WELLESLEY, MA- One NCAA Championship standard was met and one school record fell as the Wheaton College women's swimming & diving team stood third among 10 teams following the opening day of the three-day New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship on Friday in Wellesley College's Chandler Pool.
With 153 points, the Lyons had outdistanced fourth-place United States Coast Guard Academy, at 137, and fifth-place Clark University, which had 130. Nine-time defending champion Springfield College led with 293, while Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was second at 213. Wheaton has finished a program-best third each of the past two years.
Junior Dania Piscetta (Belmont, NH/Belmont) recorded her ninth career all-conference finish, just one short of Abby Pratt's '08 school record, by taking second in the 200-yard individual medley at 2:09.52. The time surpassed the NCAA provisional standard.
Sophomore Julia Wright (Pomfret, VT/Northfield Mount Hermon School) broke her own program record in the one-meter, 11-dive event, totaling 387.65 points during the trials. She took sixth in the finals at 384.80, immediately following four Springfield divers.
During the 400-yard medley, Piscetta, 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) narrowly missed an all-conference showing, taking third in a time of 3:59.84. The performance was accompanied by three more near misses, as the quartet was just 0.01 ticks short of an NCAA provisional time and 0.77 seconds shy of the winner. Meehan also missed a school record in the 100-yard backstroke during the opening leg by 0.37 ticks, finishing in 1:00.97.
The Lyons' top 200-yard freestyle relay team, comprised of Perkins, Piscetta, Zais and freshman Elle Van Cott (Delmar, NY/Bethlehem Central), finished in third place at 1:39.46, just 0.32 seconds short of the last all-league slot. First-year swimmer Caroline Isaacs (San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty) also qualified for a finals race, taking eighth in the 500 free.
Saturday's competition begins with trials rounds, which kick off at 11:00 a.m. with the 200-yard medley relay. The finals start at 6:30 p.m.