Swimming and Diving beats Vermont in return to competition

Swimming and Diving beats Vermont in return to competition
Second-year Megan Clark swims freestyle. / Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics

By John Hagerty, deputy sports editor

The Northeastern women’s swimming and diving team raced to a decisive 182-118 dual meet win against the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, Saturday.

The meet against Vermont was the first competition for the Huskies since Dec. 2. The team was unable to compete during their training trip, and their meet scheduled against the University of Delaware and Drexel University was cancelled due to inclement weather.

“It was a long break for us,” fourth-year diver Alyssa Seales said. “I was a little anxious getting back on the board but I think that we did really well as a team. I was really impressed with how we did coming off the training trip and getting back into classes.”

The Husky swimmers finished first in 11 of the 14 swimming events, and Seales took first in both diving events.  

Fourth-year captain Sara Touchette-McGowan took first in 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 100 freestyle and the 200 medley relay, which set a new pool record at the University of Vermont with a time of 1:45.43.

The Huskies are in the midst of an intensive training schedule to prepare for the CAA Championships, so most of the team did not post season-best times.  

“The times weren’t the best of the year, but in the middle of heavy training we didn’t expect that,” head coach Roy Coates said. “We wanted to see how they raced and just get back into the routine of racing.”

The meet against the Catamounts pushed the Huskies to their limits, with swimmers participating in up to 4 events each. In other dual meets this season, swimmers have been limited to 2-3 events at most. Coates set the lineup this way intentionally, to push the team and see how they fared in various events.

“We need to see everybody get up and race,” Coates said. “They all swam lots and lots of races. I was proud of the way they performed, the way they raced.”

At the CAA Championships, the top 16 finishers will score points. Because of this, Coates feels that depth will be paramount if the team hopes to win.

“It’s all about team,” Coates said. “Anybody who can score a point whether it’s first place or 16th place, we get points and obviously we want to accumulate as many points as possible.”

As the swimmers prepare for the CAA finale, they will continue to train hard and fine-tune their race strategy and technique.

“I think that there’s a lot more work to be put in,” Touchette-McGowan said. “It was good to get back into the pool and work on a few technical things but there is more to come in the next competition.”

The focus for the diving team is to get acclimated with their specific set of dives for CAAs.

“It’s about getting confident, running through our lists every day, and really getting comfortable with the order,” Seales said.

The Huskies will return to Barletta Natatorium Saturday for a dual meet against Central Connecticut State, their senior meet.

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