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PSC Opens at Wellesley College Relays

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The 1999-2000 women's swimming and diving season at Plymouth State College opens this Saturday when the Panthers travel to Wellesley, Mass., for the annual Betty Spears Relays at Wellesley College.

The Panthers are in the ninth season under head coach Al Switzer, and are looking for another strong campaign. PSC has registered seven consecutive winning seasons, posting a combined 55-16 record over that span, including 7-3 mark last year.

After the Wellesley meet, where PSC placed second among six teams last year, the Panthers will have 11 dual meets, culminating in the annual Division III New England Championships at Bowdoin College. The home opener at the PSC Natatorium is next Saturday (Nov. 13) against Westfield State (1 p.m.)

1999-2000 P.S.C. Women's Swimming & Diving Outlook

Plymouth State is expecting another solid campaign in 1999-2000, with a capable group of returnees and a solid unit of newcomers. There is the anticipation of a good season, but also the knowledge that considerable work lies ahead, according to Switzer. Much of the success will lie heavily on the newcomers, and how they can supplement the existing nucleus.

Freestyle events are perhaps the strongest for the team. Senior captain Meaghan Buckley (Haverhill, Mass.), the school record-holder in the 50, 100, 200 and 500, returns to lead the group. She has met the NCAA provisional cut-offs the last couple of years. Senior Sandy Twaddell (Jaffrey, NH) and sophomore Allison Bregy (Camden, Maine) are also strong returnees. They were both key members of PSC's 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams at last year's championships.

Freshman Andrea Boutilier (Chicopee, Mass.) brings an excellent background in the sprint freestyle events to the team, and should complement Buckley well. Others who should help out include Megan Anderson (South Windsor, Conn.), and Vanessa Re (West Hartford, Conn.). Coach Switzer indicated that several other freshmen could step in and help with additional collegiate experience.

The backstrokers will be led by senior Joyce Mailhot (Lewiston, Maine), who led off the 200 medley relay for PSC at the New Englands. The Panthers will need the younger swimmers to develop to create some depth, newcomers such as freshmen Jessica Nugent (Manchester, NH/Trinity) and Candy Dilley (Southbury, Conn.).

Butterfly features the return of school-record holder Allison Bregy, who set the mark in the 200 last season. Depth is provided by a pair of returnees - sophomore Amy Bernier (Bristol, Conn.) and senior Liz McDonald (Riverside, RI). Switzer is also looking for help from freshmen Anderson and Re.

Switzer will look to some newcomers to lead the way in the breaststroke events. Re and Driscoll should be the leading candidates. Nugent and senior Chrissi Crow (Chelmsford, Mass.) may also provide some good support. There are several swimmers who could excel in the I.M., including Boutilier, Bregy, Crow, Mailhot, and Re.

The Panthers should be very strong in all freestyle relays, according to Switzer. The challenge lies in bringing the medley relays back to top form.

PSC is relatively inexperienced in diving events, but Switzer sees possibilities. Fast-improving Sue Lassonde (Concord, NH) is the only returnee, but will be supplemented by sophomore Jillian DeStefano (Standish, Maine) and freshman Christina Dell (Porter Corners, NY).

There are questions as the season opens, but Switzer feels there are enough strong returnees who are excited about making the 1999-2000 PSC swimming and diving season a success.

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