PSU Women’s Swimming & Diving places ninth at New England Championships

DURHAM, N.H. - The Plymouth State University women's swimmers and divers turned in one of their strongest team performances in years over the weekend, placing ninth out of 22 teams at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association's annual championships, held at Swazey Pool at the University of New Hampshire.

Bentley College cruised to its sixth consecutive team championship, scoring 881 points in the three-day meet. Keene State College finished runner-up with 791.5 points, with Bryant University (513), Westfield State (469.5) and Bridgewater State (451) finishing among the top five. Roger Williams (377.5), Gordon College (347), University of New England (345), PSU (312) and Saint Michael's (308.5) rounded out the top 10.

"It was a satisfying weekend," said PSU veteran head coach Al Switzer. "We had a lot of gutty performances, and a lot of improvement as we went through the meet. We had people finding out they could do things they didn't think they could do. It takes a lot of training to survive a weekend at the New Englands, and our new people learned a lot about what is expected at a three-day championship meet."

Senior diver Danielle DeStefano (Centerville, Mass./Barnstable) was the top individual performer for the Panthers. After going undefeated on both boards in dual meets during the regular season, DeStefano (right) brought home second place in New England in the one-meter diving, scoring 331.65 points. She was edged for the title by Bridgewater State's Jen Jackson, who scored 333.95 points. DeStefano then capped her superb season by winning the championship on the three-meter board, scoring a school-record 381.30 points.

Freshmen Tracey Posnick (Sharon, Mass.) and Caitlin Little (Scituate, Mass.) had outstanding swimming meets for the Panthers. Posnick (far left) placed in the top six in three of the meet's most grueling events, setting two school records in the process. She took fourth place in the 1,650-yard freestyle (in a school record time of 18:59.71), fifth in the 400-yard individual medley (career-best 5:01.71), and sixth in the 1000-yard free (school record 11:22.76). Little (left) touched the wall in fifth place in the fastest race in the meet, the 50-yard freestyle (career-best 25.79 seconds), and placed 12th in the 100-yard free (58.44).

Senior captain Cait Anton (Woolwich, Maine/Brunswick) completed her outstanding career with several outstanding swims. The school record holder in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, Anton (right) placed ninth in the 200 back (2:20.33) and 12th in the 200-yard individual medley (2:26.65). Freshman Chaz Sweeney (Methuen, Mass.) (far right) also turned in a solid performance with a seventh place finish in the 50-yard backstroke (career-fastest 30.36 seconds).

PSU was in the middle of the pack in all five relay races, with the top performance a seventh-place finish in the 200-yard free relay by the team of junior Christina DiGiacomo (Meriden, Conn./Platt), Little, sophomore Trista Garrity (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy), and freshman Erika Young (Lynnfield, Mass.)

The Panthers completed the regular season with a 3-6 dual meet record. The ninth place this year was a solid improvement over last year's 15th place finish.

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