Purple Knights set for historic finishes at NEISDAs, buoyed by two wins and records
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. - Two event victories and a pair of school records highlighted the Saint Michael's College men's and women's swimming & diving teams' season-ending performances on Sunday at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championship at the Upper Valley Aquatics Center. The meet concludes next weekend with diving events, for which no Purple Knights qualified.
Following the swimming portion of the championship, the Saint Michael's women stand fourth among 21 teams thanks to 743 points, outdistancing by 18 points the fifth-place University of New England, which will also not send any divers to next weekend's competition. Should the Purple Knights remain fourth, it would be their best showing since 2008-09, and just their third top-four showing since 2001-02.
The Purple and Gold men, who had only 11 student-athletes swim this weekend, moved up two spots in the standings on Sunday, claiming fifth place out of 11 institutions with 326 points. The squad is 15.5 points ahead of Elms College and 31 in front of Regis College, as neither those schools nor the other two within 100 points of Saint Michael's had divers qualify for the championship. Should the Purple Knights remain in fifth, it would match their best showing since taking fourth place in 2000-01. They were also fifth in 2001-02 and 2008-09.
[ADDENDUM ON FEB. 17 FOLLOWING DIVING: The Saint Michael's women finished fourth, and the men finished fifth.]
Junior Julie Mullowney (Burlington, Vt./Burlington) and sophomore Steph Nadow (Charlton, Mass./Saint Peter-Marian) each won events on Sunday, with Mullowney breaking a school record along the way. During the 100-yard individual medley trials, Mullowney clocked in at 1:02.04, shattering her sister Eileen's '12 four-year-old mark by 1.88 seconds. She then won the final in 1:02.08.
Nadow added to her weekend success by winning the 50-yard backstroke in 28.19, just 0.36 seconds short of the school record. During the meet, she also won the 100 back and set school records in the 100 and 200 back events. Junior Grace Kahn (Fairhope, Ala./Bayside Academy) took fourth in the 50 back at 28.79.
During the 1,650-yard freestyle, first-year Catherine Tierney (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth) placed seventh in 18:47.84, which was 1.17 seconds short of the seven-year-old school record. Her 1,000 free time during the event of 11:18.54 was also within 7.47 ticks of a Saint Michael's mark. Nadow, Tierney and sophomores Kim Brady (Morris Township, N.J./Academy of Saint Elizabeth) and Kathleen Lamontagne (Manchester, N.H./Trinity) combined to take seventh in the 400 free relay, while Brady was 11th in the 100 free. Senior Corine McAllister (South Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) placed 12th in the 200-yard butterfly.
Senior Andrew Marshall (Kittery, Maine/Saint Thomas Aquinas/Saint Joseph's [Maine]) set his third school record of the championship, finishing the 1,650 free at 16:56.32, taking fourth in the race, and lowering the program standard by 44.0 seconds. Marshall also set marks in the 500 and 1,000 free events at the meet. Classmate Kyle Esposito (Endicott, N.Y./Union-Endicott) placed sixth in 17:09.23 while also easily besting the old mark.
First-year Cody Arrington (Middleton, Mass./Masconomet Regional) came within 0.44 seconds of a school record in the 200-yard breaststroke during the trials, swimming to a 2:18.60 finish, before placing sixth in the championship race. Sophomore Matt Pearson (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) was eighth. First-year Nick Johns (Seaford, N.Y./Saint Anthony's) was sixth in the 50 back, and classmate Chad Phalon (Wantage, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) placed 15th.
Marshall, sophomore Nathan Paluso (Windham, Maine/Windham), and first-years Brandon MacPherson (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) and Joe Thomas (Norwood, Mass./Boston College HS) combined for a seventh-place finish in the 400 free relay, Paluso was seventh in the 100 IM, and junior Jack Mulderrig (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side) was 10th in the 200 fly.