Westwood, Mass. (December 4) – After a very successful Winter Invitational this past weekend, the No. 8 ranked MIT women's swimming and diving team has swept the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) weekly awards, when the league announced its selections this afternoon.
Senior Jessica Chen (Rockville, Md.) was named as the NEWMAC Swimmer of the Week, sophomore Blake Zhou (Palo Alto, Calif.) was named as the NEWMAC Diver of the Week and Chen teamed up with sophomores Kayla Holman (Menlo Park, Calif.), Lilia Staszel (Brighton, Mich.) and freshman Hannah Mahaffey (Lawrenceville, Ga.) for NEWMAC Relay Team of the Week honors.
In the six events in which she competed in this weekend, senior Chen earned six first place finishes, six NCAA "B" cuts, and broke two program records. On Saturday, Chen broke the school record in the 100-breast swimming a time of 1:03.17 - the sixth fastest time in the country and then on Sunday, she broke the school record in the 200 breast swimming a time of 2:18.17 - also the sixth fastest in Division III. Chen also guided the four relays that she was on to swims with times that rank in the top-8 in the country including the 400-medley relay (3:48.47), the 200-free relay (1:34.30), the 200-medley relay (1:45.16) and the 400-free relay (3:29.79).
Zhou swept both boards, broke a pool record and set a personal best score en route to helping the Engineers to a second place finish at the Winter Invite this weekend. On Friday on the 1-meter board, Zhou finished first with a pool record and personal best mark of 310.05 points and followed it up on Saturday with a first place finish on the 3-meter board with a season-best mark of 318.15 points. Both of those scores were well above the NCAA Diving Regional qualifying marks as Zhou has secured a spot at that meet later in the season.
The women's 400-medley relay team comprised of Holman, Chen, Mahaffey and Staszel registered a first place finish, an NCAA "B" cut time and the fourth fastest time in Division III at this weekend's Winter Invitational with a mark of 3:48.47. The time was also nearly five seconds faster than the second place team from NYU.
MIT is off until after the New Year as the Engineers will host the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for a dual meet on Saturday, January 13 at 1:00 p.m.