By Glenn Billman, news correspondent
At their home opener, the Northeastern University (NU) swimming and diving teams faced off against the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and James Madison University (JMU) on Saturday, NU beat UNH 195-107, but JMU edged out a 163-136 victory in the last three events.
Freshman Megan Clark helped the Huskies place first in the 200-yard medley relay, in addition to winning the 50-yard freestyle. She finished in 23.79 seconds, 0.6 seconds away from junior Sara Touchette-McGowan’s NU record.
The Huskies took home 20 first place wins: 13 against UNH and seven against JMU.
“I was thrilled with the way they performed; they did a great job,” head coach Roy Coates said. “James Madison was second in the conference last year, just barely outside winning the championship. So for us — we finished fifth last year — we’ve made some huge strides. It’s shown how close we are to being in the top two positions in the conference.”
Coates attributed the team’s success this year to the returning players’ improvement combined with the addition of nine talented freshmen.
“There were people all stepping up,” Coates said. “Not necessarily winning their events, but scoring points in second, third, fourth, fifth position, because those points make a difference too. You know, our medley relay was outstanding. Divers, again, they did a great job. I think it was really more of a team thing than any one individual.”
Senior Delaney Lanker placed first in the 200-yard butterfly and third in the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard medley relay.
“As a team we did well, because JMU is a really tough team to beat, and we were up with them the whole time,” Lanker said. “I think we have the best team, so far, that I’ve had since I’ve been at Northeastern. We have some really talented girls in the pool and on the boards, so I think we are looking good.”
In diving, junior Alyssa Seales placed second in one-meter and three-meter dives, earning season highs of 255.75 and 231.55 points respectively. Three of the five members of the diving team were injured this meet, but junior Jacquey Gover hopes to see all five members of the diving team place in the top eight at championship.
“We had some troubles this meet, just because we have three girls that are injured, but they were awesome, they pushed through one meter,” Gover said. “They did really well for being injured and not being able to dive much this week. I think everyone was really pleased with what they accomplished.”
Photo courtesy of Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics