At right Katie King (Photo by Colleen King)
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's swim team broke two individual and one relay record Friday and stands in second place among 20 scoring teams after the first day of the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) Division II-III Championships at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center.
Fourth overall last year and second among Division III institutions, Eastern has 384.5 points, second only to fellow Little East Conference team Keene State College (588) and 23.5 points more than Roger Williams University. Division II Bentley College, the defending champion, chose not to compete this year.
Junior Michelle Schapp (Torrington) broke her own record Friday morning with a time of 2:12.06 in the preliminary round of the 200 yard backstroke - a record she set as a freshman at this meet. Freshman Katie King (Barkhamsted) broke the three-year-old program record in the 50 breaststroke - her second breaststroke record of the year -- Friday morning with a time of 31.10 in the preliminaries, while the 400 medley relay broke the third record of the day with a time of 4:07.97 Friday morning in the preliminaries - a record set a year ago in this meet. Relay swimmers included Schapp, Katie King, junior Erin McVeigh (Windsor) and freshman Macaire Jones (Danbury).
Holding to fourth place after three events, Eastern collected 99 points in the 50 breaststroke to jump to second. Eastern swimmers garnered two of the top five and five of the top 16 spots in that event, led by Katie King , junior sister Colleen King (Barkhamsted), sophomore Rachael Thatcher (Newington), senior Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport) and senior Julie Pietrycha (Newington). Katie King was third - the highest finish by an Eastern individual Friday -- Colleen King fifth, Thatcher ninth, O'Kelly 11th and Pietrycha 16th.
The Warriors have registered 108 of their points in the two relays: 56 points in the 200 free relay (2nd place) and 52 in the record-setting 400 medley relay (4th). Swimmers comprising the 200 free relay in the final were Schapp, junior Becky Odgers (Shelton), sophomore Kayla Smoragiewicz (Norwalk) and McVeigh.
In addition to picking up 108 points in the relays and 99 in the 50 breaststroke, Eastern amassed 93 in the 200 backstroke by capturing four of the top nine spots behind juniors Marissa Colley (East Haven) and Schapp, Smoragiewicz and junior Jacqueline Tromp (Bohemia, NY). Colley was fourth, Schapp sixth in her record time, Smoragiewicz seventh and Tromp ninth. Eastern also accumulated 56 in the 500 freestyle, with Odgers and McVeigh taking 4-5 and freshman Courtney Holzer (Cromwell) 20th.
Due to the blizzard, Saturday's preliminaries were cancelled, with the day's finals scheduled to get underway at 4 p.m. Eastern's top seeds Saturday include the 200 medley relay (2nd), Colleen King in the 50 butterfly (4th), Katie King in the 100 breaststroke (4th), Schapp in the 100 backstroke (6th), McVeigh in the 200 freestyle (7th), Odgers in the 1000 freestyle (7th), Colley in the 200 freestyle (9th) and Thatcher in the 100 breaststroke (9th).