BABSON PARK, Mass.—The Babson College women's swimming & diving team begins a new era in 2016-17 after Rich Echlov, the only head coach in program history, retired last spring following more than three decades in charge of the program.
First-year head coach Kristy Martin was hired in August and welcomes back eight swimmers and two divers from a team that finished 10th at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships last winter. Despite losing a pair of seniors to graduation, the Beavers bring back plenty of experience, led by senior captains Mallory Ham (Norwalk, Conn.) and Paris Ekman (Fargo, N.D.).
Ham recorded one victory and four runner-up finishes in eight meets last winter, while Ekman, who is the 11-dive school-record holder on both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving boards, reached the NCAA regional diving championships for the third consecutive season. Fellow senior Madeline Dupre (Fiskdale, Mass.) is also back after posting 13 top-three results in the 100-yard breaststroke and distance freestyle events a year ago.
Junior Reilly Robbins (Centerville, Mass.) came in first on three occasions and touched the wall second four times in the backstroke and butterfly, and recorded her top times of the season in a pair of events the conference meet in February. Sophomore Maria Orive (Guatemala City, Guatemala) posted five runner-up finishes in the freestyle, while junior Fernanda Tilkian (Key Biscayne, Fla.) had one victory and came in second twice while competing in the backstroke in 2015-16.
Sophomore diver Tessa Amoroso (Rowley, Mass.) will look to build on a solid rookie campaign that saw her recorded nine victories and five second-place results on the 1- and 3-meter boards.
In addition to its core of returners, the Green and White has three first-year swimmers that are hoping to make an immediate impact in the pool.
"I'm very excited to kick off my first season," said Martin. "The team has really stepped up to the training we've been doing and I'm looking forward to seeing their hard work pay off as we start to compete. We have some tough meets ahead of us, but the team is excited for the challenges ahead."
Babson will host UMass Dartmouth to open the 2016-17 season at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Morse Pool.