17 individuals contribute points as Warriors capture second place
WHITE RIVER JCT., Vt. -- Individuals were named All-New England a total of 22 times and all five relays earned identical honors as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's swim team recorded program-bests with a second-place finish and a total of 1,136.5 points in a 21-team field at the three-day New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) Division II-III Championships which concluded Sunday night at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center.
Eastern, which had a previous program-high finish of third in 2009/10, moved into second place ahead of Roger Williams University for good after outscoring the Hawks 63-20 in the 13th event of the championships (100 yard backstroke) Saturday evening. Division II institutions Bentley University (the 2012 champion) and Assumption College - two of the three teams to finish ahead of Eastern last year -- did not compete in the championships this season.
In a three-team race, Keene State College captured the title with 1,593 points. Eastern holds a 129-point advantage over Roger Williams, heading into next weekend's diving portion of the championships (Eastern does not offer diving). Diving events were postponed this weekend due to snow and have been re-scheduled for next weekend at Plymouth State University. Keene, Eastern and Roger Williams were the only institutions to collect as many as 1,000 points.
Eight Eastern individual and relay records were set in the meet. Junior Michelle Schapp (Torrington) broke her own records in the 50 (28.56) and 200 (2:12.06 backstroke, and all three breaststroke records fell, as did three relays.
Senior Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport) broke the 200 breaststroke record in Sunday afternoon's final in a time of 2:29.36 after sophomore Rachael Thatcher (Newington) had broken it in Sunday's preliminary (Thatcher also broke her own record in Sunday's final). Freshman Katie King (Barkhamsted) broke the three-year old 50 breaststroke (31.10) record Friday and her own 100 breaststroke (1:08.95) record Saturday.
The program's 400 medley relay record fell in a time of 4:07.97 Friday, and the 200 medley relay (1:52.52) and 800 freestyle relay (8:07.84) records were broken Saturday.
At left: Becky Odgers
Seventeen individuals contributed points in individual events. Schapp led the way with 75, junior Becky Odgers (Shelton) adding 74, Katie King and junior Erin McVeigh (Windsor) adding 73, junior Marissa Colley (East Haven) 70, junior Jacqueline Tromp (Bohemia,NY) 68, O'Kelly 64, sophomore Kayla Smoragiewicz (Norwalk) 62, Thatcher 60, and junior Colleen King (Barkamsted) 59.
The top eight individuals and first four relays in each events are accorded All-New England honors. Schapp, Odgers and Katie King all swam to regional honors in each of their three individual events, with O'Kelly, McVeigh, Tromp, Colley, Colleen King and Smoragiewicz earning the honor twice.
All five relays earned All-New England honors, none of them finishing lower than fourth. Schapp and McVeigh added All-New England accolades with four relays each, Odgers and Smoragiewicz with three, Colley and Katie King with two and Colleen King and freshman Macaire Jones (Danbury) with one each.
McVeigh's second-place finish in the 200 freestyle Saturday was the highest individual finish by an Eastern swimmer in the championship, with Katie King's record-setting time in the 50 breaststroke and Schapp's record-setting mark in the 50 backstroke Sunday representing third-place finishes. Gaining fourth-place finishes were Colley in the 200 backstroke Friday, O'Kelly with her record time Sunday in the 200 breaststroke and Tromp in the 100 individual medley Sunday.
In the meet, the Warriors registered 272 of its points thanks to its relays, with 99 points coming from five individuals in the 50 breaststroke Friday, 93 from four swimmers in the event which followed (200 backstroke), and 86 from four individuals in the 200 freestyle Saturday
Eastern shared the NEISDA Team Sportsmanship Award and 17th-year head coach Maureen Fahey shared the NEISDA Coach-of-the-Year Award. Fahey gained the identical honor iin both 2004/05 and 2009/10. Awards were announced following the completion of competition Sunday night.