By Glenn Billman, news staff

Northeastern University (NU) women’s swimming and diving edged out a 179-174 victory against Towson University and soundly beat George Mason University (GMU) 197-155 at  GMU’s tri-meet in Fairfax, Virginia on Friday and Saturday.  

Towson has won seven of the past nine Colonial Athletic Association championships, while NU came in fifth last year and has not won a championship title in the 33 years on record. NU’s victory over the Tigers was the first ever in a head-to-head match up against them.

“It was fantastic. I’ve been here for 24 years, and I would say it’s top three of all the dual meets we’ve ever had,” head coach Roy Coates said. “Couldn’t have gone better.”

The Huskies set 13 season bests and earned 23 first-place finishes. Coates was most impressed by the way the team performed despite having five athletes unable to compete due to illness or injury.

Sophomore swimmer Carly Schnabel led the team, earning five first place wins. In the 500-yard freestyle, Schnabel set a new personal-record with her first place time of 4:59:08.

“It was a really encouraging meet for our team to feel like we actually can compete with the top teams in our conference, and we can compete well against them,” Schabel said. “This year we’ve been focusing on the team aspect, so just definitely keeping up a good attitude at practice, hard work throughout the season for everyone. That environment in itself breeds success.”

On the boards, junior diver Alyssa Seales claimed first overall in the three-meter and bested GMU in the one-meter.

“I feel really good about it. I’m really proud of everything we’ve accomplished this season, and it just feels really good to see everyone’s hard work finally paying off,” Seales said. “I think that everyone is really working towards bigger goals than we have before.”

Relays were a particularly strong point for NU, and the Huskies took home six first-place wins, four second-place finishes and eight third-place finishes. Freshman swimmer Megan Clark contributed to four first-place relay wins in addition to placing first once and third three times in individual events. The rest of the freshman continued to have a strong season, and overall six out of nine earned points.

Senior Taylor Ellis also swam well, finishing first in the 100-butterfly and contributing to the first place 200-medley relay.

Next, the Huskies will travel to Rutgers University to compete in the Frank Elm Invitational Nov. 18-20.

Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.