The Mount. St. Mary's women's swimming team picked up its first points in program history at the Northeast Conference (NEC) Swimming & Diving Championships on Thursday and finished the first day of competitions in 10th place.
Gardner-Webb, the defending NEC champions, leads the event with a total of 2112 points, 13 points ahead of second place Georgia Southern (199). Central Connecticut State (194), Wagner (149), Saint Francis (Pa.) (70), Campbell (65), Howard(62), Radford (47), North Carolina A & T (40) currently are ahead of hte Mount. The Mountaineers are 10th with 32 points while St. Francis (N.Y.) (30), Sacred Heart (26), Florida A & M (20) and Virginia Military Institute (6) round out the competition.
Maggie O'Connell, Kate Ansman, Kathryn Brengel, and Paige Chenet, earned Mount St. Mary's first-ever points in program history at the NEC Championships in the second final of the night. the quartet finished second in the B-Final and 10th overall of the 200-free relay witha time of 1:44.09 to earn 14 points in the event.
Chenet, Marybeth Kasda, O'Connell and Ansman then earned 18 team points after winning the B-Final and placing ninth overall in the 400 medley relay with a time of 4:17.42.
While the Mount was predicted to place 12th out of the 14 teams in their conference, they ended up with a surprising 9th place finish. It was a great start to the history of the program and now goals will be set even higher for the 2007-2008 season.
The Future, The Past
While Mount Swimming is still considered the "baby" at the University, the team has proven that they can hold their own. The grueling schedule that they endure are not one's for anyone less than a Division 1 athlete. While in their season, which happens to run from September to February and is one of the longest at the Mount, they have practice six days a week, twice a day. since pool time is so valuable at the Mount, morning practices run from 6:30 AM to 8:30 AM and afternoon practices run from 2 PM to 4 PM.
While the Mount recruited seven freshman last year, basically to jump start the team, in the 2007-2008 season, there will be six incoming freshman. While this is a high number for such a small team, since the swim team is new these higher recruit numbers are needed while the team is new. When the team has a few years under their belt, the number of recruits will go down and hypothetically it will become more competitive to swim at the University.
Mount Swimming looks forward to holding 16 girls next year. A competition team will be made, comprised of 12 girls who will travel to overnight tri meets. All the girls will be going to the training trip in December to Ft. Lauderdale in Florida the week before Christmas where they will train in the Swimming Hall of Fame.
The team is hosting 5 home meets this year, as opposed to the only one home meet last year, and hope to have a successful season with the new recruits and returning players