RICHMOND, Va. - With 1561 points, the Catholic University women's swim team finished second place out of eight competing teams in the 2018 Randolph-Macon College Yellow Jacket Invitational after two days of swimming at the Collegiate School Aquatic Center. The men's team earned 1582 points for second place as the Cardinals collected 3143 points to claim the highest combined score of the meet.
The Cardinals narrowly lost to Randolph-Macon in the battle for the spot in the invitational, as the Yellow Jackets accumulated just two more points (1563) for first place. Catholic outswam the other five Division III schools, besting Washington College (1161, third place) by 400 points, St. Mary's (Md.) (1034 - fifth place), and Marymount (551 - sixth place). The team also topped Division II opponent Barton College who finished fourth with 1125 points.
The women kicked off the meet nicely Friday afternoon, grabbing second place in the 200-freestyle relay event. Caroline Beal (25.29), Megan Leibfreid (24.85), Angela Castano (24.62), and Rachael Zarlinski (25.32) teamed up for a 1:40.08 overall time that gave Catholic 56 points in the first women's event.
Freshman Cagney Boyle placed fifth in the 200-individual medley with a 2:15.22 to earn the team 25 points. Three swimmers in the top twelve grabbed 62 total points for Catholic in the 50-freestyle sprint event. Castano (25.01) finished 6th, Leibfreid (25.21) followed close behind in 7th, and sophomore Julia Labich finished 12th with a time of 25.95.
Leibfreid, Boyle, Castano, and Beal teamed up again for a big third place finish in the 400-medley relay. Their 4:07.42 tallied 54 points for the team. Zarlinski, Molly Donnellan, Emily Tighe, and Kate Von Heeringen took 10th out of 15 relay teams to pick up 34 more points in the final women's event on Friday.
Leibfreid, Castano, and Zarlinski added freshman Aubrey McDonough into the mix for the opening event Saturday, the 200-medley relay. The four combined for 1:53.90 time, good for fourth place and 52 points.
Catholic followed with four top-ten finishers in the 400-individual medley event. Boyle (3rd - 4:49.68), Valerie Sander (7th - 4:55.78), Tighe (8th - 4:56.34) and Mary Margaret Deedrick (10th - 5:00.61) tallied up 89 points for the team. Beal earned 28 more points with a second place finish (59.85) in the 100-backstroke, and then a first plae finish in the 200-backstroke (2:08.56). Senior Emily Messina (2:17.38) took fourth place in the 200-butterfly to grab 26 points for the Cardinals.
The invitational was decided in the final event for the women, the 400-freestyle relay, and Catholic put up a solid second-place finish. Leibfried, Zarlinski, Castano, and Beal teamed up for a 3:40.79 to take 56 points, and Randolph-Macon just outswam the Cardinals to take first place overall.
It was a second consecutive impressive showing for head coach Paul Waas' swim teams, as they collected 2548 points to claim the highest combined score of the 2017 Yellow Jacket Invitational as well.
Catholic returns to the pool in 2019 for an away meet against Washington College on Saturday, January 12 at 1 p.m.
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