BALTIMORE, Md. - The University of New Hampshire women's swimming and diving team, although having entered the third day of competition in second place, came back to win the America East Championship this weekend at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
After trailing to Northeastern University the first two days of the meet, the Wildcats bounced back on the final day. They finished with 754 total points, a mere 17 points ahead of Northeastern. The win breaks a five-year winning streak for the Huskies at the America East Championships.
UNH was lead by Melissa Lague (Salem, N.H.), who won every event that she swam in. She set an America East Championship record in the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 4.83 seconds. She also won the 100 backstroke (57.67) and the 200 back (2:01.52). Lague was named the women's Most Outstanding Swimmer at the three-day event.
Shannon Daly (Brightwaters, N.Y.) also had two first-place finishes over the course of the weekend, winning the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:05.21 and the 200 breast in 2:19.77. She also finished second in the 500 freestyle (4:59.99).
The New Hampshire women dominated the relay events, winning every relay in the three-day meet. They opened the meet by taking first-place in the 200 free relay. Lague, Daly, Catie McDonough (Denville, N.J.) and Amanda Paul (Reston, Va.) swam the event in a time of 1:36.32. Lague, Daly, McDonough and Kary Goodman (S. Windham, Maine) teamed up to swim the 400 medley relay in 3:51.53. Lague, Daly, McDonough, and Paul then got back together again to win the 400 free relay (3:29.34). The 200 medley relay was swam by Lague, Paul, Christine Tartaglia (Brewster, N.Y.) and Ana Dowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) in a time of 1:47.01. Daly, Paul, McDonough and Brittany Daly (Brightwaters, N.Y.) also teamed up to win the 800 free relay by clocking in at 7:37.92.
McDonough earned crucial points for the Wildcats by finishing second in the 50 free (24.72) and the 100 free (53.22). Brittany Daly also had two second-place finishes, in the 200 free (1:54.59) and the 1650 free (17:26.99). Dowell also finished second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.68. Goodman finished second in the 200 fly by clocking in at 2:07.51.
Diver Shana Dege (Lockport, N.Y.) earned a respectable fifth place in the 3-meter competition with 431.70 points. She finished third from the 1-meter height with a score of 258.20.
The Wildcats will attempt to keep their perfect season intact as they compete in the ECAC Championships at the University of Pittsburgh starting Feb. 23.