Ursinus is the prohibitive favorite to win its sixth consecutive title as the 2019 Centennial Conference women's swimming championship begins Thursday at Gettysburg College.
The Bears won last year with a championship-record 929 points but figure to have a tougher road to close in on Gettysburg's record of seven straight titles from 1994-2000.
Four defending individual champions return in Ursinus' Sophie May (50 free), Peyten Lyons (100 and 200 back) and Clara Baker (100 fly), along with Dickinson's Olivia Lyman (500 and 1650 free).
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500 Freestyle (CC record: 4:54.50, Meet record: 4:54.50)
Dickinson's Olivia Lyman (5:13.64 seed time) has the opportunity to become just the second four-time Conference champion in this event but will face stiff challenges from Ursinus freshman Katie Schultz (5:06.34), Gettysburg first-year Megan Wojnar (5:09.57) and Swarthmore's Hannah Kloetzer (5:09.82). Schultz looks to become the first Bear swimmer to win the 500. Franklin & Marshall's Jenna Walters won the event four times from 2004-07.
200 Individual Medley (CC/Meet: 2:05.94)
Ursinus' Peyten Lyons (2:12.07) can become just the third athlete in Centennial history to win this event three times, but comes in as the third-seed to F&M rookie Tara Kupsky (2:10.94) and Swarthmore's Alexa Clark (2:11.39). Gettysburg's Sydney Jaramillo (2:12.67) also looks to contend for a medal. Lyons, who won the event in 2016 and 2017, is the meet record holder at 2:05.94
50 Freestyle (CC: 23.86, Meet: 23.88)
Ursinus' Sophie May (24.06) looks to defend her title as the top seed in the sprint. Teammates Clara Baker (24.33) and Sophie Lear (24.37), along with F&M's Julia Pavlov (24.36), will challenge for the top spot on the podium. Also keep an eye on Gettysburg's Kate Crilly (24.45).
400 Individual Medley (CC: 4:32.57, Meet: 4:32.59)
Kupsky (4:36.34), Clark (4:38.12) and Schultz (4:39.80) will duel again in the longer IM event, while Wojnar (4:36.76) joins the picture as a medal contender.
100 Butterfly (CC: 55.16, Meet: 55.54)
Baker (56.09) is the clear favorite in this event. A three-time CC champion, she looks to join Swarthmore's Supriya Davis (2012-15) is the lone four-time winner. Swarthmore freshman Liz Gallagher (58.38), F&M's Leah Williamson (58.67) and Gettysburg first-year Katie Jenkins (58.84) will look to play spoiler.
200 Freestyle (CC: 1:50.75, Meet: 1:51.48)
May (1:55.74) and Swarthmore first-year Anna Lyn (1:55.97) are the favorites in the 200. Ursinus' Katie Kurzinsky (1:56.32) will also contend, while Washington College's Julia Portmann (1:57.02) is also a threat to medal.
100 Breaststroke (CC: 1:04.68, Meet: 1:04.68)
Gettysburg freshman Katie Cooper (1:05.84) will duel Lear (1:06.09) and Swat's Liz Staton (1:06.54) for gold. No Bear has ever won the 100. The Garnet's Sophia Lee (1:07.50) is also a threat to medal.
100 Backstroke (CC: 56.30, Meet: 56.47)
Lyons (58.21) looks to become the third four-time champion in the 100 but will have to hold off a challenge from teammate May (58.66). Dickinson's Katie Schmidt (59.29) and Swarthmore's Stephanie Tilneac (59.96) are the other swimmers that have broken 60 seconds this season.
1650 Freestyle (CC/Meet: 16:43.06)
Schultz (10:23.08) is poised to become Ursinus' first-ever 1650 champ. She registered a 17:10 during the season which tops three of the last four championship-winning times. Lyman (10:40.83) hopes to become the third three-time champion in the event, while Gettysburg's Katherine Sears (10:43.60) and Swat's Kloetzer (10:48.17) also hope to make the medal stand.
200 Backstroke (CC: 2:00.85, Meet: 2:02.18)
A pair of champions are in the event - Schmidt (2:04.61) and Lyons (2:08.76) - but will face challenges from May (2:05.36) and Wojnar (2:06.91).
100 Freestyle (CC: 51.84, Meet: 51.90)
Lear (51.84) set the Conference record earlier in the season and is the prohibitive favorite. Crilly (53.39), Pavlov (53.56) and Lyn (53.67) will also contend as well as Gettysburg's Lindsay Hayden (53.72).
200 Breaststroke (CC/Meet: 2:21.71)
Cooper (2:23.44) has the season's best time by nearly three seconds over 2017 champ Staton (2:26.40). Lee (2:27.75) and Ursinus' Haley Sturla (2:27.64) are also contenders for medals.
200 Butterfly (CC: 2:01.63, Meet: 2:03.12)
Baker (2:06.05) is the favorite in the long fly while Jenkins (2:08.45) is the other swimmer to break 2:10 this season. Kupsky, teammate Amelia Bothwell (2:12.51) and Gallagher (2:12.58) will vie for a spot on the podium.