INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Mount Holyoke College student-athlete Cathleen Pruden's journey at the 2014 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships has concluded. The sophomore standout wrapped-up her experience on Saturday, competing in the grueling 1650-freestyle. The event was the third race of her time at Nationals, which also included her first All-America honor.
Pruden (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft School) finished 19th of 31 participants, just three spots shy of Honorable Mention All-America, in today's 1650-free, posting a time of 17:16.25. That time shattered her own school record of 17:22.83, which she set during the NEWMAC Championships in late February.
Additionally, Pruden also eclipsed her own mark in the 1000-free with today's swim, posting a new time of 10:26.79. Her previous mark, also set at NEWMAC's, was 10:33.27.
Overall, Pruden had an outstanding effort at this year's National Championships, becoming the first swimmer in MHC history to finish in the top eight and the second swimmer to earn All-America honors.
Pruden finished fourth in the 400-individual medley on Thursday, coming on strong in the freestyle leg of the event to secure All-America honors with a school record time of 4:22.84. That time eclipsed the record mark she set in the morning prelims, which was 4:24.21. Additionally, her time was also a NEWMAC Open Record, overtaking her own mark of 4:25.03, which she set at this year's NEWMAC Championships.
Pruden joined Katie Herrold '00 as the only other Mount Holyoke College swimmer to garner All-America honors. Herrold represented the Lyons in 1997, earning All-America Honorable Mention in the 1650-freestyle.
On Wednesday, Pruden finished 21st overall in the 200-IM on Wednesday. Though she did not make it to the finals, she recorded a lifetime best mark of 2:06.98.
Pruden secured her position at Nationals after having an outstanding effort at the NEWMAC Championships in February. 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.
Photos of Pruden courtesy of RJB Sports Photography.