SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 2, 2006 - Eight Springfield College swimmers and two SC divers have qualified this season to move on and compete at the NCAA Division III National Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota from March 9-11. This marks the largest squad that Coach John Taffe (17 seasons) and Pete Avdoulos (21 seasons) have ever had qualify to compete at the national level.
Senior distance swimmer Sarah Strout (Boothbay, Maine) will lead the Pride as she is ranked fourth nationally in the mile (1,650 free). She posted an automatic national cut time of 17:18.62 at the NEWMAC championships last week at MIT.
Senior swimmers Alicia Hart (West Hartford, Conn.), Emily Phillips (North Windham, Conn.), and diver Naomi Shencavitz (Oneonta, N.Y.) will compete at the nationals for the first time in their respective collegiate careers.
Hart and Phillips, along with juniors Julianne McCormick (East Walpole, Mass.) and Meaghan O’Hara (Bedford, N.H.) will compete in the relay events at the NCAA’s. For McCormick and O’Hara, it is their first time competing at nationals as well. Freshmen Moira Price (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) and Kristen Schadow (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) will compete in relays and individual events. Price qualified in the 50 free and the 200 breaststroke, as she will also swim the 100 breast. Schadow’s events are the 200 butterfly, and the 200 and 400 individual medleys.
In addition to the relays, Strout and sophomore Emily Sheahan (Erin, N.Y.) will compete in the individual distance events (1,650, 500 free). Strout will also compete in the 200 free.
SC is one of two schools in the country to have more than one diver selected to compete at the nationals this year. The national diving selection committee has chosen Naomi Shencavitz and freshman Erin White (Glastonbury, Conn.) to compete in the one- and three-meter diving events. The only other school with two divers is Lake Forest in Chicago, Ill.
Approximately 100 teams across the country submitted qualifying entries for this season's NCAA Championships. About 60 schools are represented at the meet each year. The Pride’s last top-10 finish was in 1999 for the women, and in 2005, the SC men registered a top-10 team performance in Hope, Michigan, finishing ninth.