Peel runner-up at NCAAs

Tribune Staff • Mar 25, 2019 at 12:49 AM

Former Spring Lake girls swimming standout Meghan Peel made a splash at the NCAA Division III National Championships over the weekend representing Hope College.

The sophomore was the only female swimmer to qualify for the Flying Dutch, swimming three events.

Peel’s runner-up, All-American performance in the 200-yard backstroke highlighted the weekend, as she dropped 2.46 seconds off her entry time for a lifetime best, school-record setting time of 1 minute, 58.50 seconds.

After qualifying in second during the prelim session with a time of 1:59.56, Peel sat behind the event’s defending champion Crile Hart from Kenyon, who won the 2018 race in an NCAA record time of 1:55.67.

At finals, Peel sat comfortably in second place for the duration of the race, with 50-yard splits of 27.60, 29.68, 29.80 and 31.15. Hart led by just half a second heading into the final 50 yards, but closed with a 29.83 split to pull away from the field. Delan Ambrosen, also of Kenyon, finished third at 1:59.58. Peel was one of just four swimmers to break the 2-minute barrier at the meet and one of six over the entire season.

Saturday’s race was the climax of the weekend, but Peel performed well in her other swims, as well.

Her ninth-place finish in the 100 backstroke secured more real estate on the Hope College record board, as she paced the consolation final heat with a time of 55.64 seconds, breaking both the school and Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference records. The swim earned Peel All-American Honorable Mention distinction.

Peel also competed in the 50 freestyle, finishing 32nd overall with a time of 23.79, dropping more than two seconds off her seed time.

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