CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - For the second time in as many years, Mount Holyoke College swimmer Cathleen Pruden was named the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Swimmer of the Year. In addition to her outstanding efforts, the Lyons saw a number of solid finishes at the four-day championship meet, which saw MHC finish ninth overall.
Pruden (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft School) was a two-time champion, adding a third-place finish in her individual efforts on the weekend. During Sunday's action, she recorded an NCAA B cut time of 17:15.78 to finish third overall in the 1650-yard freestyle.
The senior captain also repeated as the 200-yard individual medley champion on Friday with a school record and NCAA B cut time of 2:04.40. She went on to capture her fourth straight NEWMAC title in the 400-IM on Saturday, re-setting her own conference, meet and school record time with an NCAA B cut time of 4:21.77. That time also moved her into the top three in Division III.
MHC also saw junior Anne Kuenning (Bow, N.H./Bow) place 10th overall in the championship final of the 200-yard backstroke. She recorded a time of 2:11.78 in the event.
Other solid finishes for the Lyons included senior captain Sarah Crocker (Sacramento, Calif./C.K. McClatchy), who was 20th in the 200-yard breaststroke consolation finals with a time of 2:35.98. Classmate Erica Carvell (Chicago, Ill./Metea Valley) also had a strong finish in the 200-yard butterfly, placing 20th in the consolation finals with a time of 2:24.83.
In the final event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Lyons 'A' foursome of junior captain Emily Craig (Rochester, N.Y./Gates-Chili Senior), junior Katie Tyler (Hadley, Mass./Hopkins Academy), Pruden and Kuenning posted a time of 3:39.33. That mark was good for eighth overall in the championship round.
Mount Holyoke now waits for the official selections to this year's NCAA Tournament, of which Pruden is expected to participate. This year's Nationals will be held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C., beginning March 16-19. Stay tuned for more details early next week.
Cover photo (l to r): John Sutyak, Wheaton Athletic Director & NEWMAC President, Julie Soriero, MIT Athletics Director, senior captain Cathleen Pruden and Lori Hendricks, Mount Holyoke Athletics Director. Courtesy of Max Berkowitz, MIT Athletics Communications.