The Central Connecticut swimming and diving team took the lead on day one of the Northeast Conference Championships. The Blue Devils racked up 244 points on day one, just ahead of St. Francis (PA) who grabbed 223 points. The Blue Devils were led by their diving squad who swept the top three spots in the one-meter event.
Junior Madison Vestergaard posted a score of 243.95 to win the one-meter dive at the 2011 NEC Championships. She won the NEC three-meter title last season and will have the chance to defend that title on Saturday. Joining Vestergaard on the medal stand were teammates junior Sam Smolicz and freshman Kellyn Godlberger. Smolicz took silver with 231.85 points in the finals and Goldberger grabbed bronze with her 170.90 point performance.
In the pool the Blue Devils took another two events with sophomore Taylor Friedmann capturing the 500 free for the second straight year and junior Alex Czaplicki taking the 200 IM. Friedmann posted a time of 4:50.57 breaking her own NEC record while finishing seven seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Czaplicki captured her title by a much more narrow margin. She clipped the second place finisher by only two hundredths of a second, touching the wall first in 2:04.21.
Freshman Helene Neuhaus grabbed points with a third place finish in the 50 free. She posted a time of 23.99 seconds.
The Blue Devils also posted team points with their relay performances. Central's team of Neuhaus, freshman Erin Massey, Czaplicki and Friedmann finished the 200 free relay in 1:36.75 earning a third place finish. Central took second place points from the 400 IM relay with a 3:53.39 performance from the team of sophomore Hannah Packer, freshman Kristina gulia, sophomore Katie Lang and Neuhaus.
The Blue Devils will return to action at the NEC Championships tomorrow with seven events being contested. The final seven event winners and the team champion will be crowned on Saturday.