Emory, Va. - Even with all of the success the Emory & Henry swim team has had in the recent past, the Wasps outdid themselves once again in 2015-16. The team finished second at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships for a third-straight year. Highlights of the season include, Coach Dave Griffore graduating his first senior class, a swimmer honored as ODAC Swimmer of the Year, 10 All-ODAC selections and a CSCAA Regional Ranking for the first time ever. Also, for the first time in program history, an E&H swimmer reached the NCAA Division III National Championships. Griffore stated, "It's a huge accomplishment for this program to get to the national level in only its fourth year."
Junior Michaela Nolte had a fantastic season for the Wasps. The Hillsborough, North Carolina native qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke, setting new ODAC Records in the process. Her 100-breast time of 1:03.97 was good for 16th in the nation while her swim of 2:20.07 was 19th fastest. At the ODAC Championships, Nolte won three individual races, broke three ODAC records, broke four team records, was named first team All-ODAC for the third year in a row, and voted ODAC Swimmer of the Year.
At the National Championships, Nolte put on a strong performance while competing with best swimmers in the country. Nolte posted the 18th-fastest time in the 100-yard breaststroke and 17th- fastest swim in the 200-yard breaststroke in consecutive days. Both of which made her an alternate for the finals. On the Day One, Nolte finished 43rd in the 50-yard freestyle. This season, Nolte became the fastest swimmer in both E&H and ODAC history and will look to continue her dominance in her senior year.
Griffore started the swim team four years ago with just seven freshmen, who have now completed their careers. Taylor Guardalabene reached an All-ODAC Team for the fourth-consecutive year, her second-team honors thanks to a third-place finish in the 400-yard individual medley. Team captain Nicole Powell made it a fourth All-ODAC Third Team nod, coming in fifth in the 400-yard IM. Both Sophia Alonge and Sam Brown provided depth and leadership to a class which posted a 37-3 record over their four years in blue and gold. This group will be remembered as the initial class that jumpstarted the Emory & Henry Women's Swimming Team.
Emory & Henry saw several others receive All-ODAC honors this year as well. Junior Jessica Richardson earned First Team All-ODAC honors for a third year in a row with runner-up finishes in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle. Freshman Claire Goodrum was also tabbed to the All-ODAC Second Team after a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly at the ODAC Championships.
The Wasps saw an additional four swimmers claim All-ODAC Third-Team honors in junior Jordan Greenburg and sophomores Brianna Chessock, Mackenzie Lingle, Marina Moore, and Holly Roth. Greenburg finished sixth in the 200-yard backstroke at the ODAC Championships while Chessock finished sixth in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke. Moore was fifth in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke while Roth was fifth in the 200-yard freestyle. Lingle was named to the All-ODAC Third Team with a pair of fifth-place and one sixth-place finis at the ODAC Championships. During the regular season, Lingle was named ODAC Swimmer of the Week after earning individual wins in the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley in a dual meet.
The Wasps boasted the second most All-ODAC swimmers and once again pushed for a championship. The team's 9-1 record shows a consistent aptitude for winning and improvement. With a strong group returning next year, the Wasps will continue to push towards championships, both in the ODAC and nationally.
Emory & Henry's 2015-16 All-ODAC Selections
ODAC Women's Swimmer of the Year: Michaela Nolte
-photos courtesy of Jamie Powell and Caleb Johnston, E&H'15