Guilford Wins First Swimming Invitational In School History

Rebecca Shenhouse '22 (Katy Holt '19 photo)
Rebecca Shenhouse '22 (Katy Holt '19 photo)

CARY, N.C. – Guilford College's women's swimming team held off William Peace University Sunday to win its first invitational title in the program's 15-year history.

The Quakers won the two-day, six-team William Peace Fall Invitational at the Triangle Aquatic Center with 176 points, three better than the host Pacers. Randolph College (84), Ferrum College (61), and Warren Wilson College (23) rounded out the top-five teams. Greensboro College placed sixth with one point.

Guilford took an 11-point edge over William Peace entering Sunday's two sessions and added four points to its lead after the day's first session. The Pacers rallied in the final session and won five of the final seven events. The Quakers retained their advantage with a second-place finish in the meet's penultimate race, the 400-yard freestyle relay, and eight points from three top-six efforts in the final event, the 1,650 freestyle.

Senior Carolyn O'Halloran, who set three school records at the weekend meet, anchored the Quakers' 400 freestyle relay and placed third in the 1,650 free in 21 minutes, 59.49 seconds, the fourth-fastest time in school history. O'Halloran collected a team-best 49.5 points on the strength of a win in Saturday's 500 freestyle, five second-place finishes, and the third-place result in the 1,650 freestyle. Her lead leg (2:07.12) in Sunday morning's 800 freestyle relay shaved nearly two seconds off her previous school standard set in 2017. She came back in Sunday's second session with a record effort in the 100 freestyle (56.50 seconds), just 0.33 second off of Randolph College's Brice Creel's winning pace. O'Halloran set Guilford's previous 100 freestyle record (57.48) in 2016.

The Quakers also got strong performances from sophomore Rebecca Shenhouse and freshman Megan Cessna. Shenhouse had three second-place results on the way to 33.5 points over the two days. Cessna scored in each of her 12 events, including a third-place showing in Friday's 500 freestyle.

Both Shenhouse and Cessna joined O'Halloran and Molly Hunt on the Quakers' winning 400 medley and 800 freestyle relays that posted two of the five-fastest times in Guilford history. Cessna's 1:10.34 on the opening backstroke leg of Friday's medley relay ranks second in school history and helped the Quakers touch in 4:47.90, Guilford's fifth-fastest mark. The 800 freestyle relay won with a time of 9:24.79, which stands fourth in school history.

Coach Brad Herndon's Quakers return to action on December 7 in a quadrangular meet hosted by Sweet Briar College at 1:00 p.m.