Led by 16th-year head coach Dave Allen, the Mount Holyoke swimming & diving team had an outstanding run in 2013-14. The Lyons posted a dual meet record of 6-4, finished second at Seven Sisters and were sixth at the NEWMAC Championships.
MHC, which posted victories over the University of Saint Joseph, Westfield State, Western Connecticut State, Clark University, Simmons College and Smith College, repeated as the runner-up at the Seven Sisters Championships, held this year at Vassar College.
The Lyons were paced by sophomore Cathleen Pruden, who claimed first in the 200-IM, 400-IM, 500-free and the 1650-free – setting meet records in all four events. She also recorded school records in two events and an NCAA 'B' Cut in the 400-IM. For her efforts, Pruden was named to the All-Tournament Team.
MHC headed into the NEWMAC Championship in fine form following a 166-133 victory over Smith to close out the dual meet schedule. Pruden once again stole the show at NEWMAC's, defending her title in the 400-IM with a meet and open record time of 4:25.03.
As a team, the Lyons finished sixth overall, backed by a number of strong performances, including junior Maya Lazarovich, who finished ninth in both the 100-breast (1:08.35) and the 200-breast (2:28.37) – achieving school records in both events.
Both Pruden and Lazarovich were members of various record-breaking relays as well, including the 400-medley, which finished sixth with a time of 4:01.50. Sophomore Bethany Aban and senior Lauren Williams completed the relay team.
While the team's season came to a close following NEWMAC's, Pruden's season continued on. Powered by her finish in the 400-IM, she earned a sixth-place ranking in the nation to become the first MHC swimmer to attend the NCAA Championships since 1997.
Competing in three events at Nationals, Pruden opened with a 21st-place finish in the 200-IM, recording a lifetime best time of 2:09.32. She then tackled her signature event, the 400-IM, the following day. During the morning prelims, Pruden qualified for the event finals with a lifetime-best 4:24.21, eclipsing her NEWMAC time by nearly a full second.
Pruden stepped onto the block for the finals later that evening and made history, finishing fourth overall with a time of 4:22.84. She garnered the first National All-America for a Lyons swimmer since 1997, when Katie Herrold '00 earned Honorable Mention All-America in the 1650-free. Additionally, Pruden became the first swimmer in program history to finish in the top-eight at Nationals.
The season concluded for Pruden a day later as she closed out her first trip to Nationals with a 19th-place finish in the 1650-free, posting another school record time of 17:16.25. All told, Pruden notched 10 school records during the season, including several in the same events.
Academically, five student-athletes were named to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team, while the squad garnered CSCAA Scholar All-American honors. Pruden also became just the seventh student-athlete in Mount Holyoke history to be named a Capital One Academic All-American. She was named to the Third Team and is the first selection for the Lyons since Sarah Pillard (3rd Team) and Langhan Dee (2nd Team) were chosen in 2004.
• Finished second at the Seven Sisters Championships
• Individuals claimed titles at the Championship
– 200-IM, 400-IM, 500-free, 1650-free (Cathleen Pruden '16)
• Seven Sisters All-Tournament Team – Cathleen Pruden '16
• Seven Sisters Records – broken in 2013 (400-IM, 1650-Free, 200-IM & 500-Free)
• Sixth overall at NEWMAC Championships
• NEWMAC All-Conference – Cathleen Pruden '16 – Champion (400-IM)
• Cathleen Pruden '16 – Won 41 races and re-set 10 school records
• 2x NEWMAC Swimmer of the Week (11/11, 1/21) – Cathleen Pruden '16
• 2014 Capital One Academic All-District 1 First Team – Cathleen Pruden '16
• 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Third Team – Cathleen Pruden '16