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NATIONAL CHAMPION - Pennington Wins 50 Free Title at NCAA Championships

Indianapolis, Ind. - March 21, 2012 - Kellie Pennington was crowned the NCAA Division III Women's 50 Freestyle National Champion on Wednesday evening after touching in 23 seconds flat at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships.

A local product from Monson, Mass., Pennington qualified for the evening's final session after posting the second-fastest time of prelims, a 23.18. The sophomore had previously been seeded first in the event after swimming a 23.09 at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships. For her efforts at the championships, which included three individual titles, Pennington was named the NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year for the second-straight season.

Kellie Pennington

Swimming in lane three, Pennington used a tremendous start to re-establish her school record with a time of 23.00 seconds, out-touching Christie Raliegh of Rowan, who finished in 23.09. Emory's Claire Pavlak swam the fastest time in prelims, a 22.86, only to finish third with a 23.10 in the finals.

In his 23rd season as the head women's and men's swimming coach, this is coach John Taffe's first national champion.

"I'm so proud of Kellie, this really is a product of her hard work and competitive nature," said Taffe. "She is a tough, even-keeled, and humble competitor who didn't let all the distractions out here get to her. She was determined from a year ago and knew that she could compete on this level."

Kellie Pennington Wins 50 Freestyle National Championship

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Head Coach John Taffe

John Taffe John Taffe enters his 25th season in 2013-2014 as the head coach of the men's and women's swimming teams at Springfield College. Under Taffe’s leadership, the Pride has returned to its status as one of the best collegiate swimming and diving programs in Division III.Read more.

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E-Mail | Phone: 413.748.3169

Diving Coach Peter Avdoulos

Peter Avdoulos Peter Avdoulos is regarded as one of the top diving coaches in the nation, and is entering his 29th season as the diving coach for both the men's and women's programs in 2013-2014. The current NEWMAC Men's and Women's Diving Coach of the Year, Avdoulos has coached countless All-New England and All-American divers, as well as several National Champions. Read more.

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E-Mail | Phone: 413.748.3445

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