PITTSBURGH – After holding onto second place for two straight days, the University of New Hampshire women's swimming and diving team stormed back on the final day of competition, claiming first place with 611 points at the ECAC Swimming and Diving Championships held at Trees Pool on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh this past weekend.
Amy Perrault (Kirkland Lake, Ontario) contributed to six first-place finishes and helped the 'Cats break five records on the weekend, earning the Women's Swimmer of the Meet award. She also captured three individual titles, while breaking two records on her own.
Additionally, UNH took home Coaching Staff of the Meet honors, as the Wildcats earned their first ECAC Championship since 2005.
The Wildcats opened up the meet notching a school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay, as Shelli Reed (Hollister, Calif.), Allison Nahin (Hartland, Wis.) and Kiersten Wollenzien (Holland Landing, Ontario) and Perrault took second place in the event with a time of one minute and 35.10 seconds.
Perrault also led the way in the 200-yard IM, notching the top spot in the event, breaking her own school record and qualifying for an NCAA provisional cut time, as she finished in 2:01.91. Jessica Little (Barrie, Ontario) was close behind her Wildcat teammate, notching second place with a time of 2:04.30. Jenna Bull (Woodstock, New Brunswick) and Nahin rounded out the top 10 for the 'Cats, claiming fourth (2:06.81) and tenth (2:08.62) place, respectively.
New Hampshire also had a record-breaking performance in the 400-yard medley relay, as Lauren McCandless (Macungie, Pa.), Perrault, Nahin and Wollenzien took first place in an ECAC record time of 3:47.24.
Reed also added a third-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, timing in at 23.74.
On day two of the meet, the Wildcats had a record-breaking performance in the 800-yard free relay, as McCandless, Reed, Wollenzien and Sydney Tribou (Belle Island, Fla.) took first place in an ECAC record time of 7:28.31.
UNH was just as successful in the 200-yard medley relay, finishing in first place, as Perrault, Nahin, McCandless and Reed timed in at 1:42.97.
Little gave the 'Cats a lift in the 400-yard IM, taking the top spot in the event with a time of 4:23.19. Bull chipped in with a sixth-place finish, clocking in at 4:29.94.
Perrault claimed first place in the 100-yard backstroke, finishing in 55.05, more than one second ahead of the second place finisher.
New Hampshire also had an impressive showing in the 200-yard free, as Reed (3rd; 1:50.30), Wollenzien (6th; 1:52.09) and Tribou (8th; 1:53.66) all finished in the top 10.
Additionally, the Wildcats notched a second and fifth place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, as Nahin and Casey Albert (Enfield, N.H.) timed in 1:02.84 and 1:05.08, respectively.
On the final day of the championships, the Wildcats won all but two events, as McCandless opened up with a first-place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle. She timed in at 16:35.31, setting a conference and school record in the event. Wollenzien added a third-place finish, touching down at 16:59.57.
Perrault followed up taking the top spot in the 200-yard back in an ECAC record time of 1:58.91. Bull added a seventh-place finish with a time of 2:03.90.
Midway through the action, Reed took first place in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.07.
The Wildcats were also strong in the 200-yard breaststroke, as Little (2nd; 2:15.86), Nahin (5th; 2:20.41) and Albert (6th; 2:21.19) all claimed spots in the top 10.
McCandless (2:01.19) and Tribou (2:05.88) gave the 'Cats a lift in the 200-yard butterfly, notching first and fifth place, respectively.
Coming into the last event of the day, the Wildcats needed to win the 400-yard freestyle relay to be crowned champions and they delivered with convincing results. A relay team that consisted of Reed, Bull, Perrault and Wollenzien not only propelled the 'Cats to a first-place finish, but also broke an ECAC, conference and school record with a time of 3:23.65 in the process. The impressive finish also qualified for an NCAA provisional cut.