GETTYSBURG, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr swim team kicked off the 2019 Centennial Conference Championships with a bang on Thursday night in Gettysburg, as the Owls started off the four-day meet with a brand new school record in the very first event. Bryn Mawr's 200 medley relay team knocked off the previous program best, set in the conference championships one year ago.
Tonight's proceedings got off to a terrific start for Bryn Mawr, as Varuna Jasodanand, Hannah Soisson, Maya Schneider, and Lillian Oyen-Ustad took the pool in the 200 medley relay. Starting off with a strong backstroke leg, Jasodanand kept things close with McDaniel and Washington College in the opening leg. Soisson took the reins next in the breaststroke, and she did a fabulous job of reigning in both of those opponents, passing Washington College and getting within .19 of a second of McDaniel before handing things off to Schneider. The first-year showed no signs of trepidation in her first collegiate championship meet, as Schneider threw down a blazing 26.42 in the butterfly leg to get the Owls in front of the Green Terror as well.
All of that hard work set the stage for Oyen-Ustad, who is competing in her final championships as an Owl. The senior knew exactly what to do, pacing herself perfectly throughout her freestyle leg. The race came down to a last-second charge to the wall, as both Washington College and McDaniel had closed the gap in the middle of the final leg. However, Oyen-Ustad put together a tremendous finish, outtouching Washington College's swimmer by two tenths of a second to help Bryn Mawr claim first place. Not only that, but the finishing time of 1:53.01 absolutely smashed the program record Bryn Mawr set last year at championships in the event by almost eight tenths of a second! Finally, the finish gave the Owls an important leg up on their closest competitors in the meet, as Bryn Mawr picked up 26 points with their sixth place finish, the best for the Owls in this event since 2010.
Bryn Mawr also saw a very solid performance in the "B" final of the event, as Anna Danesh, Maggie Hernan, Lucy Bruemmer, and Lauren Birmingham combined to finish in a time of 2:00.16 and get the Owls four more team points.
The Owls got put together another very strong effort in the only other event of the night, the 800 freestyle relay. Bryn Mawr's "A" team of Oyen-Ustad, Schneider, Madelyn Schwimmer, and Becca Adlai-Gail combined to take eighth place in the event, finishing in a time of 8:16.13, which is less than four seconds off of the program record. Bryn Mawr's "B" team also collected points, as Bruemmer, Danesh, Birmingham, and Faith Meacham combined to finish in 8:47.12.
After day one, thanks to their strong performance in the opening medley relay, Bryn Mawr holds an eight-point advantage over McDaniel in the team standings. All of the programs will be back in the water tomorrow morning at ten for prelims of day two of the Centennial Conference Championship.