The College of Wooster women's swimming and diving team's 400 medley relay earned All-North Coast Athletic Conference honors for the first time since 2010 to headline Thursday's action at the NCAC Championships contested at Denison University's Trumbull Aquatics Center in Granville, Ohio.
Sophomore Kate Murphy jump-started the all-conference relay, which lowered the school record set earlier in the day to 3:53.34, with a 58.85 in the backstroke leg. Murphy's efforts landed the sophomore sixth on the program's all-time top-10 performers list, while first-year Molly Likins, senior Kalla Sturonas, and senior Emma Fikse comfortably held off the fourth-through-ninth-place finishers to secure the all-conference spot. In fact, Wooster's 3:53.34 was over four ticks faster than DePauw University's fourth-place time of 3:57.61.
Earlier in the day, the same quartet snuck in at 3:55.32 in prelims, with that time just edging out the 3:55.54 turned in by the Scots in 2012 that stood as the school record for seven years.
In the day's first relay, it was DePauw which edged out Wooster for the final all-conference spot. Fikse, Likins, sophomore Brooke Brown, and Murphy settled for fourth place at 1:37.60 in the 200 freestyle relay, less than two seconds back of the Tigers' 1:35.73.
Fikse's individual swims started with a 5:10.86 in the 500 freestyle, and that was good for a spot in the championship heat for the third straight year. There, the senior hit the wall in ninth-place at 5:12.83.
Wooster had two other swimmers in the consolation final of the 500 freestyle. Junior Nell Kacmarek matched her individual events-best placement at the NCAC Championships with the 11th-place time of 5:10.79, and in doing so, grabbed the No. 8 spot on the program's top-10 fastest times list. Sophomore Kera Sells' 5:25.99 was good for 18th-place.
Senior Allison Clough led a quartet of scorers in the 200 individual medley with the 13th-place time of 2:12.55, while Brown and Likins went one-two in the bonus heat (19th- and 20th-place overall) of the 50 freestyle with times of 24.74 and 24.91, respectively.
Denison leads the way on the women's side with 705 points, with Kenyon College (661), DePauw (371.5), Allegheny College (320.5), and Wooster (301) rounding out the top five.
On the men's side, sophomore transfer Josh Gluck made his presence felt in his first day of competition at the NCAC Championships. Gluck cracked Wooster's top-10 list in the 100 backstroke during the prelims of the 400 medley relay, and his 53.01 in finals – the eighth-best time at Wooster – had the relay off to a strong start. Sophomore Craig Klumpp, junior Trey Schopen, and senior Cameron Gelwicks finished off the quartet and brought home a fourth-place finish at 3:27.33.
Individually, Gelwicks lowered his second school record in as many days during the prelims of the 500 freestyle. The senior hit the wall at 4:34.98 before settling for a sixth-place finish at 4:36.75 in the championship heat.
Campbell was one of two other Scots to score in the 500 freestyle. He captured the consolation final at 4:41.24.
First-year Eric Jacques accounted for the Scots' top individual finish of the day in the diving well. The rookie's 360.2 points marked the fifth-most on the one-meter board.
In other action, Gluck led a quartet of Wooster scorers in the 200 individual medley at 1:57.05, which was good for 18th-place and is the fifth-fastest clip in the program annals. Poeting was the top man in the 50 freestyle with a 24th-place time of 21.88, coincidentally, the same exact time turned in during prelims.
Denison has already opened up a sizable lead on the 10-team field with 714 points. Kenyon (559), Wabash College (341), DePauw (339), and Ohio Wesleyan University (292) round out the top five, with Wooster lurking right behind with 282 points.
Friday's prelims start at 9:30 a.m. with finals set for 6 p.m.