Four diving records fall, one NCAA cut met during Wheaton Invitational

NORTON, MA- Four school diving records fell and one NCAA cut was met over the weekend for the Wheaton College men's and women's swimming & diving teams, as the Lyons saw their regular seasons come to an end on Saturday after hosting the two-day, non-scoring Wheaton Invitational in Balfour Natatorium.

Competing schools were New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) schools Clark University and nationally-ranked Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) member Tufts University. 

Sophomore diver Julia Wright (Pomfret, VT/Northfield Mount Hermon School) notched an NCAA national meet provisional qualifying cut and school record during the six-dive event off the three-meter platform, nipping an eight-year-old program mark with 272.45 points.  The NCAA cut was her second on the three-meter board, thus qualifying her for the NCAA Championship in March after already having done so in the one-meter event.  In winning the event, she now holds all four of the school's diving standards.

Junior diver Jonathan Gold (West Harrison, NY/Fordham Prep) registered three program marks and top-three finishes, including winning the six-dive event off the one-meter platform with a school-record 224.60 points, eclipsing a mark that had stood since November 2001.  In the 11-dive competition off the three-meter board, he took second with 356.35 points, surpassing a nine-year-old program standard.  In the 11-dive event for one meter, Gold also broke a nine-year-old record with 385.43 points, good for third place.

Junior Stephany Perkins (Monmouth, ME/Monmouth Academy) played a hand in six top-two finishes, including winning the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:34.79 while anchoring the victorious 400-yard medley relay that swam a time of 4:07.82.  She was joined by senior Iris Meehan (Bar Harbor, ME/Mount Desert Island) and classmates Dania Piscetta (Belmont, NH/Belmont) and Nicole Zais (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln-Sudbury Regional).

Freshman Caroline Isaacs (San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty) recorded the top time in the 1,000-yard freestyle in 11:12.19.  Perkins was the runner up in the 100 breast and swam a leg on the second-place 200 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 free relay squads.  Piscetta and Zais were members of all three relays, while Meehan completed the 200 medley foursome, junior Sara Hollar (La Crescenta, CA/Flintridge Prep) the 400 free quartet and freshman Elle Van Cott (Delmar, NY/Bethlehem Central) the 200 free team.

Piscetta turned in a runner-up mark during the 100-yard backstroke, as did senior Chelsea Stephenson (Cape Elizabeth, ME/Cape Elizabeth) in the 1,000 free. 

On the men's side, sophomore Christian Woods (Claremont, CA/Webb School of California) came in second during the 1,000 free, and senior John Ahern (Boxboro, MA/Acton-Boxboro Regional) and sophomore Alex Hosey (Danville, PA/Wyoming Seminary) took third in the 1,650 and 1,000 free races, respectively.

Junior Sam Dean-Lee (Rocky Hill, CT/Xavier) and sophomore Charles Western (Syracuse, NY/Nottingham) were fourth in the 1,000 free and 200-yard butterfly, respectively.  Juniors Zach Fichman-Klein (North Attleboro, MA/North Attleboro) and Ben Sabol (Saint Petersburg, FL/Shorecrest Prep) and freshman Sam Neill (Ludlow, MA/Belchertown) swam on both the fourth-place 200 medley and 400 free relay teams.  Dean-Lee rounded out the 200 medley group, while junior Eddie Gillie (Haverhill, MA/Saint John's Prep) completed the 400 free quartet.

The Wheaton teams next turn their attention to the three-day conference championships, beginning with the women's from February 19-21 at Wellesley College.  The men's league meet is the following weekend in Norton, where the Lyons will host their fourth in five years.

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