Hartford, Conn. - The 2017-2018 Trinity College women's swimming and diving season was one to remember for the Bantams. In his fourth season, Head Coach Carlos Vega guided the Bantams to a ninth place finish at the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, the team's best finish since 2003, while numerous Bantams set new Trinity records throughout the year. During the season, Trinity saw 18 swimmers set 42 new lifetime bests, three divers set six lifetime-best scores, 16 college records fall and 28 new all-time top-10 marks. Bantam first-year Samantha McStocker (Weston, Conn.) put an exclamation mark on the season by becoming the first Trinity swimmer to be invited to the NCAA Championships since 1994 and the first female since 1983.
Trinity had strong showings in the fall semester but did not pick up its first dual victory until the first meet of the new year, a 183-107 triumph over Clark at home. The Bantams posted first-place finishers in 11 of the first 12 races, led by rookie Nicole Cannon (Thornton, Pa.) and McStocker, who made up half of Trinity's first-place foursome in the 200-yard medley relay to start the meet while both won two individual races as well. Cannon, McStocker, and sophomores Julia Albino (Southbury, Conn.) and Nina Tzianabos (Reading, Mass.) made up the quartet that helped the Bantams to a 13-4 lead after one event, and the home team kept its commanding lead the entire night.
The Bantams made it two victories in a row with a dominating, 206-93 victory over Mt. Holyoke the following day. McStocker won the backstroke at both 100 and 200 yards to lead the way. Trinity sophomore Audrey Ettinger (New Canaan, Conn.) posted second-place finishes in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly races, and rookie Lia Urban-Spillane (Rochester, N.Y.) was second off both the one- and three-meter diving boards. Tzianabos added a second-place time of 25.60 in the 50-yard free, and Cannon registered a second-place time of 2:23.92 in the 200-yard individul medley.
McStocker set a new Trinity record with her time of 1:01.89 in the 100-yard individual medley on the first day of a quad meet with Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Colby. The Bantams, in an unsual finish, tied the Mules 186-186. McStocker continued her dominance in the team's final dual meet before the NESCAC Championships by taking home first in the 200-yard backstroke in a meet at Connecticut College.
At the NESCAC Championships at Williams College, Trinity totaled 443.5 points to finish 61.5 better than 10th-place Hamilton and 381.5 behind eighth-place Wesleyan among an 11-team field. Williams won the team title with 1,971 points and the Bantams finished out of the cellar for the first time since 2003. On Friday of championship weekend, McStocker had improved nearly a full second from her preliminary to her finals time to jump to sixth in the finals of the 50-yard backstroke. Albino, McStocker, Tzianabos, and first-year Grace Gorman (Sudbury, Mass.) opened the meet with a Trinity-record-breaking time of 1:44.60 in the 200-yard freestyle relay, while Cannon, Ettinger, Gorman, and McStocker set a new school record in the 400-yard medley relay at 4:10.71. Both relays came in ninth place overall. Ettinger's time of 2:10.25 in the 200-yard IM broke her own school record by 85 seconds.
On Saturday, McStocker broke Trinity's 100-yard backstroke record for the second time in as many days with her preliminary time of 56.92 and finished just .02 seconds shy of fourth place and .18 seconds shy of third in the 100-yard back finals. Her time also was a provisonal qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championships in March. In the 200-yard medley relay, McStocker, Cannon, and sophomores Julia Albino (Southbury, Conn.) and Nina Tzianabos (Reading, Mass.) registered a Trinity-record time of 1:48.32 in a ninth-place finish.
On the final day, McStocker took fourth place in the 200-yard backstroke with a Trinity-record-breaking time of 2:03.07, which was just 0.25 seconds behind the third-place swimmer. Trinity sophomore Katrina Trentos (Wilton, Conn.) also shined in Sunday's 200-yard back with a 16th-place time of 2:10.96, while Ettinger was 17th in the 200-yard butterfly with a lifetime-best time of 2:09.55 that is also the second-fastest in Trinity history. The Bantams boasted three top-20 scorers in the three-meter diving, as first-year Urban-Spillane was 10th with 354.20 points, fellow rookie Jazmin Johnson (Kennewick, Wash.) placed 18th with 277.20 points, and senior tri-captain Bailey D'Antonio (Portland, Maine) came in 19th with 268 points.
At the NCAA Championships in March, McStocker posted school-record times of 1:55.99 in the 200-yard freestyle and 56.81 in the 100-yard backstroke. She bested her own record by .11 seconds in the 100-yard back to finish 23rd overall on Friday, while her time in the 200-yard free on Friday placed her 45th in the field. Her qualifying time in the 200-yard backstroke was the fastest of the seven provisional times to make the cut and was 11th-fastest in the field entering the weekend.
The Bantams enjoyed success out of the water as well, as Albino, D'Antonio, Ettinger, Urban-Spillane, senior tri-captains Cassidy Black (Dover, N.H.) and Nia Vogel (White Plains, N.Y.), and sophomore Kristen Morissette (Leeds, Maine) were named to the Trinity Faculty Honors List. Ettinger earned her second straight appearance on the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team and was also named to the NESCAC All-Academic team, along with Albino, Black, D'Antonio, Morissette, Vogel and sophomores Madi Guay (Wakefield, Mass.) and Brook Hendee (Wilton, Conn.).