CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's swimming and diving team got off to a great start at the 2019 New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships and ended the first full day (second overall) of competition in ninth place out of 16 teams. The Blue Jays racked up 62 points to sit inside the top-10 in their first-ever time competing at the NEISDA Championships.
The Blue Jays qualified both of their relay teams for the A-Final and freshman Jacob Wyse (Broad Brook, Conn.) individually qualified for an A-Final in the 200 Backstroke on Friday at the 2019 NEISDA Championships held inside the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center Pool on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
USJ opened the day qualifying its 200 Free Relay team of freshmen Wyse, Matt Gorman (Columbia, Conn.), Brenden Lynch (Watertown, Conn.), and Will Witkoski (Middlebury, Conn.) through to the A-Final after posting a time of 1:46.82 in the preliminaries. The rookie quartet came back in the evening to record a time of 1:34.08 in the A-Final to secure an eighth place overall finish and 22 points towards USJ's team score.
Wyse would then become the first-ever USJ swimmer to qualify for a NEISDA A-Final in program history after racing to a seventh place in the prelims in the 200 Backstroke. He touched the wall with a blistering time of 2:02.16 in the prelims and then came back to post a time of 2:02.69 to defend his seventh place overall mark in the A-Final and earn 12 points for his team.
The all-rookie relay team of Lynch, Gorman, Wyse, and Witkoski was back at it again in the final event of the evening, the 400 Medley Relay. Once again, the Blue Jays sped to an A-Final qualifying time in the prelims turning in a time of 3:58.33 to grab an eighth-place seed. They would then come back and lower their time by almost two full seconds in the A-Final and improved to sixth place overall after combining to touch the wall in 3:56.62, good for 26 points.
Two other USJ men's swimmers also individually qualified through to B-Final's on Friday to earn points towards the Blue Jays' total of 62 on the day. In the 50 Breaststroke, Gorman raced to a 12th place qualifying time in the prelims (30.69) before coming back to claim a 16th place overall result and one point in the B-Final with a time of 31.34. Similarly, Witkoski swam to a 14th place qualifying time (23.02) in the 50 Freestyle prelims and followed with a 16th place overall finish in the B-Final with a time of 23.37 to earn the final point of the day for USJ.
The Blue Jays' 62 points currently puts them in ninth place out of 15 men's teams who have scored so far at the 2019 NEISDA Championships. They are just nine points behind eighth-place Husson University (71) and are ahead of fellow GNAC schools Elms (53), Saint Joseph's College (26), and Colby-Sawyer (3).
The USJ men's swimming and diving team will continue with day three of the 2019 NEISDA Championships on Saturday. Prelims begin at 10:00 a.m. followed by the finals at 6:00 p.m. at the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center Pool.