CAMBRIDGE, MA- Sophomore diver Julia Wright (Pomfret, VT/Northfield Mount Hermon School) posted an NCAA cut on Friday, as the Wheaton College men's and women's swimming & diving teams opened their 2010 in-region slates against two of the country's top squads, dropping a pair to nationally-ranked Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Zesiger Pool.
The Wheaton men lost 165-122 to the fifth-ranked Engineers, while the women suffered a 186-114 setback to MIT, which is tied for sixth. The rankings are by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). The Lyon men fell to 0-9 with the loss, while the women are 5-3.
Wright's score of 264.51 during the one-meter dive surpassed the NCAA Championship provisional cut, which was her first. In order to qualify for the NCAA Championship, a diver must achieve the minimum qualifying score on either the one- or three-meter boards at least once at a conference championship or twice on the same board at any other bona fide competition. Wright also nearly reached a provisional standard during her triumph on the three-meter platform.
In the swimming events, junior Dania Piscetta (Belmont, NH/Belmont) was victorious in the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard freestyle races. She won the 100 fly by 0.23 seconds and the 200 free by 0.48. Piscetta also took second in the 100 free while joining senior Iris Meehan (Bar Harbor, ME/Mount Desert Island) and juniors Stephany Perkins (Monmouth, ME/Monmouth Academy) and Nicole Zais (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) on the runner-up 200-yard medley relay quartet. The foursome was 1.6 seconds shy of the top time.
Senior Sarah Houlihan (West Springfield, MA/West Springfield) rounded out Wheaton's event winners by finishing first in the 1,000-yard free. The Lyons also turned in five additional second-place marks, with Zais figuring in two of them. Zais came in second in the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes, as did senior Stephanie Conelias (Cheshire, CT/Cheshire) in the 200-yard butterfly and individual medley events. Meehan was the runner up in the 200-yard backstroke, coming within 0.67 seconds of the winning time.
For the men, junior Jonathan Gold (West Harrison, NY/Fordham Prep) swept the diving competition on both boards, while sophomore Trevor Deans (Redding, CT/Joel Barlow) touched the wall first during the 200-yard breaststroke.
Wheaton remains on the road next Saturday for a double-dual meet against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) foes Connecticut College and Trinity College. Start time at Connecticut College in New London is set for 1:00 p.m.