LANCASTER, Pa. – The women's swimming team opens the 2015-16 season by traveling to Washington on Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. meet with the Shorewomen. After a 2014-15 campaign that saw the Diplomats claim second at the Centennial Conference (CC) Championships, F&M looks to improve on last year's near miss and take the crown in 2015-16.
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F&M scored 644 points at last season's CC Championships, falling just short of Ursinus, who finished first with 667.5 points. The Diplomats were 5-1 in dual meets, ranking as high as 24th nationally and cracking the top 25 for the first time since 2007.
Key losses include Katherine Grant, who won the 1650-yard freestyle at 17:34.34, becoming the first swimmer in CC history to win the event four times in a row at the CC Championships. The Diplomats also lose Mary Ann Robison, who finished fifth in the same event.
A diverse set of seven newcomers, featuring five freshmen and two sophomore transfers, looks to contribute immediately as the Diplomats chase the conference crown.
Bridget Dromerick – So.
Melissa Mullin – So.
Becca Meyers – Jr.
Jillian Albus – Jr.
Courtney Collins – Sr.
F&M will count on Bridget Dromerick, winner of two golds, one silver, and one bronze medal at the CC Championships last season. Dromerick's outstanding freshman campaign saw her earn CC Most Outstanding Performer and CC Most Outstanding Rookie last season. Her winning time of 4:55.65 broke the conference record in the 500-yard freestyle. She also took gold in the 200-yard backstroke and silver in the 200-yard freestyle. As a result, she earned a spot at the NCAA championships, competing in all three previously-mentioned events, but was unable to reach the final race in any competition.
Mullin also expects to have a standout year after capturing gold last season in the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:32.59, setting another CC record for the Diplomats.
Meyers is coming off of an eventful summer that saw her compete at the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships, setting two world records and earning six medals, before being presented with the 2015 ESPY Award for the Best Female Athlete with a Disability in July. At full strength this season she is looking to make her mark in the CC.
Albus and Collins each earned gold at the CC Championships as well, teaming up with Dromerick and Grant to win the 800-yard freestyle relay in 7:47.75.
Preseason rankings have the Diplomats in second place in the conference, earning 42 points and garnering two first-place votes. Ursinus (47 points) is the preseason favorite, while Gettysburg, Dickinson, and Swarthmore round out the top five.
Saturday's meet with conference opponent Washington will not only open the season, but also begin the CC schedule.
The Diplomats will host Bryn Mawr (Nov. 7), Swarthmore (Nov. 7), and Johns Hopkins (Nov. 13) after visiting Washington. The F&M Invitational, scheduled to run from Nov. 20-22 will close out November.
The Randolph-Macon Invitation, the only scheduled competition in December, will broaden competition for the Diplomats.
Other important conference meets take place on Jan. 23 when the Diplomats host Ursinus and Feb. 6 when F&M travels to Gettysburg.
The CC Championships, hosted by Gettysburg, will take place between Feb. 19 and 21.
A new feature to this year's schedule is the "Add to Calendar" button, which allows fans to sync new events and updates directly in their Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, ICal and additional calendars.
Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2015 women's swimming schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.
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All home swim meets at the Kunkel Aquatic Center will be broadcast live in HD at GoDiplomats.com/Live.