SPRINGFIELD, Mass.— The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's swimming and diving team wrapped up an impressive regular season with a win at Western New England University (WNEU), 148-114 Friday night.
The Blue Jays won eight points paying events in the meet, and finished second in five others, enough to maintain the lead to the end. Freshman Mackenzie Stotler (New Hartford, Conn.) owned the backstroke, winning the 50-yarder with a time of 31.05 seconds, more than four seconds ahead of the rest of the field. She also took home the 100 Backstroke by nearly eight seconds (1:08.26). Stotler shared a victory in the 200 Medley Relay with teammates freshman Shelby Cios (Rocky Hill, Conn.), junior Leah Verrillo (Cheshire, Conn.), and junior Taylor Houghtaling (East Hartford, Conn.), with a time of 2:04.88, good for 11 points.
Senior Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, Conn.) matched Stotler with three wins of her own, including the 50 Breaststroke (33.89, one second ahead of teammate Cios), the 200 Breaststroke (2:40.79, about five and a half seconds in front), and shared the 200 Freestyle Relay win with sophomore Alise Martel (Harwinton, Conn.), freshman Kailey LaCasse (Berlin, Conn.) and senior Gabriella Alberino (East Haven, Conn.).
Martel also shined with two wins in singles events: the 50 Freestyle, in a nail-biter with teammate Houghtaling (27.03 to Houghtaling's 27.86), and the 100 Freestyle by less than half a second (59.51). The Blue Jays looked sharp with their strokes, and now will prepare for the conference championship weekend, against the best swimmers in the conference.
USJ is moving on to The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championships, which will be held Friday, February 1 through Sunday, February 3 at Simmons University (MA). Times are TBA.