FOREST, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Women's Swimming Team has been chosen to repeat its second-place finish at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships for a third year, ODAC officials announced Friday. The poll is voted on by each of the league's 10 coaches. The Wasps also received one first-place vote.
Emory & Henry returns 15 swimmers and nine all-conference swimmers from last year’s runner-up squad and welcomes four freshmen to the team. Highlighting the returners is junior Michaela Nolte (Hillsborough, N.C.), who was the ODAC Champion in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke last year.
Nolte broke her own ODAC records in both breaststrokes (1:05.23 and 2:22.07, respectively) while swimming as a part of three conference champion relays which also broke league records (200-yard freestyle relay, 400-yard freestyle relay, 400-yard medley relay).
Senior Taylor Guardalabene (Charlotte, N.C.) won the ODAC championship in the 1650-yard freestyle in 2015 while junior Jessica Richardson (Vero Beach, Fla.) was crowned the 100-yard freestyle champion and broke the ODAC record in the 100-free with her leadoff swim of (:52.48) in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Nolte, Guardalabene and Richardson were each named to the All-ODAC First Team.
Senior Payton Shirey (Seaford, Del.), who holds the conference record in the 50-yard freestyle (:23.91), won second-team all-league honors last year. Also returning from the All-ODAC Second Team are sophomores Kelsey Jones (Roanoke, Va.), Mackenzie Lingle (Roanoke, Va.) and Holly Roth (Albuquerque, N.M.) while senior Nicole Powell (Apex,N.C.) and sophomore Marina Moore (Thomasville, N.C.) were named Third-Team All-ODAC last season.
Washington and Lee University is picked to win the league for the ninth-straight year with 81 points and nine first-place votes. The Generals currently have 25 ODAC championships under their caps. Emory & Henry (69 points) holds a slim lead over Randolph-Macon College in third (65).
Bridgewater College and Greensboro College are fourth and fifth with 52 points and 44 points, respectively while Sweet Briar College is sixth. Ferrum College, a newcomer to the conference this season, is seventh while Notre Dame of Maryland University, Hollins University and Guilford College round out the poll.
Emory & Henry will open the 2015-16 season at the 2015 ODAC Relays hosted by Washington and Lee on Saturday, October 17. The first race is set for noon.
For more information about ODAC Women's Swimming and to learn about each of the league's 10 teams, click HERE.
-photo courtesy of Keith Lucas/Sideline Media
2015-16 ODAC WOMEN'S SWIMMING PRESEASON POLL
|(#) Denotes First Place Votes|
|1. Washington and Lee University (9)||81 pts.|
|2. Emory & Henry College (1)||69 pts.|
|3. Randolph-Macon College||65 pts.|
|4. Bridgewater College||52 pts.|
|5. Greensboro College||44 pts.|
|6. Sweet Briar College||37 pts.|
|7. Ferrum College||34 pts.|
|8. Notre Dame of Maryland University||31 pts.|
|9. Hollins University||26 pts.|
|10. Guilford College||11 pts.|