By Gordon Weigers, news staff
The Northeastern University (NU) swimming and diving team completed the 2015-16 campaign with a combined fifth-place finish at the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) swimming and diving championships in Virginia, racking up 422.5 points at the University of Richmond.
The first day of competition, the relay team of sophomores Sara Touchette-McGowan and Christine Leong, junior Taylor Ellis and freshman Carly Schnabel took home a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay, surpassing the NU school record set at last year’s championships.
In the 800 freestyle relay, Touchette-McGowan broke another Northeastern record for the fastest 200 freestyle relay time in school history with a 1:52.52 leg.
The record-breaking performances lifted Northeastern to the top of the standings after the first day with 138 points.
“Today’s performance surpassed my expectations,” head coach Roy Coates said after the first day. “We were able to carry the momentum the divers provided last week and compete at the highest level.”
Touchette-McGowan and junior Jordan Domeier solidified their places in the championship finals with strong performances in their events on day two. Touchette-McGowan shattered another school record in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.19. Domeier locked down seventh place in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:54.70, notching a new career-best.
The Huskies fell behind in the standings on the second day as the College of William & Mary took over the top spot in the CAA championship standings. NU fell to fifth with one day left to show the conference what they’re made of.
The third day of competition was the strongest for junior Delaney Lanker. She set a new career high in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:01.38 and earned a silver medal in the event. Domeier took home seventh in the same event, clocking in at 2:03.80.
Touchette-McGowan and Schnabel competed in the 100 freestyle, earning sixth place and eighth place, respectively. Freshman Kiersten Chu landed her first top-eight finish, by snagging eighth place in the 200 backstroke final.
“[The championships] concluded very successfully for the team,” Coates said. “We showed marked improvement over last year’s event. I am extremely proud of the entire group.”
The meet marked the final events for seniors Amanda Liew, Sophie Browne and Taylor Brew.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience at Northeastern,” Brew said. “It’s sad. I’m ready for the next chapter, but swimming shaped who I am.”
A week before the swimmers took to the pool, NU’s diving team competed in its own CAA championships in Newark, Del.
Day one of the competition saw sophomore Jacquelyn Gover earn fifth place in the 3-meter diving competition. Freshman Mackenzie Hagist was one of two freshmen to reach the 3-meter finals, taking home an eighth place finish.
On day two, the Huskies had divers finish in fourth, sixth and seventh out of eight competitors. Gover led Northeastern with her fourth-place finish, while sophomores Caroline Gonsalves and Alyssa Seales came in sixth and seventh respectively.
Gover accumulated 251.30 points in the one-meter diving competition, edging out James Madison University’s Carly Alexander for fourth place overall.
Olivia Lehman of James Madison University took home first-place honors for the weekend, ending up with a total score of 290.45 points.
“Overall we did a lot better than last year,” Brew said. “I feel like all the hard work we put in and how focused everyone was this year really paid off.”
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.