The Springfield College men and women’s swimming & diving teams traveled to WPI to take part in the three-day New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference championships this past weekend.
Led by junior diver Jack Lewis, who was honored as NEWMAC Diver of the Year, the Pride finished fourth overall for the championships, accumulating 804 points.
“It feels amazing to claim NEWMAC Diver of the Year. It’s been a long season and we have all worked so hard,” said Lewis. “I have to thank my coach, Pete [Avdoulos], because without him I would have never gotten this award. He has pushed me so far and knows how far I can go. This award definitely gives me confidence going into everything in the future. I’m excited to see what next year will hold for me.”
Sophomore Michael Normoyle stood out on the final day of the competition as he defended his title in the 200 breast in thrilling fashion, registering a NCAA “B” cut time of 2:02.69 to win the race by a mere .09 seconds.
Junior Brad Mills also placed eighth in the event with a time of 2:09.69 and sophomore Daniel Fay placed 10th with a time of 1:56.87.
Senior John Vatkevich placed eighth in the 1650 freestyle, while another senior, Pat Geraghty, placed eighth in the 200 fly in 1:56.57.
“We had a very good weekend all around for both teams. This was a team that worked extremely hard and their hard work paid off,” said coach John Taffe.
Led by three award-winners, the Pride women’s team took home second place overall at the NEWMAC Championships.
Senior Kellie Pennington was awarded NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year, senior Jen Thompson was named Diver of the Year and freshman Emily Medeiros took home the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year to round out awards for the women.
Pennington became the first swimmer in the history of Springfield College to win the conference’s Swimmer of the Year award all four years of her career. In the 100 freestyle, Pennington put together another dominating performance, producing a time of 50.18 to best the field by over two seconds.
Overall, it was a solid performance this weekend,” commented Pennington. “Though I was not extremely happy with all of my swims, they were right where they need to be going into nationals. Being named Swimmer of the Year is an honor, considering how many talented people we swim against in our conference.
In the final event of the championship, Pennington capped off her historic NEWMAC career by anchoring the 400-freestyle relay to a come-from-behind win and a school record. The team also posted an NCAA “B” cut time of 3:28.3.
In the evening’s opening event, sophomore Ashleigh Monroe swam the fastest time in the 1650 freestyle, finishing in 17:16.86 to win her second individual championship of the weekend.
In the 200 butterfly, freshman Christiana Greco swam to a fifth-place finish, posting a 2:10.74, while in the 200 backstroke, senior Kelsey Poole finished sixth with a time of 2:11.16.
The Pride took home second place for the fourth straight year with a total of 1209.5 points.
“In truth, we are not thinking about the future just yet. We have several swimmers and divers that will be going to nationals in Indianapolis in four weeks. We will think about the future after that,” said Taffe.