CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Nov. 16, 2012 – Senior diver Kimberly Helfrich (Fort Belvoir, Va./West Springfield) was the only diver to break 300 points as she finished first on the 1-meter board at the Nike Cup held at Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Friday.
Helfrich’s performance highlighted a strong performance for the James Madison diving team that placed four divers in the top 16 of the Nike Cup. She scored a 302.75 in the finals to finish 6.30 points ahead of the nearest competition. She entered the evening’s finals after finishing fourth in the preliminaries. Sophomore Alex Savage (Carrolton, Texas/Lewisville Hebron) also reached the finals, qualifying third in the preliminaries. She finished fifth with a score of 263.35.
Other participants for the Madison divers were freshmen Carly Alexander (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Lauren Hadley (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial). Alexander just missed reaching the finals, placing ninth with a score of 232.70, while fellow rookie Hadley placed 16th with 201.95 points.
Also in action on Friday was the JMU swimming team in day one of the Pittsburgh Invitational at Trees Pool on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
The Dukes had two individuals reach championship finals and 10 participants in consolation finals through the first five events. Sophomore Susanne Gingher (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) highlighted the action for JMU. She finished seventh in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.90. She timed a 23.63 in the preliminaries to qualify third in the event. Junior Kelsey Holmgaard (Roanoke, Va./George Mason) was the other championship final participant, claiming eighth in the 500-yard freestyle (5:06.15).
Four athletes reached the consolation final in the 500 freestyle led by junior Morgan Johnson (Woodstock, Ga./Woodstock) in 11th (5:01.73). Sophomore Aimee Hooper (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) took 12th (5:01.86), followed by freshman Camilla Czulada (Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson) in 15th (5:03.34) and senior Anna Susko (Roxbury, N.J./Roxbury) in 16th (5:13.28).
Sophomore Sin Hye Won (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) paced four Dukes in the consolation finals of the 200-yard individual medley. She timed a 2:09.59 to claim 11th, while senior Andrea Criscuolo (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant) was right behind her in 12th (2:09.69). Junior Shannon Dubay (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) took 13th (2:10.23) and freshman Ashley Clark (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park) came in 16th (2:12.82).
In addition to Gingher’s performance in the 50 free, senior Caroline Burns (Severna Park, Md./Severn School) claimed 15th (24.46) and freshman Carli Molano (Centreville, Va./Westfield) took 16th (24.57).
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Holmgaard, Dubay, Burns and Gingher highlighted the relay events for the Dukes. It finished third in a time of 1:34.66, just 0.37 back of event winner Pittsburgh. Madison finished seventh in the 400-yard medley relay. The team of Won, Criscuolo, Czulada and freshman Kacy Edsall (Roanoke, Va./William Byrd) timed a 3:51.71.
The Pittsburgh Invitational continues on Saturday with day two from Trees Pool, while the diving team concludes its action in the Nike Cup with the three-meter board.
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