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Liberty Celebrates Seniors, Alumnae with Wins over George Mason, VMI

January 27, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty honored its seven seniors prior to Saturday's events at Liberty Natatorium.

Liberty honored its seven seniors prior to Saturday's events at Liberty Natatorium.

The Liberty swimming & diving team closed out its two-day tri-meet with a pair of wins over George Mason and VMI, wrapping up Saturday at Liberty Natatorium.

The Lady Flames downed VMI, 290-44 while posting a 261-87 win over George Mason. The Patriots defeated VMI, 270-54. Liberty wrapped up the regular season on a nine-dual-meet winning streak, posting an 11-2 record. It is the Lady Flames' fifth double-digit win season in program history.

Prior to the session, Liberty honored nine alumnae who helped build the program into a perennial power in the conference and strong competitor nationally. The alumnae honored were: Meghan Babcock, Cori Gary, Ranndi Grubbs, Bethany (Wakeley) Kennon, Emily Mudd, Brye Ravettine, Rachel Rippey, Hannah Wakeley and Lauren (Garside) Williamson.

The Lady Flames also honored their seven seniors: Danielle Boothe, Rachel Hoeve, Morgan Noonan, Chelsea Pond, Prudence Rooker, Ashlee Sall and Christine Young.

A program-record total of 1,052 spectators attended the two-day meet, including 657 on Friday and 395 on Saturday.

Saturday saw Liberty post three team season-best times, while winning both relays and five individual events.

Liberty opened the morning with a 1-2 showing in the 400 medley relay. Payton Keiner, Rooker, Alicia Finnigan and Colleen Donlin combined for a team-season-best 3:47.43 to take first place.

Sall claimed the first individual event of the session by nearly 30 seconds, winning the 1000 freestyle in 10:35.29. Teammate Allie Murphy swam 11:25.52 for fourth place.  

The Lady Flames took the top five spots in the 100 freestyle, led by Weiss' 52.08. Colleen Donlin placed second in 52.68, followed by Hoeve (52.80). Pond and Elizabeth Magnusson tied for fourth, both touching the wall at 52.90.

Keiner led another 1-2 finish for the Lady Flames in the 200 backstroke, taking first in 2:01.64, while Emily Manly clocked 2:05.99, good for second place.

George Mason then won back-to-back events, starting with Marina Toone's 264.45 in one-meter diving. Liberty's Amy Schools finished third with 191.48 points, while Jenna Joyal scored 180.53 for fourth place.

GMU's Amy Tansill earned the 200 breaststroke victory in 2:21.65. Hannah Baker clocked 2:23.47, good for second place. Her time ranks ninth on the program's all-time top 10 performers list in the event. Noonan (2:24.46) and Hodges (2:26.72) finished third and fourth, respectively.

Finnigan was the first of three Lady Flames to break 57 in the 100 fly, taking first in 56.18. Ashley Mauzy followed in 56.35, and Lindsey Cohee turned in a 56.63 performance for third.

Manly then swam the fastest 400 IM by a Lady Flame so far this season, winning the event in 4:32.26. Kiah Francis finished second with a 4:36.67 effort. Manly's time pushes her to fifth on the all-time top 10 performers list for the 400 IM.

Liberty claimed the top three spots in the meet-ending 400 freestyle relay, led by a team-season-best 3:27.91 from the group of Keiner, Shelby Black, Rooker and Finnigan.  

The Lady Flames will next compete at the 2018 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships, held Feb. 14-17 at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga. Liberty will aim for its second conference championship and first since 2014.