McNall wins 200 back, Farrington hits NCAA cut, both Purple Knight teams 4th at NEISDAs

McNall wins 200 back, Farrington hits NCAA cut, both Purple Knight teams 4th at NEISDAs

KINGSTON, R.I. - Sophomore Lindsay McNall (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) won an event for the second straight year and first-year Pierce Farrington (Shelburne, Vt./Champlain Valley Union) reached his first career NCAA Championship cut on Friday, helping the Saint Michael's College men's and women's swimming & diving teams both claim fourth place at the end of the first day of the three-day New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championship in the University of Rhode Island's Tootell Aquatics Center. Saturday's trials begin at 10 a.m.

The Purple Knight women, who have taken fourth at the last two NEISDA meets, sit fourth among 20 institutions with 306 points, just 51 shy of third-place Simmons College. The Saint Michael's men are fourth out of 12 with 135 points, leaving them 51.5 short of third-place Norwich University. The Purple and Gold has not been fourth since 2000-01.

The winner of the 100-yard backstroke during the 2014 NEISDA Championship, McNall added to her career win total on Friday by claiming the 200 back in a school-record 2:03.93, bettering her own year-old mark by 0.13 seconds. Farrington was second in the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 50.30, breaking his week-old school mark and coming within 0.10 seconds of the winner. The time was good for his first career NCAA Championship provisional qualification.

Two more Purple Knight women qualified for championship heats. Junior Julie Shea (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans Memorial/Assumption) was fourth in the 50-yard breaststroke at 31.50, leaving her 0.20 ticks short of the year-old school record. As the initial female diver to represent Saint Michael's at an NEISDA Championship since 2009-10, first-year Genevieve Gigandet (Groveland, Mass./Central Catholic) took seventh in the one-meter dive with 289.70 points.

During the 200-yard freestyle relay, McNall and Shea sided with senior Kim Brady (Morris Township, N.J./Academy of Saint Elizabeth) and sophomore Katrina Wiesner (Bow, N.H./Bow) to place fifth, combining for 1:41.13, just 0.41 seconds off of a three-year-old program standard. Shea, Wiesner and first-years Theresa Murphy (Pittsfield, Mass./Pittsfield) and Sammy Sidorakis (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) took eighth in the 400-yard medley relay in 4:19.06.

Sidorakis nabbed 11th in the 200 back, with senior Steph Nadow (Charlton, Mass./Saint Peter-Marian) following in 12th. During morning trials, junior Luci Franklin (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Lowell Whiteman School) missed qualifying for the consolation final by 0.05 ticks. First-years Betsy Portch (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./John Jay) and Ally Fischang (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) were 12th and 16th, respectively, in the 500 free, and Wiesner nabbed 13th during the 50 free followed by Brady in 14th. Murphy claimed 15th in the 100 fly, and Wiesner placed 16th.

Senior Nathan Paluso (Windham, Maine/Windham) was fifth in the 200-yard individual medley, coming within 0.93 seconds of his PR by touching the wall in 2:03.86. Classmate Nick Youmans (Mountainside, N.J./Governor Livingston) and first-year Devin Davis (Ticonderoga, N.Y./Ticonderoga) became the first Saint Michael's male divers to take part at NEISDAs since 2010-11, as Davis took fourth in the one-meter event with 304.70 points and Youmans was sixth at 289.55.

Farrington and Paluso joined first-years Joe Carroll (Andover, Mass./Andover) and Jacek Deptula (Haskell, N.J./Paramus Catholic) for sixth place in the 200 free relay, with their time of 1:30.90 coming within 1.24 seconds of a six-year-old school mark. Carroll then anchored the seventh-place 400 medley relay foursome, joining sophomore Cam Thirkell (Tyngsboro, Mass./Tyngsboro) and first-years Jake Fox (Cranston, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) and Zach Kosakowski (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) to finish in 3:55.32.

Kosakowski won the 200 back consolation race, finishing ninth overall in the event, while junior Chad Phalon (Wantage, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) placed 13th. Thirkell nabbed 11th in the 100 fly, with sophomore Stephen Andersen (Concord, N.H./Concord) tying for 16th in trials and needing to win a swim-off to qualify for the evening's finals. He placed 16th. Carroll was 14th in the 500 free, followed by Fox in 15th and sophomore Riley Faszewski (Hooksett, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) in 16th.