COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's and women's swimming & diving teams conclude their 2017-18 seasons at the four-day Northeast-10 Conference Championship, which begins on Thursday at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts.
Both Purple Knight teams are under their eighth year of guidance by head coach Eileen Hall. In a coaches' poll that was released today by the conference office, the women were predicted to finish eighth among the 10 squads at the NE10 Championship, while the men were slated to place seventh out of seven. The women totaled 26 points to narrowly trail Merrimack College (34) and The College of Saint Rose (38), while Assumption College (76), champion three out of the past four years, topped the poll. The Saint Michael's men claimed seven points, while Southern Connecticut State University earned 34 to place first.
Since the NE10 expanded to nine women's teams three seasons ago, the Purple Knights claimed seventh at each meet after besting a pair of squads just two times at the first 11 championships. The field has expanded to 10 this year. The men beat at least one team in the final standings at eight of the first 14 meets. This is the second year Saint Michael's puts all of its focus on the NE10 Championship, having previously followed that up by ending the winter at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championship.
The Purple and Gold women went 8-4 this season while also winning an invitational, as they notched their highest win total since 1996-97. Junior Patty Kohn (Weston, Conn./Greenwich) leads the squad with 24 victories, including 13 solo, while sophomore Lauren Giampietro (Watertown, Conn./Watertown) also has 13 individual wins while totaling 21 triumphs overall. Senior Genevieve Gigandet (Groveland, Mass./Central Catholic) touts a team-best 14 solo wins, tying for the most by a Saint Michael's diver in at least 20 years. Her eighth-place showing at last year's NE10 Championship was the best by a Purple Knight diver since 2010. Classmate Theresa Murphy (Pittsfield, Mass./Pittsfield) has 17 wins, while 10 of sophomore Sarah White's (Lakeville, Mass./Apponequet Regional) 12 victories have come in relay races.
Sophomore Connor Hopkins (Windham, N.H./Windham) paces the men with 26 triumphs, including 17 during solo events. He heads into the NE10 Championship seeded first in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle while claiming the second position in the 50 free. Senior Spencer Ralston (Hebron, Conn./Cushing Academy) also carries 17 solo wins in addition to 25 overall. Sophomore Aidan Mulderrig (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side) claimed six of his nine wins individually, while first-year Payton Stewart (Keene, N.H./Keene) notched eight of his 10 victories as a member of a relay.
The NE10 Championship begins with an evening session on Thursday before the following three days feature both morning and evening events. Qualifiers for the NCAA Championship head to Greensboro, N.C., with the national meet running from March 14 to 17.