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ORONO, Maine – Shannon Daly (Brightwaters, N.Y.) and Melissa Lague (Salem, N.H.) were individual champions in the 500-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke, respectively, to lead the University of New Hampshire women's swimming and diving team to third place at the America East Championships, which were held Feb. 20-22 at the University of Maine's Wallace Pool.
UNH amassed 572.5 points to finish behind Northeastern University (765 points) and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (606.50) in the eight-team event.
Daly continued her dominance in the 500 free as she defended her conference title with a time of 4 minutes, 58.94 seconds. Daly went on to earn second-place finishes in both the 200 free (1:51.36) and 200 breaststroke (2:19.66).
Daly also swam in four of the five relays at the Championships and helped the Wildcats to a runner-up finish in the 200 free relay, 400 free relay and 800 free relay, as well as third place in the 400 medley relay.
Lague broke three school records and was UNH's other champion, as she recorded the fastest time of 56.12 in the 100 backstroke. She was second to touch the wall in both the 200 individual medley (2:06.05) and 200 back (2:00.93). She broke the school record in the preliminaries of both of those events with a 2:05.68 in the 200 IM and a 2:00.79 in the 200 back. In addition, Lague qualified achieved the NCAA Nation 'B' qualifying time in the 200 back.
Lague also competed in four of five relay events as she was one of the other four legs in the 400 free, 800 free and 400 medley relays and also raced in the 200 medley relay, which earned second place.
Kristen Nardozzi (St. Petersburg, Fla.) was consistent in her individual performances as she earned fifth place in the 200 back (2:08.41) as well as sixth place in both the 200 individual medley (2:08.74) and 400 IM (4:34.66). She swam the anchor leg in all three free relay events, and all earned second place.
Ashley Fish (Fairview, Pa.), the third leg of both medley relays, competed in two final heats. She recorded the fourth-fastest time in the 200 butterfly (2:08.80) and was fifth to touch the wall in the 100 fly (58.5). Fish also earned points with a 16th-place finish in the 100 free.
Christine Harvey (Plaistow, N.H.) was another Wildcat who advanced to a pair of final heats, and she took fifth place in the 50 free (24.60) and sixth in the 100 breast (1:07.33). Harvey also recorded the fastest time in the consolation final of the 200 breast (2:26.17) to earn ninth place. In addition to these individual efforts, Harvey swam the second leg of both medley relays.
Amanda Paul (Reston, Va.), the anchor of the 200 medley relay and third swimmer in the 800 free relay, recorded the sixth-best time in the 200 free (1:56.11). She also earned ninth and 10th place in the 50 and 100 free, respectively, racing in the consolation finals.
Michelle Garnsey (Apple Valley, Minn.) competed well in the breast events and finished seventh in the 100 (1:08.57) as well as eighth in the 200 (2:29.90).
The other New Hampshire swimmer who advanced to the final heat of an individual event was Amy Roberts (Boxborough, Mass.), who was fifth to touch the wall in the 400 IM with a time of 4:34.22). Earlier in the Championships, she took eighth place in the 200 IM (2:11.33) and went on to place ninth in the 200 fly (2:11.56).
Five Wildcats earned points in three events. Amanda Crawford (Hillsdale, N.J.) placed third in the 1650 free as she touched the wall in 17:47.09 and Caitlin Hamer (Andover, Mass.) finished eighth in that event with a time of 18:08.32. Both swimmers advanced to the consolation final of the 500 free, in which Hamer edged Crawford by .06-of-a-second to take 13th place. Crawford also pointed in the 400 IM (10th; 4:43.01) and Hamer earned points with 15th place in the 200 free (1:59.31).
Amanda Carr (Londonderry, N.H.) had her best showing in the 100 back with a ninth-place finish (1:01.25). She also placed 12th in the 200 back (2:10.87) and 15th in the 50 free (25.67). Jessica Gray (Clifton Park, N.Y.) was 10th in the 100 breast (1:10.22) and 13th in the 200 breast (2:32.48) after taking 15th place in the 200 IM (2:15.95). Christine Simmons (Willston, Vt.) competed in a variety of events and ended the meet with 14th place in both the 1650 free (18:25.73) and 200 fly (2:16.91) as well as 15th in the 400 IM (4:52.46).
Sheryl Weaver (New Milford, N.J.) placed 11th in the 100 back (1:01.50) and 15th in the 200 back (2:14.14). Meghan Laird (Evergreen, Colo.) finished with a pair of top performances in the fly events as she was 15th in the 100 (1:02.19) and 16th in the 200 (2:17.50).
Three other 'Cats earned points in one event. Michelle Kellerman (East Providence, R.I.) and Jaclyn Smith (Greenwich, R.I.) placed 11th and 13th, respectively, in the 1650 free and Erica Douvadjian (Andover, Mass.) was 13th in the 100 breast
The New Hampshire women’s swim team returns to action Feb. 27-29 at the ECAC Championships, which will be held at the University of Pittsburgh.