RECAP | Grizzly Swimmers Cap Historic Program Showing at NCAA Championships

Photo courtesy of Claire Castillo
Photo courtesy of Claire Castillo

By: Jake Renie

GREENSBORO, NC – The Franklin College women's swimming & diving team put the finishing touches on a historic trip to the 2019 NCAA Division III Championships with three more swims on the fourth and final day of competition inside the Greensboro Aquatics Center.

The Grizzlies came out and were able to smash another set of records, this time in the women's 400 free relay. Jessica Halsmer, Jacqueline Richard, Brynna Sentel, and Courtnee Coffman rallied together to break both the Franklin and HCAC record in the event. The team would finish the race on a time of 3:30.61, earning them a 22nd place finish overall in the event. The relay was assembled in ascending speed, as Sentel and Coffman would bring the relay home strong.

Halser would also compete in the women's 200 back on the final day. She would take the first 100 out in under a minute, then finished the race on a time of 2:03.97. The Indianapolis, Ind.-native would place 21st overall, less than a second off of earning a swim in finals.

Coffman would also compete her second individual event of the championships, this time taking part in a stacked field in the 100 free. The New Palestine, Ind.-native came into the wall at a time of :51.76, placing herself 29th in the quick field. Coffman's time would move her up a couple of places from the psych sheet out of the field of 56 student-athletes.

Although Saturday didn't generate a performance in the finals of any of the three races, the past four days will go down as the cherry on top of the most successful season in the 10-year history of the program. Franklin will bring home a pair of honorable mention All-American finishes from the last four days, one courtesy of Sentel in the 100 backstroke and the other in the 200 freestyle relay.

"Every time these women took to the pool they represented Franklin College in a way every Grizzly can be proud of," Head coach Andy Hendricks said after the event ended. "Each swim was a milestone and they represented Franklin at the highest level with a competitive, yet humble spirit and their success has lit a fire that will spread in the coming years. Their legacy is already solidified in the annals of Franklin College, but we know the best is yet to come."

"This week's accomplishments in the pool continue the evolution of the Grizzlies' rise among the nation's elite swimming & diving programs," Hendricks added. "We are determined to offer student-athletes an experience that transcends that of others and prepare our swimmers for life beyond the pool. The success in the pool leads to other success in life and paves the way for future members of this program to be apart of something special.