Cathleen Pruden Headed to Swimming Nationals

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Mount Holyoke College student-athlete Cathleen Pruden will represent the swimming team at the NCAA Division III Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving National Championships, which will be hosted by Franklin College at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind. This marks the first appearance in the national meet for Pruden, who becomes the first swimmer invited to Nationals since Katie Herrold '00 during the 1996-97 season.

A sophomore out of Raleigh, N.C., Pruden will participate in the 200-yard IM, the 400-yard IM and the 1650-freestyle events. She enters the competition ranked sixth of 29 qualifiers in the 400-IM with a school and conference-record time of 4:25.03, 24th of 32 in the 1650-free (17:22.83; school record) and 39th of 46 in the 200-IM (2:09.32; school record).

Pruden secured her position at this year's Nationals after having an outstanding effort at the NEWMAC Championships two weekends ago. During that meet, she posted six school records, achieved three NCAA B Cuts and defended her title in the 400-IM event with a meet and conference-record time of 4:25.03. Additionally, she finished no less than seventh in any of the seven events she competed. Among her top performances, included the 400-IM, finishing third in the 500-free, where she eclipsed her own school record with a time of 5:04.29, and third in the 1650-free with another school record.

A dominant force for the Lyons this season, Pruden has recorded 41 first-place finishes, including 34 individual wins. In addition to finishing third or better in 51 of 57 total races, she has placed no less than seventh in any event. A former standout at the Ravencroft School, she has had at least one win in all 12 meets, including 11 with two or more victories.

In her career, Pruden is a three-time NEWMAC and an eight-time Seven Sisters champion. She helped the Lyons finish fifth during her rookie season, while leading the squad to sixth overall at this season's meet. Currently, Pruden holds 13 of Mount Holyoke's 23 school records for swimming. 

The 2014 NCAA Meet begins with the trials of five events, including the 50-free, on Wednesday morning at 10am. The finals will be held on Wednesday night beginning at 6pm. The same format will be held each day until the meet's conclusion on Saturday. Pruden will compete in the 200-IM on Wednesday, the 400-IM on Thursday and the 1650-free on Saturday.

The top eight finishers in the finals of each event earn All-American status. Those who finish between 9th and 16th are Honorable Mention All-Americans.