Hoboken, NJ – Stevens Institute of Technology senior Laura Barito (Arkadelphia, Ark.) of the Stevens Institute of Technology women’s swimming team won the 50-yard freestyle at the 2011 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Wednesday evening, becoming the first NCAA National Champion in the history of Stevens Athletics.
In the 50-free, Barito carded a 23.30 and was seeded fourth heading into the final. The Ducks’ senior then notched a 22.87 to win the event and re-break her own school-record of 23.23 set at the 2010 NCAA’s. Barito edged the second-place finished by .13 seconds to earn 20 team points.
“We are all extremely proud of Laura – it is a truly amazing feat,” Head Swimming Coach Trevor Miele (New York, N.Y.) said. “She is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen and there is no one more deserving of a national title than her.”
Sophomore Marissa Douglas (Cumberland, R.I.) was the Ducks’ top finisher in the 200-yard individual medley prelims, clocking a 2:09.07 and placing 31st, while junior Sian Pearson (Foothill Ranch, Calif.) turned in a 5:04.54 and took 27th in the 500-yard freestyle prelims.
The 200-yard medley relay team of senior Gabrielle Czernik (Wanaque, N.J.), Douglas, freshman Louise Moores (Mukilteo, Wash.), and Barito placed fifth with a time of 1:44.65 to set a new school-record. That group came back in the final to place fifth again, this time touching at 1:44.10 and re-breaking its program-record from the morning session.
Currently, Stevens sits in sixth place overall with a team total of 48, while Emory University is in first with 162 points. Williams College (90), Kenyon College (76), and The College of New Jersey (56) round out the top five as a total of 35 teams earned points on Day 1.
The Ducks will return to action on Thursday afternoon in Day 2 (of 4) at the NCAA Division III Championships.
About Stevens Institute of Technology
Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research. The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.
Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts. Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,350 undergraduate and 3,600 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world. Additional information may be obtained at www.stevens.edu and www.stevens.edu/news.