Northeast 10 Conference Championships

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, February 4. SOUTHERN Connecticut State University and Bentley University began defense of their respective Northeast 10 Conference Swimming & Diving Championships as action began today at SCSU’s Hutchinson Natatorium.

The homestanding Owls got the started the night off successfully capturing the 200 Freestyle relay in a quick 1:38.95 just edging LeMoyne by .16 with Bentley finishing third. Jennifer O’Neill got Southern off to the lead with a 24.41 leadoff leg and they were never trailing throughout the race. Nicole Caron (25.32), Sarah Thompson (24.76) and Anna Pleban (24.46) rounded out the winning quartet.

LeMoyne got the crowd on it’s feet with a new NE-10 record in winning the men’s 200 free relay in 1:25.57 breaking the old record held by SCSU. Austin Mizzel had Southern Connecticut in the lead after the opening leg in 22.25, but, Drew Acquaviva’s 20.72 put Lemoyne into the lead that they would not relinquish. Tyler Olson (21.24) and Sean Hosford (20.96) closed things out for the Dolphins. SCSU was 2nd in 1:26.04 while the College of Saint Rose was third in 1:27.46.

In the Women’s 500 yard freestyle Assumption’s Monique Haney gave the Greyhounds their first NE-10 Swimming Champion winning the event in an NCAA “B” standard of 5:04.82. Jenna Wood of Pace finished second in 5:07.27 and Nicole Huerta from SCSU captured 3rd in 5:10.17. Haney and Wood battled stroke for stroke for the first 200 yards until Haney put together a very fast third hundred gaining nearly 1.5 seconds on Wood and was never threatened from that point on.

In the Men’s 500 free Southern’s Matt Sorena lowered his own NE-10 record as he coasted to victory in 4:36.01 besting Saint Rose freshman Kyle Wilson by over 7 seconds. Wilson finished in 4:43.73 and Southern’s Domenick Errico finished 3rd in 4:48.64. Sorena was out in 1:46..46 four seconds ahead of Wilson and continued to build his lead at every significant juncture the remainder of the race.

Both defending champions in the 200 Individual Medley were up to the task of repeating again this year. SCSU’s Amanda Thomas won the women’s race besting her own NE-10 record with the first NCAA “A” standard winning in 2:02.50. Thomas blazed the first half of the race in 56.20 and coasted to victory with LeMoyne’s Katie O’Donnell second in 2:06.99 and Saint Roses’ Caitlin Brauer third in 2:09.36. Thomas split the race in 25.75-30.45-36.04-30.26 having the fast splits in each of the first three stroke disciplines.

In the men’s race Saint Rose’s Vadim Yafayev, the 2010 NE-10 Swimmer of the Year narrowly missed breaking his own NE-10 record winning in 1:53.18. Yafayev used a strong breaststroke leg of 33.67 to pull away from the field for the victory. SCSU’s Oscar Castillo was second in 1:59.21 while LeMoyne’s Scott Thieke was third in 2:00.16. Yafayev had the fastest splits of the field in each of the four strokes covering the distance in 24.53-27.92-33.67-27.06 good enough for a fast “B” standard as he hopes to return to the NCAA championships for the 3rd straight year.

Women’s 50 free Jennifer O’Neill of SCSU captured the title in 24.32 followed by Eileen Mullowney of Saint Michael’s in 25.00 and Pace’s Kaitlyn Lynch in 25.07. O’Neill had led off Southern’s winning 200 free relay in 24.41 earlier in the evening and lowered her time .09 in winning the individual event.

In the Men’s 50 free Southern’s Miguel Nesrala defended his title in 21.21 jumping out to a huge lead at the turn followed by LeMoyne’s Drew Acquaviva (21.55) who was closing at the end and Pace’s Kevin Dickson (21.84) who was third.

Southern Connecticut and Bentley dominated the diving competition with the Owls winning both the women’s 1-meter diving and the men’s 3-meter competition. Lauren Sasso (375.75) won the women’s event while Chad Snyder (438.35) captured the men’s event. Bentley behind Shelly D’Aleo (369.15), Emily Travers (353.75) and Abby Matthews (353.40) followed behind. Bentley’s Mike Walsh (357.00) was 2nd in the men’s 3m event while LeMoyne’s Jack Fletcher was third (209.45).

The Southern Connecticut women closed out the night winning the 400 Medley Relay in 3:54.91 as Amanda Thomas set an NE-10 record with a 56.07 leadoff leg to get the Owls off and running. The time was an NCAA “A” standard. Bentley finished 2nd in 3:59.66 and Pace finished 3rd in 4:00.17.

The Owls narrowly missed their own conference record in winning the Men’s 400 Medley relay in 3:25.64. Adelphi took advantage of a Saint Rose DQ to grab second place in 3:30.72 and Pace finished 3rd in 3:37.31.

In the women’s competition, SCSU leads with 317 points followed by Bentley (218), LeMoyne (150), Assumption (147), Saint Rose (147), Pace (134), Saint Michael’s (72) and Adelphi (38).

Southern Connecticut also leads the men’s competition with 269 points followed by Bentley (178), LeMoyne (168), Saint Rose (168), Pace (149), Adelphi (95) and Saint Michael’s (57).

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