Cowan Smashes 500 Free Record at Princeton's Big Al Open
• Scores: Johns Hopkins (98 • 6th place)
• Location: Princeton, NJ • DeNunzio Pool
• The Short Story: Senior Courtney Cowan broke her own school record twice to highlight the Johns Hopkins women’s swim team’s performance on the first day of the Princeton Big Al Open. The Blue Jays sit in sixth place with 98 points through five events. Brown accumulated 284 points to sit in first place, followed by Villanova (210) in second and host Princeton (154) in third. Hopkins is the lone Division III team competing at the nine-team meet.
Quoting Coach Armstrong
• “It’s been a great day here at the Big Al Open. This team is battling some of the toughest competition in program history and stepping up to the challenge. We had big swims in every event and team spirit is high! There were just too many exciting swims to highlight but Courtney Cowan clearly led the way and got this team electrified.”
• The Blue Jays kicked off the night with fifth and 13th-place finishes in the 200 Free Relay. Senior Anna Wisniewski, freshman Mikayla Bisignani and sophomores Sonia Lin and Alison Shapiro clocked in with an NCAA provisional time of 1:34.66. Placing 13th were freshman Hanan Bandak, sophomore Michelle Wang, junior Emily Cheng ad senior Lena Bless with a time of 1:36.30.
• Cowan followed with a second-place finish in the A final of the 500 Free with a time of 4:48.50. She knocked more than three seconds off her own school record, which she had set in the prelim. Freshman Emma McElrath placed sixth in the B final, 14th overall, with a time of 4:56.43 – the sixth fastest time in school history. Both Cowan and McElrath’s times are NCAA provisional cuts. Freshman Amy Pearson took eighth in the C final, 24th overall, as she finished in 5:11.56.
• Senior Sara Wujciak then swam a 2:07.32 to finish in seventh in the B final of the 200 IM. Her prelim swim of 2:05.84 is a career best and NCAA provisional cut. Senior Gwynnie LaMastra turned in a career-best time of 2:04.78 to take third in the C final.
• Shapiro placed seventh in the 50 Free as she touched in 23.68. Her morning swim of 23.59 is a career best and an NCAA provisional cut. Bisignani finished in eighth in the C final with a time of 24.36.
• Hopkins wrapped up the first day with ninth and 12th-place finishes in the 400 Medley Relay. Wang, LaMastra, Wisniewski and Shapiro swam an NCAA provisional cut of 3:49.43 for ninth. The team of freshman Carmela Irato, Wujciak, junior Elizabeth Duncan and Cowan placed 12th in 3:52.29.
• Hopkins returns to action at the Big Al Open on Saturday, December 2. Prelims are scheduled to begin at 10:00 am with the 400 IM and finals are slated to begin at 6:00 pm.