COLLEGE PARK, Md., Feb. 26, 2014 – Redshirt freshman diver Taryn McLaughlin (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) broke a meet record on her way to winning gold on the three-meter board to lead the James Madison swimming and diving team to an early lead at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships in College Park, Md., Wednesday.
JMU won two on the day and has jumped out to a lead after three events at the Eppley Recreation Center. The Dukes have 120 points to lead defending-champion Towson by nine (111 points). Delaware (94 points) is in third, followed by Drexel (66) in fourth, Northeastern (64) in fifth, William & Mary (60) in sixth with UNCW (56) and the College of Charleston (56) rounding out the field of eight in a tie for seventh.
McLaughlin scored a CAA Championships meet record of 365.65 points in the preliminaries of the three-meter diving to qualify first in the event. She broke her own record with 373.85 points in the finals to earn gold for the fourth consecutive year in the event for JMU. Her performance was the second-best score all-time by a Duke, trailing only Kimberly Helfrich’s (2009-13) 377.70 points from 2011. She earned 20 points for Madison while breaking the meet record held since 2008 by Drexel’s Kate Hynes (264.15).
Freshman Olivia Lehman (Dayton, Ohio/Centreville) claimed seventh in the event for Madison with a score 310.85 while sophomore Carly Alexander (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) tallied 292.80 points to finish ninth. Freshman Katie Sheppard (Crozet, Va./Western Albermarle) was the fourth Madison diver to tally points in the event, finishing 12th with a score of 255.80.
Lehman’s score was a career-best and ranks as the sixth-best score in school history.
Wednesday’s finals opened with JMU setting another CAA meet record as its 200-yard medley relay team broke a record already held by a JMU team to finish first and earn the Dukes’ 40 points. The quartet of seniors Shannon Dubay (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) and Kelsey Holmgaard (Roanoke, Va./George Mason), junior Susanne Gingher (Boalsburg, Va./State College Area) and sophomore Kacy Edsall (Roanoke, Va./William Byrd) completed the race in 1:40.34 to record the second-fastest time in school history.
The final event of the day was the 800-yard freestyle relay. The Dukes’ team of Holmgaard, junior Aimee Hooper (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) and sophomores Carli Molano (Centreville, Va./Westfield) and Kristen Zielinski (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield (Nova Southeastern)) finished second second in the race. They turned in the second-fastest time in program history, touching the wall at 7:17.58 to finish behind Towson.
The 2014 CAA Championships resume at 10 a.m. on Thursday with more preliminary swims with finals starting at 6 p.m. from Eppley Recreation Center. Gold medals will be handed out in the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle, and 200-yard freestyle relay on Thursday.
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