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PSU Women’s Swimmers move up to 11th at New Englands

Brodeur, Gondek set Panther records in butterfly, backstroke

            WHITE RIVER JCT, Vt. – The Plymouth State University women's team moved up two spots Saturday at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center, and sits in 11th place after two days of the three-day event.

            Bentley University (1002 points) is leading Keene State College (808.5) for first place in the championships, while PSU is 11th with 277 points.  The Panthers are 21 points ahead of 12th-place Westfield State University (256) and within four points catching the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (281) and moving into the top 10.

Nicole Brodeur Brittney Gondek

            It was a record-breaking day for two Panther swimmers, juniors Nicole Brodeur and Brittney Gondek.  Brodeur sprinted to a seventh place finish in the 50-yard butterfly and set her second school record in as many days.  She posted a record-time of 27.40 seconds in the preliminaries, qualifying third and lowering the PSU mark of 28.01 by Caitlin Little set at last year's championships, and finished seventh in the evening finals in 27.44.  Brodeur also set the 100-yard butterfly school record on Friday (1:00.82).

            Gondek turned in a terrific performance in the 100-yard backstroke, placing 10th and breaking a six-year old school standard.  She swam a 1:03.86 in the prelims, breaking the mark of 1:04.29 set by Cait Anton in 2005, and lowered the mark again in the finals with a clocking of 1:03.56.  Gondek also placed 13th in Friday's 200 backstroke.

            PSU had two finalists in the 100-yard breaststroke; sophomore Jennifer Samaro placed 14th with a time of 1:13.98, and senior Lindsay Graham was 19th with a top time of 1:16.26. Two Panthers were point-scorers in the 1000-yard free; junior Brittany Shortell finished the grueling race in a personal-best time of 11:48.00 and placed 15th, while Foley ended up 18th with a time of 11:53.05.

            Others who competed in Saturday evening events included freshman Delia Foley, who placed 22nd in the 200-yard freestyle (2:08.65); and Graham and sophomore Amy Mulhern, who were 21st and 23rd, respectively, in the 400-yard individual medley with personal-best times of 5:13.91 and 5:15.50.  Mulhern was also 28th in the 100-yard backstroke (1:07.67).

            The Panthers took ninth in the 200-yard medley relay, with Gondek, Samaro, Brodeur and Foley finishing in 1:58.16, and the 800-yard free relay squad of Brodeur, Foley, Samaro and Gondek placed 11th in 8:32.79.

            Also competing for PSU was freshman Jackie Viotto, who was 27th in the 1000 free (12:40.01) and 40th in the 50 butterfly (32.50).

            The championships conclude Sunday with prelims in the morning and afternoon and championship finals in the evening. 

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