SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The University of Saint Joseph swimming & diving team defeated Rhode Island College, 144-103, in its season opening meet on Sunday afternoon held at Bryant University. The dual meet officially kicked off the 2016-17 season for the Blue Jays who recorded seven first place finishes in the win.
Sophomore Veronika Latawiec (Newington, CT) led the Blue Jays to victory on Sunday collecting a total of four first place finishes at the meet. In the first event of the new season, USJ saw its 200 yard medley relay team touch the wall first which featured Latawiec, seniors Raelynne Andrews (Bristol, CT) and Lillian McKenzie (Rocky Hill, CT), and sophomore Gabriella Alberino (East Haven, CT). The team posted a winning time of 2:10.47.
Latawiec picked up her three other first place results in individual events and in dominating fashion. In the 50 yard backstroke she touched the wall first with a time of 32.01. She followed that up with a time of 1:07.29 in the 100 yard backstroke, 18 seconds faster than the second place swimmer. Then she capped off her day with a victory in the 200 yard IM with a winning time of 2:33.56.
Alberino picked up two more first place finishes individually after collecting one as a member of the 200 yard medley team. The sophomore won both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events with winning times of 28:30 and 1:03.72, respectively.
The final first place finish came from USJ's 200 yard freestyle relay team to wrap up the dual meet. The team consisted of McKenzie, sophomore Elizabeth Sears (Bristol, CT), freshman Alyssa Barandon (Meriden, CT) and freshman Leah Verrillo (Cheshire, CT) and they swam to a time of 2:13.35.
The USJ swimming & diving team will return to action next with their first home meet of the 2016-17 season on Friday, Oct. 28 when they host the Blue Jay Pentathlon Invitational. The meet is scheduled to begin inside Bruyette Natatorium at 5 p.m.