LANCASTER, Pa. - The women's swimming team is set to open the 2013-14 season on Saturday when Franklin & Marshall hosts Johns Hopkins at McGinness Pool. The Diplomats look to build on the momentum of a third-place finish at the 2013 Centennial Conference (CC) Championships with the help of some key returners and an exciting freshmen class that is expected to offer immediate contributions.
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F&M captured 514.5 points over the span of three days and trailed only Gettysburg, who took the title with 633 points, and Ursinus in second with 626, at last year's CC Championships.
A return to the top of the conference ranks will need to be made without the help of a 10-member senior class that provided significant contributions to last year's squad. Headlining that group were fellow captain's Krista Hollingsworth and Kasey Christiansen. Hollingsworth was a member of the 800-yard freestyle relay team that brought home a bronze for the Diplomats at the 2013 Championships.
Katherine Grant – Jr.
Maggie Johns – Sr.
Courtney Collins – So.
Leading a group of returners who are expected to form the core of the 2013-14 squad is All-American Grant, who put together one of the best distance seasons in the history of F&M swimming.
Grant reached All-American status during her sophomore campaign in both the 500- and 1650-yard freestyle by swimming career-best times in both events at the NCAA Championships in Shenandoah, Texas. She claimed gold in the 1650 at the CC Championships before breaking her own school record in the event at the NCAAs with a 13th place finish and a time of 17:10.44.
Also returning for the Diplomats is perennial CC Championship finalist Johns, who was the runner up in the 400-yard individual medley event at the meet and captured bronze as part of the 800-yard freestyle relay team.
Collins figures to play a major role in the team's success after securing a pair of third-place finishes at last year's CC Championship in both the 100-yard butterfly and backstroke.
An eight-member freshman class joins the fold, led by standout Jillian Albus, who figures to see immediate success in 2013-14. Albus enters Lancaster with a 50-yard freestyle time that rivals last year's conference champion as well as the current school record in the event.
The Road Ahead
F&M faces tough competition right out of gate with a meeting against No. 3 Johns Hopkins on Saturday. CC play kicks off on Nov. 9th when the Diplomats host Swarthmore who is picked to finish fifth in the conference.
Other key dates circled on F&M's calendar include a showdown with Dickinson on Feb. 1st, followed by a meeting with CC preseason No. 1 Gettysburg on Feb. 8th. The F&M Invitational is scheduled for Nov. 22-24, while the Diplomats once against host this year's CC Championships, scheduled to take place on Feb. 21-23. NCAA Championships run from March 19-22.
Follow Along (Social Media)
All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats Youtube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season. All home swim meets at the Kunkel Aquatic Center will be broadcast live in HD at GoDiplomats.com/live.