Record falls, Purple Knights qualify for 11 championship heats at day one of NEISDAs

Record falls, Purple Knights qualify for 11 championship heats at day one of NEISDAs

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. - One school record fell and Saint Michael's College men's and women's swimmers and divers qualified for 11 championship heats on Friday during day one of the three-day New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championship at the University of Rhode Island's Tootell Aquatic Center.

The Purple Knight women stand fourth among 21 institutions with 289 points following the opening day, while the men are sixth out of 12, totaling 124.5 points. They are just 2.5 short of fifth-place Gordon College. Day two begins with trials at 10 a.m. before finals kick off at 6:30 p.m.

For the third time in eight days, senior Julie Shea (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans Memorial/Assumption) broke a school record, this time eclipsing Julie Mullowney's '14 two-year-old standard in the 50-yard breaststroke (31.30). Shea trimmed the time to 30.74 during morning trials before claiming third in the finals at 31.09, which was also faster than Mullowney's mark. First-year Patty Kohn (Weston, Conn./Greenwich) matched Shea with a third-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke at 2:10.18, moving up four spots and shaving 1.67 seconds over her prelims performance, while sophomore Sammy Sidorakis (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) took 11th.

Sophomore Genevieve Gigandet (Groveland, Mass./Central Catholic) placed fourth during the one-meter diving with 305.90 points, and the 400-yard medley relay quartet of Kohn, Shea, sophomore Theresa Murphy (Pittsfield, Mass./Pittsfield) and first-year Tess Grimaldi (Higganum, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) was fifth in 4:14.93. The Purple Knights' seventh-place 200-yard freestyle relay foursome clocked in at 1:45.18, as Grimaldi, Murphy, sophomore Coral Santos (Pawtucket, R.I./Saint Raphael Academy) and first-year Elizabeth Doherty (Dedham, Mass./Dedham) swam.

Three Purple Knights qualified for the 100-yard butterfly finals, while a fourth narrowly missed the cut. Murphy took seventh in 1:02.26, first-year Shannon Kelley (Jefferson, Mass./Wachusett Regional) moved up two spots following trials to take 11th, and Santos was 12th. Senior Zoe Doucette (Ashland, Mass./Ashland) tied for 16th in prelims, but she lost a swim-off that sent the winner into the finals. During the 50 free trials, Doherty was 0.20 seconds shy of the final qualifier for evening finals, and Grimaldi was just 0.23 ticks back.

Sophomore Zach Kosakowski (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) had the men's squad's top finish, taking third in the 200 back at 1:58.62, coming within 0.29 seconds of his own week-old school record. Classmate Joe Carroll (Andover, Mass./Andover) was 12th. In the 400 medley relay, Kosakowski and first-years Benjamin Guilmette (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow), Ryan Kirkpatrick (Hebron, Conn./RHAM) and Pat Thornton (Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrence) placed sixth at 3:45.36 after logging a 3:44.61 during trials, 1.39 seconds off of a November school record.

Guilmette, Kirkpatrick and juniors Stephen Andersen (Concord, N.H./Concord) and Ryan Butler (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) approached another program mark in the 200 free relay, falling 0.95 seconds shy of a seven-year-old standard while claiming sixth place at 1:30.61. Kirkpatrick tied for seventh in the 50 free at 22.47, and Butler took 14th. Thornton was within 3.14 seconds of the three-year-old 500 free mark while taking eighth in 4:56.88.

Guilmette was just 0.03 seconds short of qualifying for the championship final in the 50 breast before ultimately winning the B final at 29.19 to place ninth. First-year Seamus Butler (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) nabbed 14th. Andersen placed 11th during the 100 fly in 58.25, with junior Sean Glasheen (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) in 14th place, while sophomore Michael May (Wallingford, Conn./Lyman Hall) claimed 12th place in the 200-yard individual medley.