Swimming & diving teams prepare for NE10 Championship

Swimming & diving teams prepare for NE10 Championship

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's and women's swimming & diving teams conclude their 2016-17 seasons at the four-day Northeast-10 Conference Championship, which begins on Thursday at Southern Connecticut State University.

Both Purple Knight teams are under their seventh 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 seventh among the nine squads at the NE10 Championship, while the men were slated to place seventh out of seven. The women totaled 16 points to trim Merrimack College (15) and Adelphi University (14), while three-time defending champion Assumption College (62) topped the poll. The Saint Michael's men claimed six points, while Bentley University earned 34 to place first.

Since the NE10 expanded to nine women's teams two seasons ago, the Purple Knights have claimed seventh at both meets after besting a pair of squads just two times at the first 11 championships. The men beat at least one team in the final standings at eight of the first 13 meets. This is the first 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 5-3 this season while also winning an invitational, as they notched at least five victories for the third straight season, a feat they last accomplished between 2000-01 and 2002-03. Senior Lindsay McNall (Colchester, Vt./Colchester), who won the 100-yard backstroke at the 2015 NE10 Championship but missed the 2016 championship season while studying abroad, paces the squad with 25 total victories, including 13 individual wins. Sophomore Patty Kohn (Weston, Conn./Greenwich) has 18 victories, including 11 solo, while first-year Lauren Giampietro (Watertown, Conn./Watertown) racked up 17 wins. Junior Ally Fischang (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) is second on the team with 10 relay triumphs, and classmate Genevieve Gigandet (Groveland, Mass./Central Catholic) has 11 wins, the most by a Purple Knight diver in seven years.

Sophomore Pat Thornton (Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrence) leads the men with 10 individual victories while matching first-year Connor Hopkins (Windham, N.H./Windham) with a team-high 13 total wins. Hopkins counts nine individual triumphs. Sophomore Seamus Butler (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) has eight overall victories as the lone Purple Knight to be on all six winning relay foursomes, and junior Spencer Ralston (Hebron, Conn./Cushing Academy) has eight triumphs of his own, with five individual wins.