By Bailey Knecht, sports editor

The Northeastern University (NU) swimming and diving team returned to the pool for the 2015-16 season, beating Wagner College by a score of 162-130 at NU’s Barletta Natatorium on Saturday.

Head Coach Roy Coates, who has been with the team for over 20 years, praised the Huskies’ performance after the meet.

“I was really impressed with the way they raced,” he said. “We had some really close races and we won more than our share, so I really liked that.”

The Huskies kicked off the first event of the meet on a high note, winning the 200 medley relay. The team of sophomores Christine Leong and Sara Touchette-McGowan and juniors Taylor Ellis and Rachel Green finished with a time of 1:46.55. Touchette-McGowan also took home first in the 100 butterfly, the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. Last year, she broke school records in all three events.

Juniors Kerry Treusdell, Delaney Lanker and Ellis all secured individual victories, as well as freshmen Adrianna Ciebielski and Kierstin Chu.

Overall, the Huskies earned first-place finishes in 11 of 16 events.

“I think we have a great mix, and I really don’t think we have too many holes in our lineup at all,” Coates said. “We’re deep, and we have some people who are competing within the team for certain spots, so it’s a really well-rounded team.”

Sophomore Jacquelyn Gover, reigning Colonial Athletic Association Rookie Diver of the Year, finished first in both the three- and one-meter diving events. Fellow sophomore diver Caroline Gonsalves followed closely behind, earning second place in both events.

“The divers looked great, and everyone kept positive and cheered for each other,” senior diver Megan Rutter said. “I think we worked together really well.”

Though she didn’t compete on Saturday, Rutter, one of the team captains, said she predicts her fellow divers will improve on the boards this season.

“They’re all prepping harder dives, and they’re ready to show what they can do this year,” she said. “I think last year was an adjustment since they were only freshmen, and this year they’re going to do bigger dives and score higher scores. It’s really exciting.”

The Huskies will round out this month’s campaign with an exhibition meet against Harvard University on Oct. 17, as well as a trip to the University of New Hampshire on Oct. 24 and an appearance at the George Mason Quad Meet in Virginia on Oct. 30 and 31.

“Overall endurance we need to work on, and speed we need to work on,” Coates said. “Those are the things we really want to concentrate on [in the upcoming meets].”
Photo courtesy Mike Skovan, Northeastern Athletics