FOREST, Va. – The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2012 preseason women's swimming poll on Friday afternoon and Washington and Lee was picked to finish atop the standings.
W&L received 64 votes, including seven of the eight first-place votes. Randolph-Macon was second with 57 points and collected the final first-place vote, followed by Bridgewater and Sweet Briar, who tied for third with 45 points. Hollins (31), Greensboro (26), Emory & Henry (25), Notre Dame of Maryland (23) and Guilford (8) rounded out the poll.
The Generals return six of their 2012 First-Team All-ODAC honorees, including the Rookie of the Year, sophomore Caroline Hamp (Avon Lake, Ohio/Elyria Catholic), and the ODAC/Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete of the Year, senior Delaney Rolfe (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park). Hamp and Rolfe were joined by seniors Izzy Brassfield (Greensboro, N.C./Greensboro Day School) and Brittany Ross (Chatham, N.J./Chatham), and sophomores Meredith Hardy (Cary, N.C./Athens Drive) and Lauren Kasoff (Owings Mills, Md./Saint Paul's) on the first team.
Hamp garnered Rookie of the Year accolades after registering three event wins at the ODAC Championship. She won the 100 fly in a time of 59.78, finished third in the 200 back (2:13.39), swam a leg on the first-place finishing 200 medley relay (1:49.45) and was a member of the conference-record setting 400 medley relay that clocked in at 3:59.44. Rolfe returns as last season's 500 free conference champion, timing in at 5:12.94, while also posting a third-place finish in the 200 fly (2:16.58) and 200 free (1:56.23).
Brassfield swam a leg of the record-setting 200 medley relay (1:49.45) and 200 free relay (1:38.26) teams that both took first place at ODACs. In the 50 free, she clocked in at 24.70 to finish second and was fourth in the 100 free (54.52). Brittany Ross won the 200 fly, touching in at 2:11.84, finished second in the 100 fly (1:00.25) and fifth in the 200 IM (2:14.62).
Hardy helped set three new school records at ODACs, swimming a leg of the 400 medley relay, 400 free relay (3:33.95) and 800 free relay (7:49.01) teams. Individually, she registered a second-place finish in the 200 free (1:55.96) and a third-place finish in the 50 free (24.78) and 100 free (54.35). Wrapping up the first-team selections, Kasoff was also a member of the record-setting 800 free relay, and claimed second in the 200 IM (2:13.00), 200 fly (2:14.32) and 400 IM (4:42.09).
W&L also welcomes back three second team all-conference honorees in seniors Rachel Mensch (Harrison, Tenn./Girls Prep) and Colleen Moore (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield) and sophomore Hannah Melkun (Fredericksburg, Va./Stafford).
Melkun collected second-team laurels after posting third-place performances in the 100 breast (1:09.39) and 400 IM (4:44.32) at the ODAC meet. Mench placed fourth in the 200 fly in a time of 2:19.88, and Moore took home fourth in the 1650 free (18:22.58).
The Generals take to the pool for the first time this season on Saturday, when they travel to Louisville, Ky., to face Centre at 2:30 pm.
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