LANCASTER, Pa. – Women's swimming begins its quest for a 15th consecutive winning season on Saturday, hosting Washington College at 1:00 p.m. The Diplomats look to finish in the top three of the conference for the ninth straight year, and collect the program's first conference title since 2009-10.
To watch the season preview video, click here.
Several strong individual performers and relay teams return for an F&M squad that totaled 518 points to finish third at last season's Centennial Conference Championships. Eight freshmen join the ranks as the Diplomats aim high again in 2016-17.
Melissa Mullin – Jr.
Anna Hess – So.
Grace Pereles – So.
Mullin returns for her junior season after winning CC gold in the 400-yard IM in her previous two seasons as a Diplomat. She will look to again compete for conference gold in the individual medleys and breaststroke events, and qualify for her first NCAA Championships after recording an NCAA B-cut time in the 400, only just missing out on a trip to Greensboro, N.C. last year.
Hess will look to earn her first CC medal after establishing herself as one of the conference's top backstrokers in 2015-16. She tallied a pair of fourth-place finishes in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke last season, and reached the podium by teaming up with Mullin, Kellen McDonald, and Jillian Albus to take third in the 400-yard medley relay.
Pereles aims to build on a strong freshman campaign that saw her race with the CC's top middle- and long-distance freestylers. Look for her to reach the podium this year after taking fifth in the 1650-yard freestyle in 2015-16.
F&M ranks third in the CC Preseason Poll, totaling 36 points. Ursinus (48 points, six first-place votes) and Gettysburg (43 points, two first-place votes) topped the rankings.
Following this weekend's clash with Washington, the Diplomats visit Bryn Mawr next Saturday for competition with Swarthmore and the host Owls.
From Nov. 18-20, F&M will compete at the F&M Invitational, before heading to the Randolph-Macon Invite on December 2-3 for the only meet of the month.
High-profile CC matchups with Ursinus (Jan. 21) and Gettysburg (Feb. 4) highlight a tough slate of competition in the new year.
The Diplomats will stay at home for the CC Championships, as F&M hosts the event from Feb. 17-19. Any swimmer qualifying for the NCAA Championships will then head to Shenandoah, Texas where the national competition is scheduled for March 15-18.
A feature to this year's schedule is the "Add to Calendar" button, which allows fans to sync new events and updates directly in their Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, ICal and additional calendars.
Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2016-17 women's swimming schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.
All home swim meets at the Kunkel Aquatic Center will be broadcast live in HD at GoDiplomats.com/Live.