UNH Women Take America East Crown

BALTIMORE, MD., February 22. THE Lady Wildcats of the University of New Hampshire in Nashua, entered the third day of competition in second place, came back to win the America East Swimming and Diving Championship this past weekend at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

After trailing Northeastern University the first two days of the meet, the Wildcats bounced back on the final day. They finished with 754 total points, a mere 17 points ahead of Northeastern. The win breaks a five-year winning streak for the Huskies at the America East Championships.

UNH was led by Melissa Lague (Salem, N.H.), who won every race she swam. She set an America East Championship record in the 200 yard Individual Medley with her 2:04.82 clocking and also won the 100 backstroke (57.67) and the 200 back (2:01.52).

Lague had already made NCAA "B" cuts by swimming Wildcat records of 55.73/1:59.77 in the 100-200 dorsal races during the Bison Invitational at Bucknell the first weekend of December.

Lague was named the women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer.

Shannon Daly (Brightwaters, N.Y.) also had two first place finishes for the 'Cats over the course of the weekend, winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.21 and the 200 in 2:19.77. She also finished second in the 500 freestyle (4:59.99).

Daly, similar to Lague, had made NCAA cuts at Bucknell with her pr and 'Cat record 1:02.99 for the 100 breast and a 2:16+ for the 200.

The New Hampshire women dominated the relays, winning every one. They opened the meet by taking first place in the 200 free relay as Lague, Daly, Catie McDonough (Denville, N.J.) and Amanda Paul (Reston, Va.) touched in 1:36.32.

Lague, Daly, McDonough and Kary Goodman (S. Windham, Maine) teamed up to swim the 400 medley relay in 3:51.53; Lague, Daly, McDonough, and Paul then got back together again to win the 400 free relay (3:29.34). The 200 medley relay was swum by Lague, Paul, Christine Tartaglia (Brewster, N.Y.) and Ana Dowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) in 1:47.01 and Daly, Paul, McDonough and Brittany Daly (Brightwaters, N.Y.) also teamed up to win the 800 free relay by clocking in at 7:37.92.

McDonough earned crucial points for the Wildcats by finishing second in the 50 free (24.72) and the 100 free (53.22). Brittany Daly also had two second place finishes, in the 200 free (1:54.59) and the 1650 free (17:26.99). Dowell also finished second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.68. Goodman finished second in the 200 fly by clocking in at 2:07.51.

Diver Shana Dege (Lockport, N.Y.) earned a respectable fifth place in the 3-meter competition with 431.70 points. She finished third from the 1-meter height with a score of 258.20.

The Wildcats will attempt to keep their perfect season intact as they compete in the ECAC Championships at the University of Pittsburgh starting Feb. 23.