Swimming and Diving Picked to Finish Second in NEC Preseason Poll
The Central Connecticut women's swimming and diving team was voted to finish second in a preseason poll of Northeast Conference coaches. The Blue Devils finished as the runner-up to St. Francis (PA) last season, and both teams are being predicted for a one-two finish again this year.
Head coach Bill Ball has his team in a great position to take back the NEC title this season. After conference titles in 2008 and 2009, Central finished second in 2010, but the Blue Devils still return seven of their nine All-NEC performers from last year. Returning for Central is sophomore Taylor Friedmann who was named NEC Co-Outstanding Swimmer and Co-Outstanding Rookie at last year's NEC Championships. Friedmann, a native of Berlin, CT, won the 1,650 free, 200 free and 500 free. She also set a new NEC record at the meet with a time of 4:52.56 in the 500 free.
Junior Alex Czaplicki also had a strong showing at the NEC meet last season, winning the 400 IM and 200 backstroke, while also placing second in the 200 IM.
Sophomores Katie Lang, Hannah Packer, and Lauren O'Kelly combined to win six individual medals last season in their rookie campaign. Lang earned a silver medal in the 200 fly and a pair of bronze medals in the 200 IM and 100 fly. Packer took third in the backstroke distances and O'Kelly won bronze in the 500 free.
The Blue Devils return championship experience on the diving boards in junior Madison Vestergaard. Vestergaard won the NEC title on the three-meter board last season and placed second on the one-meter board.
The NEC coaches voted Central second behind defending champion St. Francis (PA). Wagner, Bryant and Sacred Heart were picked third, fourth, and fifth, with Mount St. Mary's and St. Francis (NY) taking the bottom two spots in the preseason poll. St. Francis (PA) and Central were the only teams to receive first place votes from the NEC Coaches.
The Blue Devils open 2010-11 competition on October 16, when they host the University of Maine at Jack Suydam Natatorium.