Women's Swim & Dive Reaches Podium on Final Day of A-10 Champs
Colonials continue to move up the conference in successful season
WASHINGTON - The George Washington women's swimming and diving team closed the 2017 Atlantic 10 Championships with a silver medal on Saturday evening at the SPIRE Institute.
"I'm so impressed with our women this week," said second-year head coach James Winchester. "It's a deep conference and one that is competitive. Tip of the hat goes to Richmond - they were phenomenal this week and proved why they're a championship program. For us it's going to take a little while to build up to that level, but we're building steam quickly and it's not just coming from freshmen, it's coming from returners as well. Today was another great day."
The Colonials made a significant jump up the conference, taking sixth out of 11 teams with 309 points after placing ninth a year ago. Richmond won the conference title for the seventh-consecutive season with 570 points, followed by Duquesne (498.5), Massachusetts (457), Fordham (432.5) and Davidson (390). GW finished ahead of George Mason (306.5), Saint Louis (194), Rhode Island (192.5), St. Bonaventure (187.5) and La Salle (151.5).
The team of junior Abigail Fusco, freshman Gemma Atherley, senior Selin Ozturk and sophomore Emily Zhang claimed silver in the 400-yard freestyle relay, setting a program record in 3:23.08, to cap a successful Championships.
"Having a member of each class work together to set a program record just shows the parity of talent in our program," said Winchester. "It was a relay we felt pretty strong about, and I'm so proud and happy for those girls to finish up the season on a high."
Rookie Jackie Torrez closed her first A-10 Championships in stellar fashion, setting a program record in the 200 butterfly to place fourth in 2:01.23. Torrez had previously set a GW record in the 200 breaststroke during preliminary action and then bested her own mark to win the consolation final in 2:17.09 - good for ninth overall.
"Jackie Torrez as a freshman has had a great year, but to swim the 200 fly, 200 breast double is almost unheard of," said Winchester. "To break both school records is a huge accomplishment for her progress."
Zhang swam in her third championship final of the week in the 100 freestyle, where she took sixth in 51.01.
Sophomore Lucy Castro posted a strong day in the 1,650 freestyle, taking eighth in 17:20.57 while Ozturk placed 11th in 17:34.67.
Atherley took second in the 200 backstroke consolation final, good for 10th overall in 2:00.64.
"Moving up to sixth place is an honor," said Winchester. "We're right now in the middle of the conference and with continued hard work, we look forward to continuing to move up the conference."
Sophomore diver Miranda Simon will continue her season at NCAA Zones from Match 6-8 at Virginia Tech.
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