, Dania Piscetta of Wheaton.

Amy E. Jacobi ’11 also had a outstanding day for the Engineers. The sprinter won both the preliminaries (24.10) and finals (24.11) of the 50 free by a margin of over four tenths, notching First-Team All-Conference honors.

Kokensparger returned Saturday and posted another victory in the 100 fly (55.66). Once again, her swim set a Championship Meet record as she edged out two-time event winner and teammate Jacobi. In her final individual event, Kokensparger won her third title in the 200 fly (2:04.10), shattering the conference record (Jennifer A. Chao ’09) by well over four seconds. All three of her individual performances were also NCAA A-cut times, qualifying her for next month’s National Championship. At the conclusion of the meet, Kokensparger was named 2010 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year.

Also on Sunday, Jacobi (53.02) out-reached Coast Guard’s Heidi Gayman (53.03) to capture her second individual win by the narrowest of margins. Both of her winning times met NCAA B-cut standards.

Sydney A. Giblin ’12 garnered an additional All-Conference nod for the Engineers, as her second-place swim in the 200 free (1:53.86) was good for an NCAA B-cut and Second-Team honors.

In the relays, Jacobi and Kokensparger led the MIT contingent to an additional two NEWMAC and three Institute records. With Giblin and Elina L. Hu ’13, the team swam the 800 free relay in a blistering 7:38.45, beating the conference record set by the Engineers in 2004. The same quartet captured the crown of the 400 free relay (3:30.56), this time breaking last year’s NEWMAC record and an Institute team record from 2003. Jacobi, Hu and Kokensparger teamed up with Nicole J. Wang ’13 to break the MIT record in a 200 free relay time trial (1:35.59).

The Cardinal and Gray’s other championship win came in the 400 medley relay. Sarah A. Scodel ’13 and Lauren D. Lo ’13 swam with Kokensparger and Jacobi in an NCAA B-cut time of 3:59.07 to add another 40 points to the Engineers’ score.

Up next, the MIT men hit the pool next weekend for the 2010 Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships hosted by Wheaton College. Then, March 18-21, both teams travel to the University of Minnesota for the 2010 NCAA Division III Championship.