Freshmen lead Panthers to strong finish at conference meet
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The Plymouth State University women's swimming and diving team finished fifth out of seven teams Saturday at the Little East Conference Championships, hosted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at the Tripp Athletic Center Pool.
Defending champion Keene State College captured the team title with 625 points, followed by runner-up Eastern Connecticut State University with 313 and host UMass Dartmouth with 179.5. Westfield State University took fourth with 141, followed by PSU (116), Rhode Island College (92) and Western Connecticut State University (48).
Freshmen Julia Mazza (Belchertown, Mass.), Julia West (Wiscasset, Maine) and Deanne DeGrazia (Westport, Mass.) were PSU's top performers, as they have been all season. Mazza brought home fourth place in the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 1:03.91, and finished sixth in the 100-yard freestyle in a PSU season-best 58.89 seconds; West came in fourth place in the 50-yard free in a PSU season-best 26.52 seconds, and took seventh in the 100-yard backstroke in a season-best 1:08.57; DeGrazia was a sixth-place finisher in the 200-yard free in 2:09.09, and swam her best time in the 500-yard free by almost five seconds, finishing 11th in 5:50.57.
Sophomore Addie Schumaker (Haymarket, Va.) and junior Meaghan Doherty (Charlestown, Mass.) finished seventh and ninth, respectively, in the 200-yard breaststroke, and Doherty was also ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke. Junior Katia Wyman (Portsmouth, N.H.) swam her best time in the grueling 1,650-yard free, finishing 10th in 20 minutes, 47.09 seconds.
PSU more held its own in the relay events, with West, Schumaker, Mazza and DeGrazia placing third in the 200-yard medley relay, and the line-up of Mazza, Schumaker, West and DeGrazia taking fourth in the 400-yard free relay.
The Panthers were 7-3 record in dual meets this season, the team's best record since going 7-2 in 2009-10.
Plymouth State will compete in the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships on Feb. 12-14, held at the University of Rhode Island.
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