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Liberty Closes Out Fall Schedule with 5th-Place Finish at Rutgers

November 22, 2015  Piscataway, N.J.  RSS
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Kristin VanDeventer placed third in the 1,650 free on Sunday, in lifetime-best 16:54.95.

Kristin VanDeventer placed third in the 1,650 free on Sunday, in lifetime-best 16:54.95.

The Liberty swimming & diving team earned a fifth-place finish at the three-day Rutgers Invitational, which wrapped up Sunday at RU Aquatics Center.

Liberty totaled 770.5 points, good for fifth place. Navy took home the team championship, scoring 2,096.5 points. Host Rutgers finished second with 1,503 points. Northeastern (1,012.5), James Madison (921.5) and Liberty (770.5) rounded out the top five teams in the 10-team field.

The meet featured a similar event program as the 2016 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships. However, unlike the conference championships, the Rutgers Invitational allowed for unlimited entries, leading to multiple relays and extra individuals scoring per school.

Liberty's distance swimmers had a strong showing to open the finals session. Kristin VanDeventer took third place with a lifetime-best 16:54.95 in the 1,650 free. Hannah Wakeley claimed 11th in 17:18.21, while Dani Jordan (17:19.34) and Ashlee Sall (17:28.74) followed in 12th and 13th, respectively. VanDeventer's time puts her second on Liberty's all-time top five performers, while Jordan moves into fourth place in program history.

Victoria Tschoke swam 2:02.93 during prelims of the 200 back, qualifying for the A Final. Tschoke placed eighth in 2:08.19 at night. Alicia Finnigan finished 27th overall with a 2:07.28 in the finals, after qualifying in 2:08.09. Natalie Beale placed 29th with a finals time of 2:08.03 following a 2:09.24 preliminary swim. Jordan (2:14.27) and Ashley Mauzy (2:14.75) took 41st and 43rd position, respectively.

Kendall Hough made the B Final with a 51.88 during 100 free prelims. She then placed 15th in finals, at 52.56. Prudence Rooker swam a season-best 52.46 in the morning before posting a 23rd-place showing in 52.97. Rachel Hoeve claimed 28th overall in 52.93, after swimming a season-best 52.78 in the morning. Sall's season-best 52.88 earned her an evening swim, where she finished 31st in 53.22.

Chelsea Pond tied for 42nd in the 100 free in 53.72, while Shelby Black (47th – 54.11), Ricki Lee Hodges (49th – 54.31), Danielle Boothe (52nd – 54.45) and Siani Null (58th – 55.86) all completed preliminary swims on Sunday.

All four of Liberty's 200 breaststroke participants clocked season bests on Sunday. Rooker led the way, with a 12th-place showing in 2:21.33 during the B Final. She qualified at 2:22.78. Morgan Noonan turned in a 2:23.24 in prelims, before swimming 2:21.93 in the evening for 14th place. Anna Dickinson placed 18th in finals in a season-best 2:23.97. Morgan Weigner finished 32nd overall with her season best time, 2:35.86.

Finnigan earned 11th place in the 200 fly with a finals time of 2:05.73, after qualifying in 2:06.21. Wakeley swam 2:07.47 in the morning before finishing 16th at night in 2:08.36. Ranndi Grubbs clocked a 2:12.34 in prelims before lowering her season best to 2:11.49 to claim 30th place. Elizabeth Magnusson's 2:14.82 was good for 36th.

The Lady Flames finished the meet with a 12th-place showing in the 400 free relay. The quartet of Hough, Hoeve, Sall and Rooker posted a 3:32.11 effort.

Following this week's invitational, Liberty is scheduled to open the 2016 portion of the season with its annual Florida training trip. The Lady Flames will compete in the Florida Gulf Coast Quad Meet, Jan. 9 at FGCU Aquatics Complex in Fort Myers, Fla.