DURHAM, N.H.- Five days after the America East Preseason Coaches poll revealed UMBC as the favorite to win the 2008 America East Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, close second-place selection University of New Hampshire edged past the Retrievers, 156-142, in the first conference meet this season. With the win, the first ever head-to-head victory against UMBC, the Wildcats stay perfect at 4-0, while the Retrievers fall to 1-2.

The meet was highlighted by the UNH 200-yard medley relay setting a new Swasey Pool record and Evelyn Yuen (Princeton, N.J.)defeating the reigning America East Champion in the 100-yard breaststroke.

The Wildcats started out strong in the 200-yard medley, setting a new pool record with a time of 1:47.21. Freshman Amy Perrault (Kirkland Lake, Ontario), sophomore Yuen, tri-captain Deanna Petchonka (Ridgefield, Conn.) and freshman Allison Nahin (Hartland, Wisc.) all contributed in the record setting swim.

UMBC bounced back from the first race, winning the next two (1000-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle) to make the score 33-22 in favor of the Retrievers. Perrault got the Wildcats back on track with a win in the 100-yard backstroke (57.22). Perrault, last week’s America East Performer of the Week, also took first in the 200-yard individual medley (2:08.19) late in the meet.

Next, in what was a close 100-yard breaststroke, Yuen timed in at 1:06.15 followed by 2007 AE 100-yard breaststroke Champion Christina Cantwell at 1:06.20. Senior Kary Goodman (South Windham, Maine) and sophomore Mattie Fowler (Farmington, Maine) took first and second in the 200-yard butterfly in times of 2:09.43 and 2:10.63, respectively.

By placing first in three consecutive events, the Wildcats regained the lead, 61-50, after six events. The Retrievers took first in the 200-yard breast and the 500-yard free to take over with a one-point lead (74-73). In the next event, Petchonka, with a time of 57.62, placed first in the 100-yard butterfly, giving the Wildcats the lead for good.

Led by senior tri-captain Shana Dege (Lockport, N.Y.), the Wildcats took first place in both the 1- and 3-meter diving events, helping the team to hold the lead and the win. Dege took first in both with a score of 258.75 in the 1-meter and 251.25 in the 3-meter.

The Wildcats return to action Saturday, Nov. 3, when they host the Catamounts of the University of Vermont. The meet at Swasey Pool is schedule to begin at 2 p.m.

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