HARRISONBURG, Va., Jan. 20, 2012 – The James Madison women’s swimming and diving team celebrated Senior Day in style as it knocked off previously unbeaten Rutgers 161-139 in a dual meet held at Savage Natatorium on Friday afternoon.
JMU won eight of the 16 events to run its record to 13-2 in dual meets while handing Rutgers its first loss and dropping it to 7-1 on the year.
The Dukes were paced by senior Eva Hannesdottir (Seltjarnarnes, Iceland/Kvennaskolinn) after she won two individual events and placed third in another. Hannesdottir outraced the field in the 50-yard freestyle to finish with a time of 24.11. Fellow senior Catalina Mendieta (Parkland, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas) came in second at 24.30.
Hannesdottir also finished first in the 100 free in a time of 51.65 while coming in third in the 200 free (1:54.31). Sophomore Kelsey Holmgaard (Roanoke, Va./George Mason) was the team’s top finisher in the event, coming in second with a time of 1:52.62.
Mendieta and Hannesdottir teamed up with junior Anna Susko (Roxbury, N.J./Roxbury) and sophomore Shannon Dubay (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) to seal the win in the meet’s final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team turned in the 6th-fastest time in school history at 3:29.39.
In the 200-yard medley relay in was the team of Mendieta, Holmgaard, junior Caroline Burns (Severna Park, Md./Severn School) and freshman Sin Hye Won (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) take took first with a time of 1:45.04. It was the fifth-best time in school history.
Senior diver Nicole Jotso (Suffern, N.Y./Suffern) celebrated her final home meet by claiming first in both diving events. The native of New York scored a career-best 317.92 on the 1-meter while narrowly edging junior teammate Kimberly Helfrich (Fort Belvoir, Va./West Springfield) on the 3-meter. Jotso scored a 301.88 with Helfrich recording a 299.03.
JMU’s final two wins came in the 500 and 1,000-yard freestyle events. In the 500 free, freshman Aimee Hooper (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) battled Rutgers' Jacquelyn Ward the entire way, narrowly edging the senior by .52 seconds. Hooper touched the wall at 4:58.54.
Hooper was part of a trio of Dukes that claimed the top three spots in the 1,000 free. Senior Melissa Helock (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains Fanwood) timed a 10:15.47 to finish first followed by sophomore Morgan Johnson (Woodstock, Ga./Woodstock) (10:20.54) and Hooper (10:20.80). Johnson and Hooper’s times were each career-best marks and rank as the fifth and sixth-best times in school history.
The Dukes return to the pool in two weeks when they travel to Blacksburg, Va. for the Virginia Tech Invitational on Feb. 4-5.
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