The Anderson University women's swimming and diving team earned third-place for a program-best score of 356.5 points in the three-day Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Championships, which concluded on Saturday in Terre Haute.
"The women continued their pursuit of excellence at this year's championship," Head Coach Tanner Barton said. "Prior to the start of the season, the women collectively agreed that placing in the top three of the HCAC Championships would be one of their main goals. Throughout the season, our program emphasized how we can work together as one team to achieve these goals. This third-place finish was made possible by having all of the ladies persevere and push one another to become they best they could be. Four women established new program records (Tess Maubach, Lillia Mitchell, Lily Hunter and Halle Strege), yet all of the women came together and supported one another like a true family."
Franklin College coasted to first place in the HCAC Championships with 832.5 points. Transylvania University came in second with 405 points, finishing ahead of Anderson (356.5), Hanover College (273), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (232) and Manchester University (90), which rounds out the team standings.
"At the 2019 HCAC Championship, the women scored 320 points. This year, our women scored 356.5 points. The establishment of the diving program and Halle Strege's success added 16 points to our team's overall total, but this still means the female swimmers scored 20.5 additional points at this year's championship. We are continuing to raise the bar and push forward."
During the regular-season, Anderson compiled the winningest season in program history with a 7-3 record.
Anderson's men's and women's team combined for 63 personal records (PRs) and 21 school records in the conference meet.
"This has been a tremendous season for Anderson University Swimming & Diving! Throughout these past three days of racing, our men and women achieved 63 career best times and 25 season best times. Moreover, 21 program records were broken at the HCAC Championship. These record breaking performances epitomize how our program is continuing to move forward and garner conference recognition."
Strege made program history in multiple ways with a 1-meter 11-dive school record score of 402.95 points. The freshman from McCordsville captured the program's first-ever conference title. Strege's score also hit an NCAA Division III 'B' qualifying standard, becoming the first athlete in program history to do so. She garnered all-conference honors with her finish.
"I'm incredibly proud of Halle for becoming the very first Anderson University swimmer or diver to capture an HCAC Championship title. This season marked the first time we sponsored intercollegiate diving here at Anderson. Halle was instrumental in helping to usher in a new wave of AU Swimming & Diving, but now she has officially cemented her place in history. Her drive to succeed and accomplish new dives are second to none. Not only did Halle secure the conference championship, but she achieved her NCAA Regional cut. This is a fantastic accomplishment for Halle and now Anderson University Swimming & Diving will be represented on the national scale. I am incredibly grateful that Halle and our diving coach, Andra Pavich, are continuing to play a vital role as we rewrite program history."
"I am super blessed to be given the opportunity to go to regionals," Strege added. "I honestly had no idea that would be an option to me until a couple weeks ago. Even winning conference, I thought was a stretch. I want to thank everything to my coach, Andra Pavich, and all she has done for me to help me accomplish a goal like winning conference and qualifying for regionals. My original goal was to break 400 points and I also did that at conference. It feels so surreal still. It's all up from here, regionals are two weeks away! I'm also very honored to say that I am the first person in program history to take a winning conference title for Anderson swim and dive. I could not do it without all of the support from my amazing teammates."
Lily Hunter claimed third in the 100-yard freestyle finals, improving her school record with a time of 55.01 seconds. The freshman from Westfield earned all-conference recognition with her finish. Hunter took fourth (55.47) in the 100-freestyle prelims.
Anderson put together an 800 freestyle relay of Claire Leibold, Hunter, Kaitlyn Hopp and Tess Maubach, which locked up second with a time of 8 minutes, 15.75 seconds to lock up all-conference honors. The Ravens edged Transylvania by 0.43 seconds for second.
"One of the most exciting races of the weekend was the Women's 800 Freestyle Relay," Barton commented. "Our A relay secured a second place finish in this event. On the women's side, Franklin dominates the relay performances in the HCAC, so the second-place finish is a coveted position for the other teams. All of the individuals in this relay were instrumental in this record setting performance, but Tess Maubach held off the anchor from Transylvania and secured the second-place finish by less than .5 seconds. This will be a race our team and I will never forget."
Anderson put together a 400-medley relay of Davis, Mitchell, Tess Maubach and Hunter, which claimed third with a school-record time of 4:15.71 to garner all-conference recognition.
Both of Tess Maubach's 200-butterfly times improved her previous school record. The sophomore from Bloomington, Ill. captured fourth (2:21.15) in the 200-butterfly finals and fourth (2:21.78) in the 200-butterfly prelims.
Tori Haessig clocked two 200-butterfly times that bested Emma Maubach's previous school record. The sophomore from Sunman took sixth (2:24.95) in the 200-butterfly prelims and sixth (2:25.64) in the 200-butterfly finals.
Both of Hunter's 50-freestyle time bester her previous school record. Hunter secured fourth (25.05) in the 50-freestyle prelims and fourth (25.19) in the 50-freestyle finals.
Both of Leibold's 400-individual-medley times improved upon her school record. The sophomore from Dayton, Ohio claimed sixth (5:03.31) in the 400-individual-medley finals and sixth (5:06.13) in the 400-individual-medley prelims.
Mitchell broke the 200-individual-medley school record and posted two total times that eclipsed the previous school record. The sophomore from Crawfordsville captured seventh (2:21.05) in the 200-individual-medley finals and seventh (2:23.61) in the 200-individual-medley prelims.
Tess Maubach also contributed two times that bested the previous 200 individual-medley school record. She locked up eighth (2:21.96) in the 200-individual-medley finals and seventh (2:22.57) in the 200-indvidual-medley prelims. In the 100 butterfly, Tess Maubach broke her third school record, topping her previous school record with both of her 100 butterfly times. Tess Maubach claimed eighth (1:02.79) in the 100-butterfly finals and ninth (1:03.33) in the 100-butterfly prelims.
The Ravens put together a 400-freestyle relay of Hunter, Mitchell, Hopp and Leibold, which took fourth with a school-record time of 3:44.37.
In addition to the 'A' relay, Anderson's 'B' relay in the 400 medley also topped the previous school record. The relay of Ashley Daulton, Jess Pulaski, Haessig and Brooke Denouden earned eighth (4:20.71).
Davis, Pulaski, Tess Maubach and Hunter secured fifth in the 200-medley relay with a season-best time of 1:54.94.
Daulton, Parks, Hopp and Emma Maubach claimed ninth (1:46.68) in the 200-freestyle relay.
In the 200-medley relay, Parks, Mitchell, Denouden and Daulton secured ninth (1:59.96).
Davis, Parks, Daulton and Emma Maubach placed 10th (3:53.58) in the 400-freestyle relay.
Pulaski raced to fourth in the 100-breaststroke finals with a PR time of 1:12.74. She captured fourth (1:13.16) in the 100-breaststroke prelims. Pulaski took sixth in the 200-breaststroke finals with a PR time of 2:39.43. She earned sixth (2:42.54) in the 200-breaststroke prelims. Pulaski claimed ninth in the 200-individual-medley finals with a season-best time of 2:24.54. She secured 10th (2:26.55) in the 200-individual-medley prelims.
Hopp raced to fourth in the 1,650 freestyle with a PR time of 19:02.61. She captured fifth (2:03.44) in the 200-freestyle finals and sixth (2:03.70) in the 200-freestyle prelims. Hopp finished ninth (5:29.73) in the 500-freestyle finals and eighth (5:03.40) in the 500-freestyle prelims.
Leibold captured sixth in the 1,650 freestyle with a season-best time of 19:17.91. In the 500-freestyle prelims, Leibold captured ninth with a season-best time of 5:31.69. Leibold claimed 10th (5:32.53) in the 500-freestyle finals.
Davis captured eighth in the 200-backstroke finals with a season-best time of 2:19.48. She took ninth (2:23.21) in the 200-backstroke prelims. Davis earned seventh in the 100-backstroke prelims with a season-best time of 1:02.87. She then secured ninth (1:03.28) in the 100-backstroke finals. Davis tied for ninth in the 50-freestyle finals with a season-best time of 25.93 seconds. She claimed 11th (25.96) in the 50-freestyle prelims.
Denouden claimed eighth in the 1,650 freestyle with a PR time of 19:36.80. She earned ninth in the 200-freestyle finals with a season-best time of 2:05.31. Denouden took ninth (2:06.14) in the 200-freestyle prelims. She secured 11th in the 500-freestyle prelims with a PR time of 5:33.44. Denouden finished 11th (5:36.18) in the 500-freestyle finals. She also clocked a 100-freestyle PR of 58.60 seconds.
Mitchell captured 11th in the 100-breaststroke finals with a season-best time of 1:15.13. She secured seventh (1:15.77) in the 100-breaststroke prelims. Mitchell raced to 10th in the 400-individual-medley finals with a season-best time of 5:17.88. She took ninth (5:19.42) in the 400-individual-medley prelims.
Emalea Tragesser claimed 10th in the 200-breaststroke finals with a PR time of 3:44.71. She earned 10th (3:45.71) in the 200-breaststroke prelims. Tragesser took 11th in the 100-breaststroke prelims with a PR time of 1:44.55. She finished 11th (1:46.11) in the 100-breaststroke finals. Tragesser also posted a season-best time of 35,69 seconds in the 50 freestyle.
Haessig earned 11th in the 200-individual-medley prelims with a PR time of 2:27.51. She secured 11th (2:27.98) in the 200-individual-medley finals. Haessig placed 11th (1:06.17) in the 100-butterfly finals and 12th (1:06.83) in the 100-butterfly prelims.
Emma Maubach captured 10th in the 200-freestyle finals with a season-best time of 2:06.80. She took 12th (2:09.01) in the 200-freestyle prelims. Emma Maubach delivered season-best times in the 100 freestyle (58.92) and the 500 freestyle (5:51.02).
Daulton charged to 11th in the 100-freestyle finals with a season-best time of 58.12 seconds. She placed 12th (58.29) in the 100-freestyle prelims. Daulton produced season-best times in the 50 freestyle (26.33) and the 100 backstroke (1:06.59).
Parks locked up 10th in the 100-freestyle finals with a PR time of 57.82 seconds. She secured 11th (58.14) in the 100-freestyle prelims. Parks clocked a PR time of 1:06.51 in the 100 backstroke.
Erin Aliff totaled four PRs, racing to PRs in the 50 freestyle (30.48), the 100 backstroke (1:14.28), the 1,650 freestyle (22:51.76) and the 100 freestyle (1:05.81).
Heather Krapfl provided a PR time of 3:07.30 in the 200 individual medley. She also put together season-best times in the 100 backstroke (1:18.55) and the 200 backstroke (2:46.56).
"In this sport, we often concern ourselves with final times and places. Our record-breaking performances and top-3 finishes speak volumes, but I am most impressed by how this team conducted itself throughout the championship. Numerous officials approached me on the pool deck and praised our men and women for their encouragement, team spirit and sportsmanship. As the Head Coach, this praise is more valuable the number of records we've broken."
Strege's season continues as she competes in the NCAA Diving Regional on Feb. 28-29 in Granville, Ohio.