LANCASTER, Pa. - The Centennial Conference swimming championships got underway at Franklin & Marshall earlier Friday with the preliminaries in three events. It was a highly successful opening day for Bryn Mawr, who had 13 swimmers in action in the morning.
Lillian Oyen-Ustad seems to love the added challenge of going up against the top swimmers in the league at championships, and this year's meet started no different. The Owls sophomore swam a 24.98 in the 50 freestyle preliminary, good enough to qualify her for the B Final in tonight's action. It was the 12th-fastest time of the preliminary round, and Oyen-Ustad will look to improve upon that effort, and perhaps even pick up a new school record, when she gets back in action tonight.
Another Owl who threw down an impressive performance was freshman Becca Adlai-Gail. Making her debut at the Centennial Conference Championships, Adlai-Gail swam a 5:25.95 in the 500 freestyle. That was a new personal record for the New Jersey native, who also shaved almost ten seconds off of her previous best this season. Allegra Armstrong was also in action in the event, with similarly successful results. The senior posted a time of 5:30.75, a collegiate best and 17 seconds faster than her previous best of 2016-17.
In the 200 IM, both Ariane Marchis-Mouren and Zosia Haney posted significant drops from their previous fastest-times of this season. Marchis-Mouren swam a 2:32.26 in the event, knocking over two seconds off her previous season-best. Haney made an even larger improvement, swimming a 2:48.48 that was her best of this season by over five seconds. Freshman Varuna Jasodanand was also in action in the event, taking 25th with a time of 2:18.28. Despite missing out on bettering her time, Jasodanand will surely have plenty more chances to make a splash, including in tomorrow's 100 breaststroke, where she is already the Bryn Mawr record-holder.
The 50 freestyle saw numerous other Owls get their feet wet on day one of champs. Ryan Griffin saw her first action in the event, posting a 26.70 to fly past her previous best of this year. Also setting new season-best times in the event were Kimberly Akins (27.81), Samantha Forestier (28.01), Sophia Goldstein (28.69), Charlotte Xu (32.29), and Emma Hoffman (32.35). Akins' time was also a personal record.
The Owls will be back in action in the evening event tonight. Oyen-Ustad will go for a strong finish to the day in the 50 free B final, and Bryn Mawr will also look for fast times in the 200 free and 400 medley relays. Be sure to check back on those results!
In the evening session, Bryn Mawr opened up with the 200 freestyle relay. The "A" squad of Oyen-Ustad, Marchis-Mouren, Jasodanand, and Griffin combined to post a solid time of 1:45.51. That was just seconds shy of the current school record in the event, but it was the fastest time of the season for Bryn Mawr by almost a full second. In the same event, the Owls' "B" squad of Shanzeh Shunaid, Goldstein, Hoffman, and Akins swam a combined time of 1:58.49.
Coming off of that relay just minutes earlier, Oyen-Ustad had to get right back in the water a couple events later for the finals of the 50 freestyle. After posting the 12th-fastest time in prelims, the sophomore couldn't quite top that effort this evening. However, her time of 25.19 was still a very solid effort, and it gave her 13th in the event and earned Bryn Mawr four more points towards the team scoring.
The Owls closed out the day by taking seventh place in the 400 medley relay "A" final. With that same quartet of Oyen-Ustad, Jasodanand, Marchis-Mouren, and Griffin swimming, Bryn Mawr shattered their previous best this season by swimming a 4:16.92. In the "B" final, it was Forestier, Armstrong, Adlai-Gail, and Akins who took seventh in that race as well, swimming a time of 4:41.23.
Bryn Mawr will be right back in action tomorrow for a very busy day two of the Centennial Conference Championships. Day two will include the 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and 100 backstroke, as well as the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays. Session three begins at 10:00 AM on Saturday.