The SU Raiders women swimming team completed three days of competition at the Franklin & Marshall Invitational on Sunday with a 6th-place team finish at the Kunkel Aquatic Center.
Shippensburg advanced 12 individuals into finals on Sunday and had 10 performances that satisfied the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying standard. Its most successful event of the day was the 200-yard breaststroke, which featured six Raiders advancing to finals and posting conference cuts.
How it happened
Leading the SU Raiders women in that event was sophomore Alyssa Tomb (Harrison City, Pa./Penn-Trafford. She won the ‘B’ group consolation final with a time of 2:29.13. Tomb trimmed four seconds off her morning prelim time in the final.
Freshman Lauren Croll (Honolulu, Hi./President Theodore Roosevelt) and senior Natalie Wiley (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) also made the ‘B’ final, with Croll placing 11th in 2:32.79 and Wiley just one place and .04 seconds behind.
Freshmen Kristin Gebhard (Reading, Pa./Twin Valley) and Emily Newton (Summit Hill, Pa./Panther Valley) tied for 18th place by posting identical times of 2:32.86, while freshman Gracie Wetzel (Latrobe, Pa./Greater Latrobe) touched the wall in 2:35.08 in the ‘C’ final. Croll, Gebhard, Newton and Wetzel achieved PRs with their performances.
Sophomore Michaela Hersh (Mertztown, Pa./Brandywine Heights), who sits second in school history in the 200-yard butterfly, came within one second of her personal best with a third-place time of 2:10.32 – swimming three seconds faster in the evening final compared to her morning prelim. Sophomore Rachel Johnston (Lexington Park, Md./Leonardtown) and senior Bri Joll (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) swam in the ‘C’ final, with Johnston placing 20th in 2:25.40.
Senior Tomomi Nakano (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) and sophomore Marissa Bittner (Middletown, Del./Appoquinimink) posted comparable times in the finals of the 200-yard backstroke. Nakano, who swam 2:09.64 in prelims, swam 2:11.27 in the finals for a seventh-place finish. Bittner was in the ‘B’ final and swam 2:11.26 for 11th place.
Senior Madison Breiner (Glen Mills, Pa./Bayard Rustin) came close to her PR in the 100-yard freestyle, placing 10th to pace the Raiders in the event with a time of 53.61 seconds. The quartet of Gebhard, Nakano, Croll and Breiner wrapped up the meet with a time of 3:42.37 in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Shippensburg returns to competition after the Thanksgiving break when it heads to Ithaca on December 3-5 for the Bomber Invitational.
9. Alyssa Tomb 2:29.13 (2:33.59p) (PSAC)
11. Lauren Croll 2:32.79 (2:33.45p) (PSAC)
12. Natalie Wiley 2:32.83 (2:34.80p) (PSAC)
T18. Kristin Gebhard 2:32.86 (2:35.51p) (PSAC)
T18. Emily Newton 2:32.86 (2:35.91p) (PSAC)
24. Gracie Wetzel 2:35.08 (2:36.91p) (PSAC)
Marina Cote 2:40.22
Camryn Vila 2:42.42
Gwen Elsey 2:43.81
Eva Tice 2:44.90
Shannan Maher 2:45.87
Lexington Wagner 2:45.98