FRANKLIN, Ind. (Jan. 21, 2017) – The Franklin College women's swimming and diving team won the Heartland Conference Saturday in grand fashion at the Franklin Community High School pool. The women outdistanced their nearest competitor by 90 points. The victory marked the fourth straight conference title for the women and their fifth in the last 6 years. The women were joined by the men by sweeping the conference meet.
"Our women's team has just been so impressive this season," Coach Andrew Hendricks said. "The difference between this team and those successful teams of the past is their will to win and the team balance. Each meet, they have stepped up when needed. If we are off in one event on a given night, we make it up elsewhere. Few teams have been able to match our overall balance and depth. We have had many winning seasons, but this year is different. This year we want to run the table, and the girls have bought in entirely."
Franklin got off to a great start by winning the opening 200 medley relay. The squad of Mackenzie Dwyer (Longmont, CO), Kaitlin Mans (Louisville, KY), Karlee Demsey (Jeffersonville, IN) and Regina Solik (Clayton, IN) won in a time of 1:53.16.
"We have had a strong medley relay all season but had to change our lineup due to an unexpected injury to our top freshman, Cady Mehringer (Jasper, IN)," Hendricks said. "Cady's injury was a tough blow to the team, but the girls responded very well today. We moved Karlee over to fly where she swam last season, and brought Mackenzie in to lead off in backstroke. All of the girls did a great job."
The women's first individual victory did not come until event No. 13 when Solik took the 50 freestyle in a time of 24.54. She later added another individual victory in the 100 freestyle and anchored the winning 400 freestyle relay as well. She was once again joined by Demsey in the relay along with Amy McCormick (Floyds Knobs, IN) and Haley Blaich (Indianapolis, IN). Demsey added an individual victory in the 100 butterfly followed closely by teammate Laura Olivo (Goshen, IN), who took second. Another 1-2 combo came from McCormick and Dwyer in the 500 freestyle, who swam 5:22.41 and 5:22.81 respectively.
The Grizzlies will wrap up their regular season next weekend before the all-important preparation for the 2017 NCAA Liberal Arts Championships. The women's team is trying to win its first championship after finishing second the last three seasons in a 13-team field. On Friday, Jan. 27, Rose-Hulman will visit Franklin for senior night. Then, on Saturday, the team will travel to Illinois Wesleyan in a tough final contest.
Women's Team Scores
Franklin College 251
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 161
Transylvania University 134
Anderson University 61
Manchester University 34