CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's swimming and diving team posted its best-ever finish in program history at the 2019 New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships, concluding the four day championship meet on Sunday evening at the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center Pool on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The Blue Jays racked up a total of 345 points for a program-best 12th place finish out of 20 women's teams, finishing 63 points and one spot better than they did at the 2018 NEISDA Championships. USJ ended just 70 points outside the top-10 and finished ahead of fellow GNAC schools Norwich (223), Husson (188), Elms (161), and Saint Joseph's College (143).
Senior Gabriella Alberino (East Haven, Conn.) highlighted the final day of competition by breaking the 100 IM school record in the final individual event of her decorated four-year career. The veteran, who already held the 100 IM school record with a time of 1:05.27, which she set last year at the 2018 NEISDA Championships, lowered the school standard to 1:05.02 in the B-Final of the event. The result earned her a 10th place overall finish and 17 points for the Blue Jays.
Freshman Alise Martel (Harwinton, Conn.) also broke a record on the fourth and final day of competition. The rookie added her name to the freshman record board in the 100 Freestyle after edging a freshman school record that stood since 2004, set by Ashley Ryan with a time of 57.60. Martel clipped the freshman record by four-hundredths of a second, posting a time of 57.56 in the preliminaries, which was good for a 19th place finish and six points for the team. She then went on to rebreak the record she just set later in the evening as the lead swimmer of the 400 Freestyle Relay, lowering her record-breaking time with a 56.87 split.
The Blue Jays also qualified through to the finals in three other events on the final day of competition. In the 200 Breaststroke, senior Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, Conn.) qualified for the B-Final after recording a time of 2:37.68 in the preliminaries. She would go on to shave over a second off her time in the B-Final down to 2:36.44 to log a 12th place overall finish and 15 points for USJ.
USJ's 400 Freestyle Relay team of Martel, freshman Mackenzie Stotler, Masayda, and Alberino were the final swimmers to compete in a final. In the final event of the championships, the quartet combined to touch the wall in 3:30.02 in the B-Final to secure an 11th place finish (32 points) after qualifying in the prelims in 3:29.72.
From the diving board, freshman Brielle Bergeron (Easthampton, Mass.) continued her impressive weekend and qualified inside the top-eight in the preliminaries to compete in the A-Final from the 3-Meter board. Bergeron dove to a score of 234.15 across 11 dives in the prelims and improved her score to 238.65 in the A-Final to pick up a seventh place overall finish and 23 points for the Blue Jays.
The 2019 NEISDA Championships marks the final event of an impressive 2018-19 season for the USJ women's swimming and diving team.