Women's Swimming Championship Preview

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Peyten Lyons, Ursinus

The 24th annual Centennial Conference women's swimming championships will be held this Friday through Sunday at Franklin & Marshall College.

Ursinus looks for its fourth consecutive women's title, after capturing the dual-meet title for the fourth straight time. The dual-meet champion has won eight of the last 10 Centennial championships.

What to Watch For

Syd Knadler, McDaniel


500 Freestyle: It is shaping as a duel between Franklin & Marshall's Grace Pereles (Potomac, MD / Winston Churchill) and Dickinson's Olivia Lyman (Mount Kisco, NY / Horace Greeley), the defending champion. Swarthmore's Clare Cushing (Colleyville, TX / Colleyville Heritage) could crash the party, as could Washington College's Julia Portmann (Palatine, IL / William Fremd).

200 Individual Medley: Ursinus' defending champion Peyten Lyons (Palmyra, PA / Palmyra) and Washington College's Jenni Clune (Bowie, MD / Eleanor Roosevelt) are the two to beat in this race. A battle for bronze could emerge among F&M's Melissa Mullin (Medford, NJ / Holy Cross), Swarthmore's Selina Ye (West Vancouver, British Columbia / Sentinel) and Ursinus' Katie Madden (Bloomsburg, PA / Central Columbia).

50 Free: Could be the race of the meet. McDaniel's Sam Smith (Bangkok, Thailand / Int'l School of Bangkok) and defending champ Syd Knadler (Crowley Lake, CA / Mammoth) will try to hold off Ursinus' Clara Baker (Poughkeepsie, NY / Arlington) and Sydney Gundersen (Reading, PA / Exeter).

Jenni Clune, Washington College


400 Individual Medley: Defending champ Mullin is the prohibitive favorite in the race with a seed time nearly six seconds ahead of the field (4:39.40). Ursinus should pick up ponts with Madden and Olivia Tierney (Broomall, PA / Villa Maria), while Swarthmore's Scout Clark (Orinda, CA / Miramonte) and Washington College's Ellen Maxwell (Towson, MD / Loch Raven) could medal.

100 Butterfly: Baker, the defending champion, is the top seed after posting a "B" cut in 55.38 in December. Teammates Katherine Porter (Sayre, PA / Sayre) and Meggie Leitz (Upper Darby, PA / Upper Darby) could make it a Bear sweep, while Dickinson's Molly Sternick (Greensburg, PA / Hempfield) could spoil the UC party.

200 Freestyle: Gundersen is the favorite with a seed time of 1:55.11. Portmann will challenge, as will Cushing, Pereles and Gettysburg's Kate Crilly (Shrewsbury, NJ / Ranney School).

100 Breaststroke: Clune is the top seed after registering a 1:05.33 time in December. Swarthmore's Liz Staton (San Carlos, CA / Carlmont) will push Clune, as will Gettysburg's Sadie Stiles (Cape Elizabeth, ME / Cape Elizabeth) and defending gold medalist Caroline Moyer (Malvern, PA / Great Valley).

100 Backstroke: Lyons, the defending champion, has the top seed time (58.02) but will be pushed by F&M's Anna Hess (Dallastown, PA / Dallastown) and Dickinson's Katie Schmidt (Orono, MN / Breck School). Ye could also factor in the medal chase.

Clara Baker, Ursinus


1650 Freestyle: The mile looks to be a three-woman race between Lyman and Cushing. F&M's Pereles and Caroline Fry (Glen Ellyn, IL / Saint Andrews School) will duel with Ursinus' Haley Sturla (Lancaster, PA / Manheim Twp.) for a medal.

200 Backstroke: Hess (2:07.00) and Schmidt (2:07.55) are the class of the field, but don't count out Lyons (2:09.89), the 2016 gold medalist. Clark and McDaniel's Sara Hegna (Brielle, NJ / Manasquan) could also medal.

100 Freestyle: Clune and Katie Gorman (Whippany, NJ / Whippany Park) give Washington College a shot at a 1-2 finish. Gundersen and Baker hope to spoil the Shorewomen party, as does Crilly.

200 Breaststroke: Staton has the top seed time (2:23.82). Stiles and Mullin will push for the gold, while Moyer and Swarthmore's Ashley Hwang (Munster, IN / Munster) could also be in the mix.

200 Butterfly: A showdown between teammates Baker (2:06.64) and Porter (2:07.66). Leitz, the defending champ, could give Ursinus a sweep, but Pereles and Sternick would like to break up the trio.

Video and live results of the championship will be available for all three days of competition. Results will also be posted on Twitter (@CentennialConf) and the conference app, Centennial Conference Front Row.