By Jonathan Moniz, Staff Writer
This past Saturday, February 4, the LEC Women’s swimming and Diving competition was hosted by UMass Dartmouth, with expectations set high. The Corsairs hoped to beat their previous record from 2005.
Set within the Trip Athletic Center Natatorium at 11 a.m., it featured colleges such Eastern Connecticut State University, Plymouth State, Western Connecticut State University, Westfield State University, and Keene State University.
It was also set to be a closely contested match, with several of the colleges being well-experienced in competing at LEC tournaments, Keene State notable in particular. Keene had been on a ten consecutive win streak, and won thirteen times overall.
UMass Dartmouth won in 2004 and 2005. Many of the seniors this year had shown strong performances, amongst them enior captain Kaya Flanagan and also Kendra Hebert, the third Corsairs to continuously compete in the one-meter conference champion.
As Saturday’s competition ended, however, UMass Dartmouth managed to place third amongst the overall competition, earning the status of All-Little East Conference. The overall amount of points earned was 240, ranking them third out of seven teams.
First-year Sarah Murphy won the first multiple event in the championship, the first to do since Meaghan Coache had in 2006. She took first in the 200-yard breaststroke, and in the 400.
She managed to win that with only two strokes left in the part of the race, at a time of four minutes and fifty seconds.
Murphy also placed sixth in the one-hundred breaststroke at one minute and fourteen seconds, and with the team of Brienna Harrison, Yulyssa Diaz, and Carly Cahill took fourth for the 200 medley. Their overall time was two minutes and three seconds.
The placing in those additional competitions managed to earn more point for the Corsairs and improve their overall score in the end.
For the one-meter dive and the three meter, Hebert returned to score a 233.93 in the one-meter and a 235 in the three. She came out ahead of all the other competitors in both events, beating out five other divers.
For team placements, Flanagan and Chrissy Deveaux, a junior, worked together to achieve five top-five rankings in the solo scoring.
Deveaux achieved her predicted score for the 1,000 freestyle, while managing to cut down on her previous times.
Flanagan also managed to cut down on time for the 200 butterfly, coming in third. Joined by first-years Alissa Hall and Abigail Winston for the 400-freestyle, they managed to secure second place.
The LEC championship was marked by a high number of firsts and new records for UMass Dartmouth, starting with the overall score. 240 points was the highest they had ever achieved since 2010.
The next competition will feature both the men and women on Feb. 16-17, for a regional meet at the University of Rhode Island.