MIAA Championships - Day One

Watson Sets School Record in First Day at MIAA Championships

Preliminaries Results
Finals Results

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Freshman distance swimmer Ellie Watson set a new school record in the championship final of the 500 freestyle at the first day of the MIAA swimming and diving championships.

Watson earned her way into the championship final after cutting more than 10 seconds off of her seeded time for the second-best finish of the preliminary round.  Teammate Sara Niemann cut more than six seconds off of her previous-best time to earn a spot in the consolation finals in the 500 free.  At the evening finals, Niemann was able to trim her time by four more seconds to post a 5:25.47 and finish 13th overall in the event.  Watson, meanwhile, edged out the 5:10.00 mark and her competition with a 5:09.90 to earn a second place medal as well as a school record.  Her time was just 21-hundredths of a second better  than the third place finisher.

Also making appearances in the championship finals were the "A" 200 freestyle relay group of Barbara Beidler, Meredith Lierz, Watson, and Katie Griffin, and the "A" 400 medley relay squad of Griffin, Watson, Gen Spittler, and Beidler.  The 200 free relay finished in fifth place with a time of 1:41.49, which is second all-time in program history.  The 400 medley relay, meanwhile, finished in seventh place after posting a 4:15.12 in the final.

The Belles currently sit in seventh place as a team with a composite score of 73.  Defending champion Calvin is leading the women's side with a team score of 323.

The three-day championships continue tomorrow morning with the preliminaries beginning at 10:00 a.m. with the finals starting at 6:00 p.m.