Following the conclusion of the Lady Flames' highly successful 2013-14 season, LFSN reporter Alan York had a chance to catch up with swimming & diving head coach Jake Shellenberger.
Shellenberger led the Lady Flames to new heights this year, as Liberty captured its first-ever Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) conference title. Liberty dethroned five-time defending CCSA conference champion Florida Gulf Coast by 14 points (732.5 to 718.5).
Shellenberger was named CCSA Coach of the Year, his second such honor at Liberty after his Lady Flames recorded 18 podium finishes, nine B cuts, one A cut (200 medley relay), six CCSA records, six meet records and 16 program records at the conference championship meet.
Last week, Liberty wrapped up the 2013-14 season with a 43rd place showing at the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships at Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn. The national championship finish was the highest in program history.
During the meet, sophomore Jess Reinhardt became Liberty's highest-placing individual at nationals, earning 10th in the 100 fly on Friday night in a CCSA-record 51.72. She scored seven points, and became the program's second-ever All-American, gaining honorable mention.
Additionally, senior Emilie Kaufman placed 24th in the 100 breaststroke, in a time of 1:00.32 and 39th with a time of 2:11.99 in the 200 breaststroke. The Lady Flames' quartet of sophomore Kendall Hough, Kaufman, Reinhardt and junior Meghan Babcock swam 1:38.95 in the 200 medley relay. They became the first relay in CCSA history to compete at the NCAA Championships.