INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A record six members of the Ursinus College women's swimming team – including three first-time qualifiers – are set to compete in the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis later this month.
Seniors Sydney Gundersen, Meggie Leitz, and Olivia Tierney will cap their careers on Division III's grandest stage at the IUPUI Natatorium from March 21-25. The Bears' veteran trio will be joined by juniors Clara Baker and Peyten Lyons and freshman Sophie May in the largest contingent the squad has ever sent to the national championship meet.
The six qualifiers are double the previous program standard of three, set last year as Baker, Lyons, and Leitz all made it to Texas. This year, the Bears are making history by sending their first relay teams to the national meet.
Ursinus had never qualified a relay unit before, but two made the cut in 2018. The 800 free relay – consisting of Gundersen, Leitz, Lyons, and May – is seeded 11th in the unofficial psych sheet, while Baker, Gundersen, Lyons, and Tierney are seeded 15th in the 400 medley relay.
While those relays met the qualifying standards, the Bears will likely swim in all five relays.
Baker is Ursinus' highest-seeded individual qualifier, pegged 8th in the 100 fly with a time of 55.65. The junior is already one of the program's most decorated swimmers, having earned four All-America certificates in her first two seasons. Baker, who placed 10th in the 100 fly and 12th in the 200 fly last year, is seeded 32nd in the 200 fly and 44th in the 50 free.
A year ago, Leitz became the first swimmer in school history to earn a national medal after finishing third in the 200 fly. She is seeded 15thin the event this time around. Leitz sits 26th in the 100 fly and 40th in the 200 back, where she placed 34th at last year's meet.
A three-time NCAA qualifier, Lyons will challenge for her first All-America honors in both backstroke races. She is seeded 19th in the 100 back (56.30) and 20th in the 200 back (2:02.68), also ranking 29th in the 200 IM (2:06.79).
Gundersen is an NCAA participant for the first time after a sensational weekend in which she took home Most Outstanding Performer honors with seven gold medals at the Centennial Conference championship. She is seeded 28th in the 200 IM (2:06.60) and 31st in the 200 free (1:52.49).
Tierney will compete in her first national championship meet after posting a B cut in the 200 breast, where she comes in as the 30th seed (2:22.68).
INDIANAPOLIS—Freshman Hannah Kloetzer secured a spot in the NCAA Division III National Championship in March 21-24 and will be competing in the 200, 500 and 1,650 freestyle races.
Kloetzer earned her NCAA D3 B cut time in the 1,650 free when she won the silver medal at the Centennial Conference Championship in a time of 17:18.8.
At the conference meet, she posted her personal best times in the 200 free (1:55.36) and in the 500 free (5:02.44).
She is the first female swimmer from Swarthmore to compete at nationals since Supriya Davis '15 did so in the 2011-12 season.
200 Medley Relay (W): Ursinus (15th, 1:44.98 trials - Centennial record) - qualified for B final
Ursinus finished 13th overall, setting a Centennial record of 1:44.33 in B final (Lyons, Tierney, Baker, May)
100 Butterfly (W): Baker (9th, 55.77) - qualified for B final; Leitz (31st, 57.34)
Ursinus finished 16th overall in 3:51.51.