Monday, March 21, 2011
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Two Westminster College women's swimmers will compete this week at the NCAA Division III Women's Swimming & Diving Championships March 23-26 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn. Senior Courtney Herdt (Beaver Falls, Pa./Beaver Falls) and junior Caitlin Lehberger (New Wilmington, Pa./Wilmington) have qualified and each will compete in three events.
Herdt and Lehberger are seeded third and fourth in the nation for the 200-yard breaststroke with qualifying times of 2:19.24 and 2:19.31, respectively. Lehberger, a third-year qualifier for nationals, placed fifth at NCAA meet in the 200 breaststroke last year with a school-record time of 2:18.50. Herdt is a two-time national qualifier who placed 13th in the event last year at 2:21.06.
Both swimmers will also race in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke. Lehberger is seeded seventh in the 200 IM (2:05.47) after she finished fourth in the event last year with a school-record time of 2:04.15. Herdt is seeded 43rd in the 200 IM (2:12.51).
Herdt is seeded eighth in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.20) and Lehberger is 29th (1:06.17). Lehberger and Herdt finished fourth (1:03.79) and ninth (1:04.31), respectively, at nationals in the 100 breaststroke last year with Lehberger's time remaining the school record.
Lehberger earned top-eight All-America honors last year and top-16 honorable mention All-America accolades as a freshman in 2009. Herdt seeks her first All-America nod after receiving an honorable mention last year.
If Lehberger or Herdt win any of their events they would become the first Westminster NCAA national champion in any sport. Three Titan men's swimmers and one Titan women's swimmer won national championships in events when Westminster was an NAIA school.
The 200 IM is set for Wednesday, while the 100 breaststroke will take place Friday and the 200 breaststroke on Saturday. The preliminaries in each event will start at 10 a.m. followed by the finals at 6 p.m.
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top tier liberal arts college, a national leader in graduation rate performance, and a "Great School, Great Price," according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 38th among liberal arts colleges, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 373 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.