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Owl Women Win NCAA Swim Honors

l-r: Jackie Foster, Kristine Trutor, Alea Paddock, Jillian Whitaker, Kaila Umbarger (Ryan McKernan photo)
l-r: Jackie Foster, Kristine Trutor, Alea Paddock, Jillian Whitaker, Kaila Umbarger (Ryan McKernan photo)

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., 3/20/10 - The Keene State College women’s swim team completed an historic season by finishing 18th out of 51 teams at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Center on Saturday night.

The Owl women, who had five competitors at the meet, finished with 69 points. Emory College won the women’s championship with 585.5 points, while the Kenyon University men continued their dominance by capturing their 31st consecutive title with 696 points.

Keene State Coach Jack Fabian was thrilled with his team’s performance. “I couldn’t be any happier for this group of women,” he said. “Their accomplishments this week are a true example of where hard work and determination can take you. They have put Keene State on the national swim map.”

The Keene State women’s 400 freestyle relay team advanced to the finals on Saturday. Competing in their final race for KSC, seniors Kristine Trutor (Holden, Mass.) and Jackie Foster (Goffstown, Mass.) along with sophomore Jillian Whitaker (Gilford, N.H.) and freshman Kaila Umbarger (Chelmsford, Mass.) placed 16th with a time of 3:33.83, earning honorable mention All- America recognition. Earlier in the day, the foursome broke the school record in the preliminary race with a time of 3:32.67.

In other preliminary races on Saturday, Umbarger and Whitaker placed 33rd (52.97) and 42nd (53.58), respectively, in the 100 free. Trutor was 23rd in the 200 back (2:07.19), and senior Cody Larrimore (Trappe, Md.) was 41st in the men’s 100 free (47.13).

Keene State returns home with its first women’s swimming All-Americas. Trutor placed fourth in the 100 backstroke to become the first Owl woman swimmer to earn All-America in an individual event. Earlier in the week, she teamed with senior Alea Paddock (Newbury, N.H.), Whitaker, and Umbarger to earn All- America with an eighth-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay.

Trutor also earned honorable mention All-America honors with her 11th place finish in the 100 fly.

Keene State relays also shined in the national spotlight. The Owls earned honorable mention All-America in the 400 medley relay and the 200 free relay.

“It was an amazing week,” said Fabian. “They learned what it takes to race at a national meet. Hopefully, they will come back and pass it on to the younger members of the team, so they can take the program to the next level.”

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