NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Freshman Nicole Brodeur (Claremont, N.H.) broke her own school record in the 500-yard freestyle twice on Friday, highlighting Plymouth State University's performance on the first day of the annual New England Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, hosted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
The Panthers scored 83 points and hold down 11th place out of 21 schools through nine events at the three-day championships. Defending champion Keene State College leads the meet with 330 points, with Bentley second with 303 points and Roger Williams third with 190. The meet continues all weekend, with preliminary events Saturday and Sunday during the day and championship finals in the evening.
Brodeur (right), who broke the PSU 500-free record last month in a dual meet with a time of 5:34.67, eclipsed the mark in Friday's preliminaries with a clocking of 5:33.52. The time qualified her for the ‘B' final, where she lowered the mark again, taking ninth place with a time of 5:32.24.
Two other Panthers scored points for the team with 12th-place finishes in the ‘B' finals - senior Amanda Branch (Gray, Maine) in the 100-yard butterfly and freshman Brittanie Bradley (Scarborough, Maine) in the 50-yard breaststroke. Branch swam a personal-best 1:05.32 in the prelims and finished in 1:07.59 in the finals, while Bradley posted a time of 35.07 in the finals.
Three Panthers made the ‘C' finals in the 50-yard freestyle; senior Kaitlyn Milligan (Forestdale, Mass.) finished 13th in 26.81 seconds, junior Elise Innis (Harpswell, Maine) was 16th in 27.14, and freshman Brittney Gondek (South Glastonbury, Conn.) took 17th in 27.31. Milligan was also 16th in the 50-yard breaststroke (35.86 seconds), and freshman Nora Regan (West Hartford, Conn.) placed 14th in the one-meter diving (267.95 points).
Plymouth State finished in 11th place in the first event, the 200-yard free relay, with the team of Innis, junior Chaz Sweeney(Methuen, Mass.), Milligan and Gondek. PSU's 400-yard medley relay team of Sweeney, Bradley, Brodeur and Innis came in 14th place.
Others who competed for PSU included junior Shari Weiss (Long Beach, N.Y.), who placed 24th in both the 50 breast and 50 free; freshman Brittany Shortell (Ansonia, Conn.), who was 28th in the 200 backstroke; freshman Lara Gruner (Center Barnstead, N.H.), who was 28th in the 500-yard free; Sweeney, who placed 32nd in the 200 back; and sophomore Alison Thayer (Higganum, Conn.), who finished 35th in the 200-yard individual medley.
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