KINGSPORT, Tenn. – With the first day of the 2016 Mid-South Conference Championships in the books, the ninth-ranked Lindsey Wilson women's swimming team sits in second place in the seven team field.
With 128 points on day one, Lindsey Wilson trails only Cumberlands (Ky.), who earned 146 points on the first day action. Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) rounds out the top-three teams in the standings as the sit in third place with 110 points.
The Blue Raiders started the morning preliminary heats with the 500-yard freestyle. Emily Wood led a trio of Lindsey Wilson swimmers in the event with a third-place finish in the prelims after she finished the race in 5:27.69, which qualified her for the A finals.
After entering the finals in third, Wood held onto to the same spot after she posted a time of 5:21.44 in the finals. Simone de Rijcke of Lindenwood-Belleville won the MSC title with a time of 5:06.52.
In the B finals of the 500-yard freestyle, Scheffer finished the heat in third, which slotted her ninth overall with a time of 5:36.10. Caudill posted a time of 5:57.54 as she finished in 12th place overall.
Laura Stephenson and Elena Nikolaeva led the way for the Blue Raiders in the 200-yard individual medley as Stephenson posted a second-place prelim finish, while Nikolaeva was right behind her in third. Both Stephenson and Nikolaeva qualified for the A finals.
Courtney Fleeger was the lone swimmer for Lindsey Wilson to qualify for the B finals with a 10th-place finish after posting a prelim time of 2:27.29. Susan Herrington finished just outside of the top 12, as she finished in 14th.
Stephenson finished in third-place overall with a time of 2:12.19 in the A finals, as she just missed out on second place after Carly Breithbarth of Lindenwood-Belleville edged out Stephenson with a time of 2:12.16. Cumberlands' Christina Klouda won the conference title in the event with a time of 2:09.19.
Nikolaeva finished in sixth place after finishing in a time of 2:15.53. In the B finals, Fleeger improved one-spot as she moved to ninth with a time of 2:25.15.
The Blue Raiders had four student-athletes compete in the 50-yard freestyle as Ronni Borders led the field of 29 swimmers in the prelims with a time of 24.85, which hit a national A standard, in the first event of the season for Borders. Bailey Seitz also hit the national A cut and qualified for the championship finals with time of 25.30, which placed her in fourth.
Caitlin Freeny qualified for the B finals with a time of 26.67, which was 11th fastest overall. The final competitor for Lindsey Wilson in the 50-yard freestyle was Kylie Gehefer, and she posted a 15th-place finish with a time of 27.35.
In the final individual event of the day, Borders captured the Blue Raiders' first individual Mid-South Conference Championship as she won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.64. Seitz finished in sixth place after finishing the race in 25.66. In the B finals, Freeny captured three more points for Lindsey Wilson as she finished in 10th place overall.
In the 200-yard medley relay, the team of Nikolaeva, Borders, Stephenson and Seitz won the Mid-South Conference Championship. The quartet finished the race in 1:48.71, which set a new MSC Championship record and new program record.
The second relay final of the day was the 800-yard freestyle, where the team of Nikolaeva, Freeny, Wood and Stephenson finished in second-place with a time of 8:06.08, breaking the previous school record. The Cumberlands team won the championship after posting a time of 7:51.51.
Lindsey Wilson had multiple swimmers earn All Mid-South Conference First Team and Second Team honors. Earning first team honors were: Nikolaeva, Borders, Stephenson and Seitz. Second team honorees included Nikolaeva, Freeny, Wood and Stephenson. Winners of each event earn first team accolades, while each runner-up is placed on the second team.
Action at the 2016 Mid-South Conference Championships resumes from Kingsport, Tenn., at 9 a.m. CT on Friday.