RICHMOND, Va. - With 1621 points, the Catholic University women's swim team took first place out of 12 competing teams in the 2019 Randolph-Macon College Yellow Jacket Invitational after two days of swimming at the Collegiate School Aquatic Center.
The Cardinals topped Randolph-Macon to win the invitational for the second time in the last three years as the Yellow Jackets accumulated 1501.5 points for second place. Catholic outswam Division II Barton College (1310.5 - third place) by over 300 points, Washington College (909.5 - fourth place), and Lynchburg (723.5 - fifth place).
The women got off to a strong start Saturday morning, grabbing second place in the 200-freestyle relay event. Caroline Beal (25.31), Alexa Hipp (25.23), Megan Leibfreid (24.59), and Emma Gould (25.26) combined for a 1:40.39 time for second out of 22 relay teams.
The Cards placed four swimmers in the top ten of the 500-freestyle that featured 47 total competitors. Kelly Smith (5:22.64 - fourth), Beal (5:24.66 - seventh), Mary Pilkington (5:25.25 - eighth), Elizabeth Spernal (5:26.49 - ninth), and Kate Von Heeringen (5:26.55 - tenth) all racked up points for Catholic.
Sophomore Cagney Boyle swam the second fastest time out of 41 swimmers in the 200-individual medley at 2:14.04. Fellow sophomore Leibfreid then placed ninth in the 50-freestyle sprint with her 25.24 time.
Two Cardinals relay teams earned points in the 400-medley relay in the top ten out of 22 foursomes. Leibfreid, Madeline Doucette, Emily Tighe, and Beal teamed up for a 4:07.27 fourth place time and Hipp, Boyle, Grace Smith, and Gould followed in sixth at 4:08.83.
Relay success continued as Leibfreid, Doucette, Grace Smith, and Beal combined for a second-place finish at 1:49.66 in the 200-medley relay.
Boyle then took fourth in the 400-individual medley out of 22 swimmers with a time of 4:45.91 while teammate Claire Laux (4:56.76) followed in eighth. Grace Smith (1:01.42) and Tighe (1:02.15) finished sixth and tenth, respectively, in the 100-butterfly.
Three top-ten finishers highlighted the 200-freestyle as Gould (1:59.28), Von Heeringen (2:00.97), and Colleen McDonald (2:02.22) took fifth, eighth, and tenth, respectively. Doucette then grabbed a top-five finish in the 100-breaststroke at 1:08.37 for fourth place.
The Cardinals racked up more points with four of the top nine finishers in the 100-backstroke. Beal finished in second out of 38 swimmers at 59.71 and Leibfreid followed just behind for third at 1:00.36. Hipp and Kelly Smith took sixth and ninth.
The 800-freestyle relay team consisting of Von Heeringen, McDonald, Spernal, and Gould finished in third at 8:13.04, and then Catholic took three of the top four spots in the 1650-freestyle. Kelly Smith won at 18:17.68, followed by Spernal (18:41.55 - third) and Pilkington (18:51.05).
Beal made program history in the 200-backstroke with her first-place finish out of 25 swimmers. Her 2:06.98 time beat the next best finisher by almost two seconds and broke her own school record for the event, a 2:07.72 time that she swam in 2018.
The Cards finished the meet with a third-place finish in the 400-freestyle relay at 3:42.07. Gould, Leibfreid, Hipp, and Beal teamed up to earn points and confirm the invitational victory.
Catholic is back in action on Saturday, December 7 for a home meet against St. Mary's (Md.). Meet time at the DuFour Center Pool is set for 1 p.m.