In their only home meet this season, the Liberty Lady Flames (4-4, 1-0 Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association) swimming and diving team recognized its seniors in the 152-102 defeat of the Vanderbilt Commodores (1-3, 0-0 SEC) Friday, Nov. 8. The next day, Liberty traveled and fell to the defending Atlantic 10 Conference champion Richmond Spiders (6-1, 0-0 Atlantic 10) 152-138.
Senior Emilie Kaufman led the Flames with six individual victories during the weekend.
LU 152, Vanderbilt 102
The Lady Flames recognized Kaufman, Sarah Kendrick, Bethany Kennon and Sarah McCorkle, who all swam in the last meet in the Liberty Aquatic Center. “This was a special day,” Head Coach Jake Shellenberger said. “We packed the place. I wish we had a picture of it. It is just a special occasion to honor the seniors who have been here since the start of the program.”
Kaufman posted three victories in the 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke. She set a new pool record of 57.17 in the 100-yard backstroke.
“(Kaufman) had a tough double with the 100 back, followed by the 100 breast, and that is not an easy double,” Shellenberger said. “But she came away with two wins in both of those events. She was tired, but she swam well today. She is a really good swimmer, and we are going to miss her next year.”
The Lady Flames posted two 1-2-3 and two 1-2 finishes against the Commodores. The meet opened with Liberty winning the 200-yard medley relay and the 1,000-yard freestyle. Sophomore Kristen VanDeventer won the 1,000-yard freestyle, often trading first and second place during the race with her teammate Hannah Wakeley. VanDeventer eventually pulled away and set the first of 10 records with a time of 10:27.56.
Sophomore Jess Reinhardt and freshman Heather McCorkle set two Liberty swimming records each. Reinhardt clocked in at 2:06.00, which was two seconds ahead of Vanderbilt freshman Alex Blankenburg and was good for the win in the 200-yard butterfly. She also set the pace in the 100-yard butterfly, swimming three seconds faster than her competition (54.97).
“This was by design to have a meet tonight, and having to get up and drive to Richmond tomorrow,” Shellenberger said. “We want to challenge the women a little bit with two meets in a row.”
Richmond 152, LU 138
The Lady Flames posted eight victories in their loss to the Spiders. Kaufman posted three victories in the 200-yard IM, 200-yard breaststroke and 100-yard breaststroke. Reinhardt followed with two wins.
Richmond won the first eight of 10 events to start the meet. Richmond also had a 32-2 advantage in diving points. The Lady Flames won the last six events, including a 1-2-3 finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay. But the Spiders advantage in diving points helped Richmond hold on to its lead.
Liberty will compete in the Virginia Tech Invitational in Christiansburg, Va., Nov. 21-23 at 10 a.m.