Women's Swimming and Diving Claims Third Place at AE Championships

BOYDS, Md. – The University of New Hampshire women's swimming and diving team posted 610 points, claiming third place at the America East Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Germantown Aquatic Center this past weekend.
New Hampshire broke 11 school and nine conference records, while also qualifying for NCAA provisional time standards in eight swims.

Lauren McCandless (Macungie, Pa.) contributed to three first place finishes and helped the 'Cats break four records on the weekend, earning the Women's Rookie of the Year award. She also captured one individual title, while breaking a combined three records on her own.

Amy Perrault (Kirkland Lake, Ontario) also took home hardware for the Wildcats, earning the Coaches Award, recognizing a senior that gets the most points in their career at the championships.

In addition, UNH earned America East Coaching Staff of the Year for the second straight year, taking home the honor for the 11th time in Josh Willman's 18-year tenure as New Hampshire's head coach.

The Wildcats opened up the weekend with a victory in the 800-yard freestyle relay, as Kiersten Wollenzien (Holland Landing, Ontario), Shelli Reed (Hollister, Calif.), Sydney Tribou (Belle Island, Fla.) and Perrault teamed up to win the event with a record-setting time of 7:19.79. The impressive mark set a school and conference record and also qualified as an NCAA provisional cut time.

New Hampshire was just as impressive in the 200-yard medley relay, setting a new school, conference and pool record, clocking in at 1:41.70. Allison Nahin (Hartland, Wis.), McCandless, Perrault and Reed all contributed to the record-setting performance, as the Wildcats also achieved an NCAA provisional cut time with the stellar mark.

On day two of the meet, Perrault broke a conference and school record in the 200-yard IM, taking first place in the event with a time of two minutes and 1.99 seconds. Jessica Little (Barrie, Ontario) and Jenna Bull (Woodstock, New Brunswick) rounded out the top 10 for the 'Cats, claiming fourth (2:04.43) and tenth (2:06.01) place, respectively.

The Wildcats opened up the day with a strong showing in the 500-yard freestyle, claiming three spots in the top 10, as McCandless led the way for UNH with a second-place finish in 4:53.84, notching 17 points. She broke the school record in the event with her preliminary time of 4.52.87. Wollenzien and Tribou earned seventh and eighth place in the event with times of 4:57.82 and 5:00.84, respectively.

Midway through the action, Reed chipped in with a fifth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, clocking in at 23.70.

The Wildcats also had a strong showing in the 3-meter dive, as Lauren Barton (Sanford, Fla.) took sixth place with a score of 468.35, earning 13 points in the event. UNH rounded out the contest with a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay, finishing in 1:35.85. Kelsey Gillespie (Falmouth, Maine), Nahin, Reed and Wollenzien all teamed up in the relay, earning 29 points in the event.

On day three, Nahin broke a school and conference record in the 100-yard breaststroke in one minute and 2.48 seconds, notching a first-place finish in the event. Casey Albert (Enfield, N.H.) was close behind her Wildcat teammate, finishing in fourth place with a time of 1:04.78.

New Hampshire also took the top spot in the 400-yard medley relay, as Perrault, McCandless, Wollenzien and Nahin finished in 3:43.89, setting a school and conference record. Perrault was especially impressive, breaking the school and conference record in the 100-yard back with her leadoff swim in the relay, timing in at 54.34.

UNH also had a stellar showing in the 200-yard freestyle, as Reed (2nd), Wollenzien (4th) and Tribou (7th) all finished in the top 10. Reed led the way, clocking in at 1:50.25, while Wollenzien and Tribou timed in at 1:51.18 and 1:51.54, respectively.

Little opened up the day taking fifth place in the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:23.91, earning 14 points in the event. The Wildcats followed up with a solid showing in the 100-yard butterfly, as Perrault claimed a second-place finish, touching down at 55.11.

On the final day of the championships, McCandless took the 1650-yard free in convincing fashion, setting a school and conference record. Additionally, she qualified for an NCAA provisional cut time, finishing in 16:39.20. Wollenzien added a fourth-place finish in the event, timing in at 16:59.98.

The Wildcats were at it again in the 200-yard backstroke, as Perrault finished with a conference and school record, while also qualifying for an NCAA provisional cut time, clocking in at 1:57.98. Bull took seventh place in the event, finishing in 2:05.22, earning 12 points.

UNH was especially impressive in the 200-yard breast, earning a trio of top 10 finishes in the event. Little led the pack, claiming first place in an NCAA provisional cut time of 2:15.50. Nahin (3rd) and Albert (6th) rounded out the top 10, clocking in at 2:18.74 and 2:21.65, respectively.

Reed added a second-place finish in the 100-yard free, touching down at 50.92. McCandless finished in fourth place in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:01.84. The 'Cats also got a solid lift in the 1-meter dive, as Ellen Pelletier (West Hartford, Conn.) notched a score of 432.20.

New Hampshire closed out the day on a strong note, as Reed, Perrault, Gillespie and Wollenzien claimed second place in the 400-yard free relay, finishing in 3:25.94.

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