INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In just the program's fourth year of varsity competition, an Emory & Henry College swimmer has been invited to compete at the NCAA Division III National Championships. Junior Michaela Nolte (Hillsborough, N.C.), the 2016 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Women's Swimmer of the Year, will compete in three events at next month's national championship meet.
Nolte earned NCAA "B" Qualifying Standards in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke. Her time of 1:03.97 in the 100-breast was the 16th fastest in Division III this year while her 200-breast time of 2:20.07 was 19th. This year, the NCAA invited the top 20 times in each event to compete in the National Championships. Nolte is also eligible to compete in the 50-yard freestyle by virtue of her invitation in the 100- and 200-breast. Her time of :23:90 is 39th-best in the field.
"The Division III Swimming National Championship is one of the toughest to make as selections are not made by conference or region," commented Head Coach Dave Griffore. "The NCAA simply takes the best swimmers across the entire nation based on their top times from the year. This is a huge accomplishment for not only Michaela, but also the swimming program, our athletic department, and the entire College. We could not be more excited to represent E&H at the national level."
Nolte will become the first student-athlete from Emory & Henry to compete in the NCAA postseason in nearly 13 years. The Wasps' softball team reached the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2003 after winning the ODAC Tournament. She also becomes the first individual student-athlete from E&H to reach Division III national competition since Ruthy Woodring of the Women's Cross Country Team competed at the National Championship meet in 1991.
For her career, Nolte has eight individual ODAC Championships and is a member of five ODAC-Champion relays. She holds the conference record in the 50-yard freestyle (:23.90), the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.97) and the 200-yard breaststroke (2:20.07).
The Division III National Championship meet will take place over four days from Wednesday, March 16 to Saturday, March 19 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The 100-yard breaststroke will be contested on Friday, March 18 and the 200-yard breaststroke will be swum on Saturday, March 19. Both events will follow the format of preliminaries in the morning and finals in the evening.