Swimming/Diving Team Claims Top Northeast-10 Title
The Assumption College women’s swimming and diving team made history Feb. 9, 2014, as the Hounds claimed the program’s first Northeast-10 Conference Swimming and Diving Championship at Hutchinson Natatorium in New Haven, Conn.
Assumption finished 134 points in front of 11-time defending league championship Southern Connecticut State University as the Hounds are in just the seventh year of the program’s existence. Assumption finished with 818 points, while Southern Connecticut finished runner-up at 684 points.
Overall, Assumption claimed six individual titles and three relays, en route to the first Northeast-10 crown in program history.
Freshman Rachel Lanam (Sebastian, Fla./Sebastian River) got the final session started with a win as she captured the 1650 free in a time of 17:44.37 to win the event by over 14 seconds. Senior Meaghan Shea (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Lutheran Academy) helped the Hounds increase their team lead as well with her fourth-place showing, finishing in a time of 18:12.44 as Assumption earned 35 points in the event. Four Hounds took part in the 200 backstroke finals, including senior captain Carly Eckles (Sherborn, Mass./Dover-Sherborn) and senior Jill Burke (North Andover, Mass./Central Catholic) in the “A” Final. Eckles placed sixth in 2:10.50, followed by Burke in seventh in 2:10.97. In the “B” Final, sophomores Janelle McDonald (Middleboro, Mass./Middleboro) and Caroline Flynn (North Attleboro, Mass./Bishop Feehan) combined for five points as they placed 14th and 15th, respectively, in the event with times of 2:15.43 and 2:15.62.
Junior Katherine Medeiros (Mattapoisett, Mass./Bishop Stang) picked up the team’s fifth individual title of the championship in the 100 free as she touched in a time of 53.89. Freshman Libby Gajewski (Biddeford, Maine/Catherine McAuley) touched just .14 later in 54.03 to claim second and freshman Tricia Lee (Norwood, Mass./Norwood) was seventh in a time of 55.19 to help the Hounds extend their lead. Assumption solidified its advantage in the 200 breaststroke with a third-place showing from freshman Rachel Gagnon (Tolland, Conn./Tolland) and a fifth-place outing from junior Elise Prayson (Dayton, Ohio/Archbishop Alter). Gagnon touched in 2:25.82 and Prayson finished with a time of 2:27.41. In the “B” Final, senior Rachel Pellegrine (Hanson, Mass./Whitman-Hanson) touched in second in 2:31.87 for seven points, followed by sophomore Rachel Ferris (Stephentown, N.Y./Berlin) in fifth at 2:36.09 for four points.
Senior Monique Haney (Rialto, Calif./Bloomington) earned her third individual title of the championship and fifth of her career in the final individual event of the meet in the 200 fly. She won by over four seconds in a time of 2:06.87 while senior Maureen Quirk (Wakefield, Mass./Wakefield), junior Ari McLynch (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) and Shea also picked up points in the “B” Final for the Hounds. Quirk won the “B” Final in 2:16.04. The win completed a 3-for-3 sweep for Haney among her individual events in the championship.
Assumption capped the championship with the closest finish of the four-day event as the 400 freestyle relay team of Gajewski, Lee, Medeiros and sophomore Victoria Weber (Augusta, Maine/Cony) finished second by just .01 in a time of 3:35.38.
On day three, the Hounds staked themselves to an eventual 114-point lead going to the final day behind a pair of individual championships and a victory in the 200 freestyle relay in the final event of the day. The third day began with the three-meter diving finals as sophomore Michele Galanos (Atkinson, N.H./Central Catholic) picked up ninth place and nine points with a score of 310.30. Freshman Jamie DiMarino (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) picked up three points as well as she finished 14 with a score of 227.80.
Haney captured her third career individual league title as she claimed the 400 IM in a time of 4:32.89 to win by over four seconds. Burke finished eighth in a time of 4:47.91 as the Hounds picked up 31 points in the event. In the 100 fly, Medeiros posted a fourth-place finish in 57.74, followed by Weber in seventh in 59.63. The pair picked up 27 points.
The second individual title of day three came in the 200 free as Gajewski captured the event in a school-record time of 1:55.69 as three Hounds combined for a 51-point effort in the event. Lee placed third in 1:56.62, along with a fourth-place finish Lanam as she touched in 1:57.38. Gagnon posted a school-record performance in the 100 breaststroke as she finished third in a time of 1:06.34. Prayson posted a fifth-place showing in the event as well, touching in 1:07.88 as the duo combined for 30 points.
In the final individual event of the day, Weber led the team with a sixth-place finish in the 100 backstroke in 59.31. Sophomore Janelle McDonald (Middleboro, Mass./Middleboro) placed eighth in 1:05.00 as the Hounds picked up 24 points in that event.
The final school record of day three came in a thrilling .16-second victory in the 200 freestyle relay as the Hounds touched in 1:38.39 to outdistance Southern Connecticut for the relay crown. The Hounds team consisted of Prayson, Gajewski, Medeiros and Weber as Assumption picked up the crucial 40 points in the second relay win of the championship for the Hounds.
Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College