WORCESTER, Mass. – The University of New Hampshire women's swimming & diving team finished the opening day of the America East Championships in first place with 290 points at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sports & Recreation Center Friday.
After New Hampshire's 290 points, the University of Vermont and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County sit in second place with 183. Binghamton University (154) and the University of Maine (137) round out the five-team field.
Junior Katie Mann (Prince George, B.C.) set a new America East record in the 200-yard IM to open the meet, clocking in at 1 minute, 59.12 seconds. The mark dethroned the previous time of 2:00.42, held by teammate Jenni Roberts (Springvale, Maine) in last year's conference championships. Roberts improved her 2013 time, placing second in the event with a time of 1:59.19, off the pace by seven hundredths of a second. Senior Jenna Bull (Woodstock, New Brunswick) and sophomore Bettina Caspersen (Lyngby, Denmark) placed fourth and fifth in the event respectively. Bull registered a time of 2:01.87 while Caspersen logged a mark of 2:04.02. The freshman duo of Emily Giambastini (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and Sarah Olver (Miluwakee, Wis.) and also logged points for the 'Cats. Giambastini placed 10 out of 16 swimmers with a time of 2:07.91. Olver finished behind Giambastini, clocking in at 2:08.02.
In the preliminary and final events of the 500-yard freestyle, the Wildcats earned the top two spots on the podium. Junior Oneida Cooper (Johannesburg, South Africa) compiled the lead time of 4:52.45. Senior Lauren McCandless (Macungie, Pa.) was edged out by her teammate, earning runner-up by five hundredths of a second (4:52.50). Katie Keefer (Waynesboro, Va.) notched a seventh place finish, earning a time of 5:01.97. Adria Morales (Santa Clarita, Calif.) rounded out the scoring for New Hampshire, placing 10th with a mark of 5:05.18.
New Hampshire also set a new school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The quartet of Roberts, Sarah Broderick (Haverhill, Mass.), Megan Suffel (Cornwall, Ontario) and Bull constructed a time of 1:33.25 to earn gold.
UNH paced the field in the 400-yard medley relay. The group of Roberts, Mann, McCandless and Bull compiled a conference record time of 3:41.88.
Broderick garnered silver in the 50-yard freestyle. After a first place finish in the preliminary round (23.38), the freshman blazed through the water to earn a runner-up finish of 23.41. Suffell registered a career-best in the event, clocking in at 23.79 for a fourth place finish. Junior Emily Magnavita (South Glastonbury, Conn.) earned a top ten finish, ranking ninth in the field with a personal-best time of 23.99.
On the boards, Kyle Bonus (Philadelphia, Pa.) led the 'Cats in the one-meter dive, posting a seventh place score of 192.50 points.
The Wildcats return to the water Saturday, Feb. 15 for the second day of competition. The meet will begin with trial runs in the 400-yard IM at 10 a.m. For more information about the UNH women's swimming & diving team, please visit www.UNHWildcats.com.