Samaro posts top finish for Panthers
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. – The Plymouth State University women's swimming and diving team sits in 15th place after Friday's first day of competition at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving (NEISDA) Championships at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center.
Keene State College leads the 20-team women's field with 588 points, and Eastern Connecticut State University is runner-up with 384.5. PSU has 86.5 points, right behind Elms College (99) and just ahead of Western New England University (84).
Senior Jennifer Samaro (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic) posted the top finish for the Panthers, placing 12th in the 200-yard individual medley. She swam a career-best time of 2:23.22 in the preliminaries to qualify 12th, and duplicated the place in the finals with a time of 2:23.72.
Junior Delia Foley (Londonderry, N.H.) brought home 18th place in the 500-yard freestyle. She finished the prelims with a time of 5:43.43, and came back with a season-best 5:41.10 in the finals. Freshman Kelly Merkle (Salem, N.H./Salem) finished in a tie for 20th in the 50-yard free, touching the wall in a personal-best 27.17 seconds in the prelims and 27.26 in the finals.
PSU had two entries in the 200-yard backstroke, with senior captain Amy Mulhern (Taunton, Mass.) leading the way. Mulhern was 20th in the prelims with a season-best time of 2:23.29, and came back to place 19th with a 2:24.67. Sophomore Nora Doherty (Dorchester, Mass./Bostin Latin) finished 31st in the event with a time of 2:31.20.
The Panthers fared well in both relay events on Friday. The team of Merkle, Foley, Mulhern and Samaro finished 12th in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:48.65, while the group of Doherty, Samaro, Mulhern and Foley placed 14th in the 400 medley relay in 4:31.85.
The three-day meet continues on Saturday and Sunday with preliminaries in the morning and finals in the evening. The NEISDA Diving Championships will be held on Feb. 16-17 at Plymouth State.
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