KINGSTON, R.I. - Five members of the University of Saint Joseph swimming & diving team competed this past weekend at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Regional Championships and combined to break four USJ school records. Additionally, out of the 28 legs competed in by USJ swimmers on the weekend, the Blue Jays posted career-best times in 27 of them. The meet was hosted by the University of Rhode Island inside the Tootell Aquatic Center in Kingston, R.I.
The Blue Jays racked up 176 total points as a team in their final meet of the season, good for a 16th place finish out of 21 women's teams, and it was a 10.5 point improvement from a year ago. They finished ahead of schools such as Saint Joseph's College of Maine, Western Connecticut, Plymouth State, Rhode Island College and Elms.
USJ set new school standards in the 200 medley relay, 50 backstroke, 100 backstroke and 100 individual medley. The quartet of sophomores Veronika Latawiec (Newington, Conn.), Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, Conn.), Gabriella Alberino (East Haven, Conn.) and freshman Taylor Houghtaling (East Hartford, Conn.) combined to eclipse the school record mark in the 200 medley relay. The team swam to a time of 1:57.82 to break the previous record of 1:58.73, which had stood since Feb. 18, 2012.
Lataweic then followed that up by adding a pair of individual school record breaking performances to her resume on the weekend, both in the backstroke. In the 50 back prelims, she touched the wall at the 29.58 mark to set the new school standard which was previously held by Amy Poulton at 29.76 since Feb. 9, 2012. The time also qualified her for the b-final where she went on to post a 14th place overall finish with a time of 29.80.
After setting the USJ record last season in the 100 back as a freshman at the New England Championships with a time of 1:05.27, Lataweic found herself in familiar territory this season as the sophomore bettered her time from a year ago. She shaved nearly a whole second off the time improving it to 1:04.29 when she touched the wall as the lead swimmer in the 400 medley relay prelims.
Alberino swam her way into the USJ record books in the 100 IM snapping a record that had previously stood since Nov. 10, 2012. She posted a personal-best time in the prelims at 1:07.14 to qualify for the b-final, only to then smash that mark in the finals coming in over a second faster at 1:06.03 for the school best time and a 12th place overall finish.
Masayda recorded the top two individual finishes for USJ at the meet and was the lone Blue Jay to swim in an a-final. In the 100 breaststroke prelims, Masayda blistered to a time of 1:11.51, which was over three seconds faster than her career best time, and qualified for the a-final. She then lowered her time even more in the finals to 1:11.14 to secure a seventh place overall finish. The sophomore added another top-10 finish after touching the wall at the 32.93 time stamp in the 50 breaststroke b-final.
Senior Raelynne Andrews (Bristol, Conn.) also qualified and competed for the Blue Jays at the regional meet. Individually, the veteran swam to career best marks in the 50 and 100 breaststroke with respective times of 36.56 and 1:19.13.
Complete USJ Results
7th - 100 Breaststroke (Masayda - 1:11.14)
9th - 200 Medley Relay (Latawiec, Masayda, Alberino, Houghtaling - 1:57.82)*
10th - 50 Breaststroke (Masayda - 32.93)
12th - 100 IM (Alberino - 1:06.03)*
13th - 100 IM (Latawiec - 1:07.36)
13th - 200 Breaststroke (Masayda - 2:39.21)
13th - 400 Medley Relay (Latawiec*, Andrews, Alberino, Masayda - 4:33.63)
14th - 50 Backstroke (Latawiec - 29.58)*
15th - 200 Free Relay (Latawiec, Masayda, Alberino, Houghtaling - 1:49.87)
16th - 400 Free Relay (Latawiec, Masayda, Alberino, Houghtaling - 4:05.16)
19th - 100 Backstroke (Latawiec - 1:05.21)
25th - 50 Free (Alberino - 27.26)
25th - 50 Butterfly (Alberino - 29.92)
30th - 200 Breaststroke (Andrews - 2:55.54)
32nd - 100 Breaststroke (Andrews - 1:19.13)
34th - 50 Breaststroke (Andrews - 36.56)
*USJ School Record