New Haven, CT – Saint Francis (PA) claimed the title as Northeast Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Champions, for the first time ever, after finishing the three-day event with a point total of 556.50. Central Connecticut State came in second after capturing seven of the meet's 20 events to total 508.50. Finishing third was Wagner with 318 points. Bryant placed fourth (276), while Sacred Heart (217) and Mount St. Mary's (106) took fifth and sixth, respectively. St. Francis (NY) rounded out the field of seven (89).
The 2010 NEC Outstanding Swimmer award and NEC Outstanding Rookie of the Meet accolade are both shared by two individuals: BU's Casey Ostrander (Yarmouthport, MA/Barnstable) and CCSU's Taylor Friedmann (Berlin, CT/Berlin). After winning gold in the 50 freestyle (23.96), the Bulldog set an NEC record in the 100 backstroke (56.47) en route to claiming three gold medals – finishing the Championship in first place in the 100 free (51.93). Friedmann also set an NEC record in her first swim, the 500 free (4:52.56), before claiming victory in the 200 free (1:50.75) and 1650 free (17:01.99). The Berlin, CT native was also part of two medaling relay combos for the Blue Devils that took a silver and a gold. For the first time ever, a Sacred Heart diver – Drew Mulvey (Bridgewater, CT/Kent School) – took home the NEC Outstanding Diver honor after breaking the NEC 1-meter record with 228.5 points and also claiming second in the 3-meter event (226.15) – narrowly missing the gold by .25 points. Mulvey's coach, Joe Somma was named NEC Diving Coach of the Year and SFPA head coach Pat Gallagher was voted NEC Coach of the Year.
In the 3-meter board event, Madison Vestergaard (Middletown, CT/Middletown) earned her first-place finish with a score of 226.35, narrowly edging out SHU's Mulvey, who received silver with 226.15 points. Winning the bronze was Central's Kristen Rossi (Southington, CT/Southington) (201.00).
CCSU's Friedmann held the obvious lead through the entirety of the 1650 freestyle race (17:01.99) to claim victory and her third gold medal – fourth overall – of the NEC Championships after the first event of the last day. Finishing just under 17 seconds behind the Blue Devil was a Red Flash in the form of Kathleen Lyon (King George, VA/King George) hitting the wall at 17:18.66 followed by Friedmann's teammate Kandra Kane (Coram, NY/Newfield) with a mark of 17:33.04 for her fourth medal of the weekend.
Alex Czaplicki (North Haven, CT/North Haven) came from behind in the last 20 yards to nab the victory in the 200 backstroke (2:04.38), tallying her fifth medal, third gold. After leading from the gun, Jessica Dunn (Bristow, VA/Seton School) clocked in second at 2:04.94 to claim her third medal – all silver – for SFPA. Hannah Packer (Manchester, CT/Manchester), Czaplicki's teammate, finished off the medalist winners with her second bronze of the three-day event and her third total after a 2:06.27 finish.
Winning yet another gold medal of the Championship was Ostrander, this time in the 100 freestyle (51.93), equaling her fourth medal and third gold. The Red Flash saw Alicia Ford (Whitney Point, NY/Whitney Point) take the silver medalist position in a time of 52.57 – her fifth medal of the week's events – followed by teammate Hanna Yttring (Gothenburg, Sweden/Katrinelundsgymnasiet), who touched in at 52.66 for the bronze, which made her medal total six.
Erin Bieger (Columbus, IN/Columbus North) dominated the 200 breastroke in a time of 2:23.90, en route to earning her third gold of the NECs. Teammate Kristen Low (Mississippi, Ontario/Cawthra Park SS), who entered the finals in fourth position after preliminaries, snatched second place in 2:26.75, her first award of the Tournament. Bulldog Molly Smith (Belmont, MA/Belmont) rounded out the top-three swimmers – for her second medal, both bronze – off a 2:26.92 tally.
In the final individual event of the 2010 NEC Championships, SHU's Katie Marshall (Cumberland, RI/Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) stripped gold from Jessica Hart (Montreal, Canada/Northwest) of WC, the No. 1 seed entering the 200 butterfly final. Marshall earned her victory in a time of 2:05.47, the first, and only, swimming medal earned by the Pioneers this year. Hart swam to a 2:06.81 finish for her fifth medal and second silver. Tying for second place was Central's Katie Lang (Monroe, CT/Masuk), notching her third silver en route to her fifth medal overall.
In the 400 free relay, the Red Flash concluded the 2010 NEC Championship in style as they claimed yet another gold and solidified their team victory. The quartet of Elise Merrill (Carlisle, PA/Big Spring), Melissa Heintz (Boyertown, PA/Oley Valley), Yttring and Ford combined for the two-second edge. Following SFPA was the 2010 Championship runners-up of CCSU in the form of Czaplicki, Kane, Lang and Friedmann for second (3:30.81). Closing the medal race was Wagner, also the third-place team in the Championship, with a time of 3:35.07 from the foursome of Hart, Sarah Plucinsky (Allentown, PA/Allentown Central Catholic), Lauren Meyer (Hamden, CT/Hamden) and Melanie Rodriguez-Lapman (Chesire, CT/Chesire).
2010 NEC Swimming and Diving Individual Champions
200 FR: SFPA 1:35.28
500 Free: Taylor Friedmann CCSU FR 4:52.56
200 IM: Hanna Yttring SFPA JR 2:05.96
50 Free: Casey Ostrander BU FR 23.96
1M Dive: Drew Mulvey SHU JR 228.85
400 MR: SFPA 3:51.30
200 MR: SFPA 1:45.71
400 IM: Alex Czaplicki CCSU SO 4:32.21
100 Fly: Jessica Hart WC SR 55.24
200 Free: Taylor Friedmann CCSU FR 1:50.75
100 Breast: Erin Bieger SFPA FR 1:06.37
100 Back: Casey Ostrander BU FR 56.82
800 FR: CCSU 7:38.26
200 Back: Alex Czaplicki CCSU SO 2:04.38
100 Free: Casey Ostrander BU FR 51.93
200 Breast: Erin Bieger SFPA FR 2:23.90
200 Fly: Katie Marshall SHU JR 2:05.47
1650 Free: Taylor Friedmann CCSU FR 17:01.99
3M Dive: Madison Vestergaard CCSU JR 226.35
400 FR: SFPA 3:28.71
Team Standings (20 Events Scored)
1. Saint Francis (PA) 556.5
2. Central Conn. St. 508.5
3. Wagner 318
4. Bryant 276
5. Sacred Heart 217
6. Mount St. Mary's 106
7. St. Francis (NY) 89
Saint Francis (PA)'s Elyse Dobrick and Elise Merrill