Fifteen Connecticut College Camels Qualify for the 2017 NCAA Championship

Fifteen Connecticut College Camels Qualify for the 2017 NCAA Championship

NEW LONDON, Conn.-- The NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Committee announced the participants for the 2017 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving championships and 15 Connecticut College swimmers have earned invitations.

The championships will be held March 15-18 at the Conroe ISD Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas.  The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and the City of Shenandoah will serve as hosts.  A total of 527 participants (479 swimmers and 48 divers) will compete in the championships.

Student-athletes qualified for the swimming portion of the championships by meeting the established minimum time for the events in which they entered

Last year, the Connecticut College women Camel Women Place 15th at the NCAA Championship, setting a program record with a score of 74 points.

The men scored 52 points to finish 20th in the country. This was the highest finish for the Camel women since the team finished 14th in 2011 with 69 points. The men continued their reign of dominance and have cracked the top 25 for six straight years.

The Camels have won two individual NCAA Crowns: Kate Kovenock '05 of Orono, Maine won the 50 yard freestyle in 2004.  In 2014, Sam Gill '14 of Springfield, Ill. posted a victory in the 100 yard backstroke as he shared the title with Ross Spock of Emory University.

All four classes are represented for the women at this year's championship, including four first-year swimmers.  Senior Anna Peterson (Winnetka, Ill.), Valerie Urban (Lancaster, Pa.), Juliette Lee (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), Maeve Wilber (New Marlborough, Mass.), Olivia Haskell (Norwalk, Conn.), Danielle Fergus (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.), Mary Erb (Readville, Maine), Lily Gribbel (Pleasanton, Calif.), Katie Hammond (Sea Girt, N.J.), and Julia Klier (Cohasset, Mass.).

All four classes are represented for the women, including four freshmen.  With 10 women headed to nationals, Connecticut College will have the seventh largest number of qualifiers in the country competing in the Lone Star State. Only Williams, MIT, Denison, Kenyon, Emory, and NYU had more women invited than us this year.

Mary Erb has had an immediate impact on the team's success in a memorable rookie season in Lott Natatorium. Erb is seeded #11 in the 200 yard breaststroke and drew the #12 seed in the 100 yard breast. A senior All-American for the Camels, Valerie Urban posted the 14th fastest time in the 1,650 yard free and is seeded 16th in the 500 yard freestyle.

Four of a possible five relay teams qualified for nationals. Camel fans will want to keep a close watch on the third seeded 200 yard freestyle relay team comprised of Klier, Haskell, Lee and Gribbel.  The Camel quartet made up of Wilber, Erb, Gribbel and Haskell are seeded fifth in the 200 yard medley relay.

Five Connecticut College men's swimmers have qualified for nationals. The NESCAC Championship 200 yard freestyle relay team comprised of junior All-American George Tilneac (New York, N.Y.), Drake Freiberg (Glastonbury, Conn.), senior All-American Mike Fothergill (Medford, Mass.) and Niko Brosnihan (Troy, N.Y.) tied The College of New Jersey with the third fastest time in the country at 1:21.35 and are a talented quartet to keep a close eye on. 

In the 400 yard individual medley, junior All-American AJ Pite (Orange, Conn.) is seeded 10th for the Camels. Tilneac is seeded #11 in the 100 yard butterfly while Fothergill is seeded 12th in the 50 yard free and 13th in the 100 yard backstroke.

The Camels will be setting a program record when they make their visit to  the Lone Star State next month with the most qualifiers between the men's and the women's teams in program history. 

Camelathletics.com is your official home for the 2017 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship. We'll have nightly wrap ups and live links to video and results for all four nights of action.