The Rensselaer women’s swimming & diving team won the Liberty League Championship for the first time in program history. Freshman Kaitlin Joyce was named the conference Rookie of the Year while the RPI staff, led by head coach Shannon O’Brien, was named the staff of the year.
Rensselaer edged the host school, Ithaca, by 50 points in a dramatic finish. Joyce recorded two second-place finishes in the 50 freestyle (24.17) and 200 free (1:54.62) while taking third in the 100 free (52.80). The freshman swam a leg in all four of RPI’s first-place relay teams while breaking the school’s 50 free record. Joining Joyce in Liberty League team honors were the staff of O’Brien, Maria Coomaraswamy-Falkenstein, Rob MacLeod, and Michael Sorrentino.
In addition to Joyce’s third-place finish in the 100 free, seniors Jessica Sauve and Danielle Sauve finished in first (52.12) and second (52.64), respectively, to make it a top-three sweep for Rensselaer. Jessica’s first-place finish set a new league record.
Junior Amanda Wang continued to make Engineers history by breaking her own 200 backstroke record from 2016 with a second-place time of 2:04.48. Also earning a spot on the podium was freshman Emily Mayoras with a sixth-place finish of 2:09.24.
The 400 freestyle relay team of Joyce, Sauve, Sauve, and senior Michaela Yamashita recorded a first-place finish, league record with a time of 3:30.98. The RPI women swept all four relay events over the course of the league meet.
In the 200 breaststroke, senior Erin Kane led Rensselaer with a third-place finish of 2:28.07 while junior Caitlyn Gardiner finished in fourth with a time of 2:28.16.
Rounding out the final day for the Engineers was sophomore Jessica Kugelman, who placed fourth in the three-meter dive with a score of 470.70.
The diving team will prepare to travel to the NCAA Division III Diving Regional at Middlebury College on March 2-3 beginning at 5:30 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. The 2018 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships are set to take place March 21-24 in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the IU Natatorium at IUPUI.