KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The ninth-ranked Lindsey Wilson women's swimming team finished in second-place at the 2016 Mid-South Conference Championship after the three-day event concluded on Saturday.
The Blue Raiders totaled 409 points over the course of the conference championships and they edged out third-place Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) by five points. Cumberlands (Ky.) won the Mid-South Conference title for the second-straight season as they earned 486 points.
To start the final day of the conference championships, Elena Nikolaeva and Courtney Fleeger competed in the 200-yard backstroke. Nikolaeva led the duo in the prelims with a time of 2:12.76, which slotted her in third-place heading into the A finals and she also hit the national A standard in the prelims. Fleeger posted a time of 2:27.72 as she qualified for the B finals with a ninth-place finish.
In the finals, both Nikolaeva and Fleeger improved on their times as they recorded times of 2:10.63 and 2:24.40, respectively. Nikolaeva finished in third, while Fleeger posted a ninth-place overall finish.
Bailey Seitz was the lone Lindsey Wilson swimmer in the 100-yard freestyle and she hit the national A standard with a time of 55.83. Seitz finished in seventh place to qualify for the B finals.
Seitz cut 0.31 seconds off her preliminary time after she finished the 100-yard freestyle B finals with a time of 55.52, which placed her seventh overall.
Ronni Borders continued her strong performance at the MSC Championships as she qualified second in the 200-yard breaststroke with an A cut time of 2:31.56. Caitlin Freeny also qualified for the championship finals with a time of 2:37.55, which was below the national bonus cut.
Borders grabbed a third-place finish in the finals as she recorded a time of 2:29.78, while Freeny moved up one spot from her prelim finish to fifth with a time of 2:36.22. Kirst Coetzee of Life (Ga.) won the event with a time of 2:24.64.
In the 200-yard butterfly, Laura Stephenson and Susan Herrington qualified for the A finals with first and fourth-place finishes in the prelims, respectively. Stephenson's time of 2:12.80 was nearly five seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Stephenson hit the national A standard, while Herrington's 2:22.33 just missed the B standard time.
After winning the 100-yard butterfly on Friday, Stephenson continued to dominate the butterfly events with a championship in the 200-yard butterfly on Saturday. Stephenson won the event by more than five seconds as she posted a new MSC championship record time of 2:08.55. Herrington finished third in the event with a time of 2:19.98 to hit the national A standard.
In the 1,650-yard freestyle Emily Wood finished in third, with a time of 18:42.72, while Tori Caudill finished in seventh place after posting a time of 19:24.97. The final Blue Raider in the event was Hailee Scheffer, who finished in 19:35.69, which slotted her in eighth. Wood hit the national A standard, while Caudill and Scheffer achieved the national bonus cut.
In the final event of the conference championships, the Lindsey Wilson 400-yard freestyle relay team of Borders, Seitz, Nikolaeva and Stephenson finished in third place with a time of 3:39.76, which set a new school record. Lindenwood-Belleville won the event after recording a time of 3:35.00.
The quartet of Borders, Nikolaeva, Seitz and Stephenson earned First Team All Mid-South Conference honors as they won the 200 and 400-yard medley relays, while the four also earned second team honors in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
As individuals, Borders won the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke, while Nikolaeva captured a first-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. Stephenson also won a pair of individual events in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly events, as all three student-athletes earned first team accolades.
On the All-MSC Second Team, the Blue Raider 800-yard freestyle relay team of Nikolaeva, Freeny, Wood and Stephenson earned the honor.
Christina Klouda of Cumberlands won both Swimmer of the Year and Freshman of the Year following the event.
Lindsey Wilson now heads to Columbus, Ga., for the 2016 NAIA National Championships starting on March 2.