By Bailey Knecht, sports editor
The Huskies registered a number of season and career bests in Saturday’s swim meet, beating the University of New Hampshire (UNH) for the second year in a row. The Northeastern women won by a score of 155-145 in the road meet.
In 2014, the last time it faced UNH, Northeastern dominated the Wildcats 161-119. Though the teams were more evenly matched this time around, the Huskies finished first in seven events to steal the win.
“[UNH was] a little weaker last year, so this year more so than last year, they were much improved,” Head Coach Roy Coates said. “It was a matter of being ready, being focused and everyone knowing what their jobs were. Our depth played a huge part. They’re a really high quality team, and our depth is certainly our strength, so we utilized that. We got our share of firsts but also seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths, which also gives us points.”
Sophomore Christine Leong (200 backstroke), junior Taylor Ellis (200 breaststroke) and the 200 medley team were among the first-place finishers. Sophomore Sara Touchette-McGowan, junior Rachel Green, Leong and Ellis finished the 200 medley in a season-best 1:45.41 to earn the win. Freshman Shelby Andrade’s 2:13.19 time in the 200 individual medley was a new personal record.
Although a few swimmers shined with personal bests, Coates said he thinks the team as a whole continues to improve and perform well.
“Everyone’s done a really good job,” he said. “We had some good weeks of practice leading up to this weekend. Everyone’s driven to improve and train hard, so I saw good things across the board. I’m seeing pretty much the same development in everyone.”
Sophomore Jacquelyn Gover stood out on the diving board with first-place finishes in the 1- and 3-meter diving events.
“Jackie has stepped to up to be a leader this year,” Coates said.
Coates went on to explain that Gover’s wins were even more impressive considering she was competing with a foot injury.
“She not only won the event, but she was in a walking boot leading up to the meet and is still in a walking boot,” he said. “She has a badly bruised foot, so she competed on that and put the boot aside and then put it back on after.”
Next up, the Huskies will compete at the George Mason Quad Meet on Friday and Saturday in Virginia with the hopes of remaining undefeated. Coates said the multi-day meet is difficult, butit helps prepare the team for postseason action, which starts in February.
“It does [take a physical toll], but the conference championship is a 3 1/2-long-day meet, so learning to compete for a full day and a half is a good thing. It simulates what the championship will be like,” he said. “Unlike a dual meet, we get more of a feeling of what the conference championship will be like. It’s great preparation.”
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics