The Central Connecticut swimming & diving team was picked to finish second in the Northeast Conference preseason coaches poll released on Thursday. Recieving two first place votes, the Blue Devils were picked to finish behind only St. Francis (PA).
Central Connecticut hopes to return to the top of the podium this season following back-to-back runner-up finishes the past two years. The Blue Devils, under head coach Bill Ball, are led by returners Taylor Friedmann, a mid-major All-American a year ago, senior Alex Czaplicki, and 2011 NEC Diver of the Meet Madison Vestergaard.
Friedmann, a junior, touched the wall first in the 500 free at the conference meet with a time of 4:50.57, breaking her personal record of 4:52. She then grabbed silver in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.14.
Czaplicki notched gold in both the 200 IM (2:04.21) and 400 IM (4:26.61), marking her second career first place finish in the 400. The senior also earned silver for her performance in the 200-yard backstroke (2:02.26), while junior Hannah Packer touched the pad at 2:04 to place third in the same event.
Sophomore Helene Neuhaus found herself on the medal stand at the conference championship, taking home a bronze in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51:14. Neuhaus also had a hand in CCSU's second place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay along with Czaplicki, Friedman and junior Katie Lang.
Lauren O'Kelly also brought home hardware for the Blue Devils following her third-place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle. Vestergaard returns to defend her 1 and 3-meter gold medals from the NEC conference championships.
The Blue Devils open up their home schedule on Friday and Saturday, October 14-15 hosting Fairfield, Southern Connecticut, Sacred Heart, and CW Post in the Blue Devil Duals.