KINGSTON, R.I. - The University of Saint Joseph swimming & diving team broke the school record in the 400-yard medley relay and had three swimmers individually compete in the finals of events on the second day at the 2018 New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships at the Tootell Aquatics Center on the campus of the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I. on Friday.
The Blue Jays capped off the second day of competition in a big way at the 2018 NEISDA Championships on Friday night. After breaking the school record earlier in the day and qualifying for the A-Final in the preliminaries with a time of 4:24.97, USJ's 400-yard medley relay team of senior Veronika Latawiec (Newington, Conn.), junior's Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, Conn.) and Gabriella Alberino (East Haven, Conn.) and sophomore Taylor Houghtaling (East Hartford, Conn.) came right back and bettered their time to re-break the record and finish with a time of 4:23.69 in the final event of day two. The previous school standard had stood since 2010 with a mark of 4:25.80. The result earned the Blue Jays' quartet an eighth-place overall finish in the A-Final and 44 points toward their team score.
The quartet of Latawiec, Masayda, Alberino, and Houghtaling also qualified and competed in the finals of the 200-yard freestyle relay to kick off the second day of finals action on Friday night. They qualified in the preliminaries with a time of 1:49.15, good to compete in the B-Final, and then once again bested their time in the B-Final swimming to a time of 1:48.78. The time earned the Blue Jays a 14th place overall finish and 26 team points.
Individually, Masayda was the first of three Blue Jays to compete in a final and took to the pool in the 50-yard breaststroke. The junior posted the 10th fastest qualifying time out of 39 swimmers in the preliminaries after touching the wall at the 32.81 timestamp to secure a spot in the B-Final and then followed that up with a time of 32.91 to finish 12th overall in the final. Her effort resulted in 15 points for the Blue Jays' team score.
In the 200-yard backstroke, Latawiec picked up a 13th place overall finish and 14 team points in the B-Final after racing to a time of 2:22.29. She qualified for the B-Final with a time of 2:25.40 which was the 15th fastest time in the preliminaries out of 22 competitors.
Alberino was the final Blue Jay to swim in a final on Friday evening contesting in the 200-yard IM. The East Haven product blitzed to a time of 2:23.36 in the preliminaries to slot her in the B-Final with the 12th fastest qualifying time out of 20 swimmers. She went on to improve upon that time by a whole second in the final turning in a mark of 2:22.33 and grabbed an 11th place overall finish in the event and 16 points for the team.
Houghtaling also competed in an individual event on the day swimming in the 50-yard freestyle preliminary round. The sophomore sprinted to a time of 27.63 which was good for the 32nd fastest mark out of 41 swimmers.
The Blue Jays have racked up 139 points through the first two days of competition and currently sit in 12th place on the team standings. They are just 11 points behind Gordon College to crack into the top-10 and are ahead of fellow GNAC rivals Norwich (14th) and Saint Joseph's College of Maine (15th).
The USJ swimming & diving team returns to the pool Saturday morning at 10 a.m. for preliminaries of day three of the NEISDA Championships before contesting in the finals at 6 p.m.