RECAP | Grizzly Relay Team Makes History, Earns Honorable Mention All-America Status on Day Two of NCAA Championships

Brynna Sentel (in pool) takes off for her leg of the 200 free relay while teammates look on. Photo courtesy of Claire Castillo
Brynna Sentel (in pool) takes off for her leg of the 200 free relay while teammates look on. Photo courtesy of Claire Castillo

GREENSBORO, N.C. – History was made on Thursday (Mar. 21) night, as the Franklin women's swimming team crowned the first All-Americans in program history on day two of the 2019 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships.

In the first event of the morning preliminaries, the Grizzlies' 200 medley relay team of Brynna Sentel, Courtnee Coffman, Jacqueline Richard and Ashley Snoke became the first group of student-athletes to advance to the night session at the NCAA Championships, placing 16th overall with a time of 1:35.76. That time was enough to move the relay quartet up five spots from their initial seeding.

In the night session, Franklin finished the consolation finals in 1:36.21, completing the race to secure honorable mention All-American status.

"Regardless of the place, getting in the top 16 in nationals is a very big accomplishment for these girls and they should be very proud of themselves." Head coach Andy Hendricks told The Franklin after the finals. He would go on to add, "We needed tonight. Coming back in this relay after last night reinforced what we are capable of. Each accomplishment these women achieve is a new milestone. Scoring and earning honorable mention All-America is an incremental step in the right direction for this program."

Next up during the morning session was Sentel's second swim of the morning in the 200 freestyle. Seeded 21st coming into the event, the Sullivan, Ill.-native turned in a strong performance to finish with a time of 1:53.43, earning a 31st-place finish.

The Grizzlies closed out the prelims with another impressive relay performance, finishing just short of punching their ticket to the finals in the 400 medley relay in 3:51.65 to finish in 19th place. Their race proved to be a record-setting performance for the quartet of Sentel, Coffman, Richard and Snoke. Sentel opened the race by breaking the school record in the 100 backstroke in 54.15 seconds. The team's performance ended up shattering not only the school record, but the HCAC open record as well.

Competition on day three of the NCAA Championships resumes on Friday (Mar. 22) morning with preliminaries from the Greensboro Aquatics Center set to begin at 10:00 a.m.