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Swimming and Diving Takes Second at 2011 NEC Championships

The Central Connecticut swimming and diving team finished second at the 2011 Northeast Conference Championships. The Blue Devils scored 267 points on Saturday but fell to St. Francis (PA) 791 to 759. It is the second straight year that the Blue Devils finished as the conference's runner up. Junior Madison Vestergaard defended her three-meter diving title, she earned the NEC's Diver of the Meet Award after winning both events this weekend.

The Blue Devil divers pulled off another sweep. Taking first, second and third in the three-meter event on Saturday. Vestergaard led the way earning her second win with a score of 248.40. Junior Sam Smolicz earned second with 235.25 points, and freshman Kellyn Goldberger posted a score of 168.55 to take third. The trio scored 106 points for the Blue Devils on the weekend.

Vestergaard earned a pair of gold medals, the NEC Diver of the Meet Award, and set a new NEC record with her 248.40 score in the three-meter event. Blue Devil diving coach Dave Maliar earned the NEC Diving Coach of the Year Award after his athletes took the top-three spots in the one and three-meter dives.

Sophomore Lauren O'Kelly got the Blue Devils on the board in the day three finals opener. The distance swimmer finished third in the 1,650 free, she posted a time of 17:18.45.

Junior Alex Czaplicki topped her 200 backstroke time that won her the 2010 NEC Championship in that event, but she fell short of a victory. Her 2011 time was 2:02.26, that mark was two seconds faster than her 2010 time.

Sophomore Taylor Friedmann and freshman Helene Neuhaus finished second and third in the 100 free. Friedmann finished in 51.14 seconds and Neuhaus touched the wall in 51.27 seconds. Together they earned 33 points for the Blue Devils in the event,

In the 200 breaststroke finals freshman Kristina Gulia and junior Kristen Malski earned a fourth and fifth place finish, earning 29 points for the Blue Devils. Gulia touched the wall in 2:22.62 and Malski finished in 2:23.21.

Sophomore Katie Lang was the top Blue Devil finisher in the 200 butterfly, she finished seventh in 2:03.93.

The Blue Devils wrapped up the meet with a second place finish in the 400 meter relay. The team of Neuhaus, Lang, Czaplicki, and Friedmann finished in 3:28.95. They fell to St. Francis (PA) by only seven tenths of a second.

As a team the Blue Devils won five events this weekend, including a pair each by Vestergaard and Czaplicki.

NEC Championship Complete Results

Day Two

The Central Connecticut swimming and diving team finished day two of the 2011 Northeast Conference Championships in first place. The Blue Devils trailed defending champion St. Francis (PA) heading into the final event of the day, but Central pulled off a win in the 800 free relay to close the day with a two point lead.

The Blue Devil 800 relay team of junior Alex Czaplicki, sophomore Alison Rasile, sophomore Katie Lang, and sophomore Taylor Friedmann finished in 7:34.42 taking first place in the event for the fourth straight year. Czaplicki and Friedmann also teamed up with sophomore Hannah Packer and junior Kristen Malski for a third place finish in the 200 IM relay with a time of 1:46.58.

Individually, Czaplicki defended her 400 IM title with a 4:26.61 performance to earn her second event win of the meet. Sophomore Lauren O'Kelly finished third in the event with a 4:29.81 performance.

Friedmann took second in the 200 free with a 1:50.16 performance, earning 17 points for her team. Malski and freshman Kristina Gulia finished tied for second in the 100 yard backstroke earning a total of 33 points for their team. Both finished in 1:05.17.

Freshman Helene Neuhaus and Packer finished second and third in the 100 backstroke earning 17 and 16 points, respectively. Neuhaus finished in 57.07 and Packer touched the wall in 58.03 seconds.

The Blue Devils will conclude the NEC Championships tomorrow, with seven more individual champions being crowned along with the team title.

Day Two Results

NEC Championship Day One

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.