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Swimmers Finish Third at ODAC Championships; Smith Named Coach of the Year

Swimmers Finish Third at ODAC Championships; Smith Named Coach of the Year

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Head Coach Fran Smith was named the conference Coach of the Year as she helped lead the Bridgewater Eagles swim team to its highest finish in program history on Sunday as the Eagles took home a third-place finish at the 2013 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Swimming Championships.

The honor for Smith is the first of her career after she led Bridgewater to a third-place finish. Bridgewater wrapped up the weekend with 412 total points to edge Emory & Henry by four points. Washington and Lee hoisted the conference title with 1,000 points while Randolph-Macon finished in the runner-up spot with 515.

In the morning session, junior Michelle Caron set a new school record in the 1,650 yard freestyle with her ninth place finish. Caron finished in a time of 19:15.87

Freshman Macey Smith got the evening started with a record-setting effort in the 200 yard backstroke. Smith touched the pad in a time of 2:17.58 to finish in ninth place. Caron also picked up key points in the event with a 14th-place effort. Caron finished in a time of 2:25.61.

Bridgewater went 5-6 in the 100 yard freestyle as three swimmers placed in the top 16 in the event. Junior Carrie Crowther finished in fifth place in a time of 54.42 seconds to edge out sophomore teammate Annalee Gallagher who touched in a time of 54.49 seconds to finish close behind in sixth. Crowther's performance was good enough to take down the school record in the event. Freshman Allie Stewart finished in 10th with a 56.23 second performance.

In the 200 yard breaststroke, the Eagles yet again had three finishers pick up critical points. Freshman Emily Townsend led the way with a ninth place finish in a time of 2:35.86, setting a new school standard in the process. Senior Jeni Zeiler touched in a time of 2:39.21, good enough for 11th while Jessica Thomas placed 15th with a time of 2:49.08.

Sophomore Shannon Myers was Bridgewater's lone placewinner in the 200 yard butterfly. Myers finished in eighth place with a time of 2:20.09 to set a new school record.

In the weekend's final event, the Eagles went into the 400 yard freestyle relay knowing that they had to place higher than Emory & Henry to secure the highest conference championship finish in program history.

After the opening leg, the Eagles trailed Emory & Henry by a mere second which is how the Wasps' lead would stay through the midway point. Myers gained significant ground in the third leg as the Eagles were less than half a second behind Emory & Henry with 100 yards to go. Crowther followed Myers' leg with a blistering performance as Bridgewater took home the runner-up spot in the event in a school record-setting time of 3:40.36.

The meet wraps up the season for the Eagles.