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February 17, 2008

PSU finishes 13th at New England Women’s Swimming/Diving Championships

            NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - All 25 events have been completed, and Plymouth State University ended up in 13th place out of 22 schools Sunday evening at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association's Women's Division II-III Championships, hosted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

            The Panthers finished with 212.5 points over the three-day meet, just behind Western Connecticut (227 points) and well ahead of Western New England College (147).  Keene State College captured the team title after scoring 982 points, while Bentley College was runner-up with 900.  Bryant University (748), Bridgewater State College (510.5), Westfield State College (428) rounded out the top five.

            Sophomore Chaz Sweeney (Methuen, Mass.) turned in an outstanding performance on Sunday in the 50-yard backstroke.  Sweeney (right) finished her preliminary heat in fifth place overall with a personal-best time of 30.19 seconds, and came back with a PSU school-record time of 29.51 in the finals to capture third place.   Her time broke the school record of 30.14, set in 1997 by Melissa Roy, and her third place is the best finish for a Panther swimmer in any event since Cait Anton took second in the 200-yard backstroke in 2005.

            Four other Panther swimmers scored points for the team Sunday in individual events by finishing in the top 18.  Junior Christina Labriola (Westerly, R.I.) ended up 13th in the 50 backstroke (31.81 seconds), and senior Christina DiGiacomo (Meriden, Conn./Platt) finished 13th in the 100 freestyle in a career-best 58.00 seconds.  Freshman Lindsay Graham (Framingham, Mass.) also swam a personal-best 2:45.23 to take 14th in the 200-yard breaststroke, and junior Amanda Branch (Gray, Maine/Bonny Eagle) came in 18th in the 200-yard butterfly.

            The Panthers finished in 12th place in the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, with the team of DiGiacomo, sophomore Caitlin Little (Scituate, Mass.), junior Kaitlyn Milligan (Forestdale, Mass./Sandwich) and Sweeney finishing in 4:00.58.

            Plymouth State finished with a 3-6 record in dual meets this season under 17th year head coach Al Switzer.

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