Swim team places seventh at NCAAs

With only eight swimmers competing at the NCAA Championship, the women’s team placed seventh out of 56 teams


Ali MacQueen, ’20, takes a breath as she races to beat her competition. Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

Kathryn Young

The Washington and Lee women’s swim team made history as they placed seventh at the NCAA Division III Championships in Shenandoah, Texas. The team tallied 140 points to achieve seventh place amongst the 56 teams.

Seventh is the highest place the lady Generals have ever placed, and 140 points is the most ever scored by a W&L women’s swim team at the NCAA Championship.

The Generals took just eight people to the meet, a very small quantity compared to other teams. The small but mighty squad ac- complished a lot during their time in Texas. Emory took the team title with 645.5 points.

Captain Emily Rollo, ‘17, was thrilled with the team’s performance and progress over her time as a General.

“I felt very accomplished and proud after our seventh place finish,” Rollo said. “For the past four years, we have been working towards being a nationally competitive team. I think the seventh place finish proved that we have progressed so much as a team and that we can now compete with some of the best in the country.”

Rollo placed tenth in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:00.25, and was named as an Honorable Mention All-American.

Over the course of the weekend, Elle Chancey, ’19, set a new school record in the 200 free and was part of the 400 free relay that took fifth place at the meet.

Chancey was overjoyed with her improvement in the 200 free over her two seasons as a General.

Elle Chancey, ’19, competes as she cuts her way through the water. Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

“Coming in to school last year, this was probably one of my worst events,” Chancey said. “Last year, and especially this year, I’ve put in a lot of work towards the 200 free and it has paid off. I’ve had a lot of people to look up to in training, and I know that there’s no way I could’ve achieved what I have without them constantly pushing me in practice every day.”

The 400 free relay consisted of Elisabeth Holmes, ’17, Cassidy Fuller, ’18, Ali MacQueen, ‘20, and Chancey. The quartet finished with a school-record time of 3:24.96.

MacQueen was pleasantly surprised with the achievements of the relay at the NCAA meet.

“From the beginning of the season we knew we had something good, like our relays, but I don’t think we ever realized how good they were,” MacQueen said. “Looking at that goal of making NCAAs and trying to achieve it made us want to work harder.”

Another W&L All-American came in the form of Emily Hageboeck, ’20, who placed eighth in the 200 breast with a time of 2:19.48. In the morning during prelims, she set a new school record in the event with a time 2:17.89.

The team worked together and built each other up throughout the season, which helped them succeed in their personal races.

“The biggest factor in my personal success this season was my confidence in myself and my team’s ability,” Rollo said. “That confidence came from my coaches and my teammates. We thought we could have a really great year for the program and that excitement and confidence carried over into my swimming.”

Chancey attributes some of the 2016-2017 team’s success to a large and successful first-year class. Additionally, the constant support al- lowed the team to succeed.

“I feel like we’re training at a higher level this year,” Chancey said. “We had a large freshman class come in and they’ve already made a great impact on the team. Everyone constantly pushes one another to get better, which has really brought our team to where we are now.”