Swim & Dive Finishes Seventh at GNAC Championships

Swim & Dive Finishes Seventh at GNAC Championships

BOSTON, Mass. – The University of Saint Joseph women's swimming & diving team racked up 280 points to finish in seventh place at the 2017 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championships hosted by Simmons College at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium over the weekend. Junior Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, Conn.) was the leading swimmer for the Blue Jays earning 44 points towards USJ's team score.

Score: 280 Points
Place: 7th of 8
Location: Boston, Mass. – Holmes Sports Center Natatorium
Date: Saturday/Sunday, December 2/3, 2017


  • USJ's 200 free relay team of freshman Brittany Berube (Windsor Locks, Conn.), junior Richelle Difronzo (Naugatuck, Conn.), junior Elizabeth Sears (Bristol, Conn.) and freshman Amanda Thiel (Torrington, Conn.) opened up the championship meet with a seventh place finish with a final time of 2:14.08.
  • After posting a time of 2:53.48 in the prelims of the 200 IM, Thiel qualified for the B Final and grabbed a point for the Blue Jays with a 16th place finish with a time of 2:59.13.
  • USJ placed a pair of swimmers in the 50 freestyle B Final led by junior Gabriella Alberino (East Haven, Conn.). Alberino picked up a 14th place overall finish with a time of 27.55 and she was followed by sophomore Taylor Houghtaling (East Hartford, Conn.) who touched the wall at the 28.15 mark, good for a 16th place result.
  • Senior Olivia Kajda (Katowice, Poland) registered a 15th place finish in the B Final of the 100 fly. The veteran completed the race with a time of 1:38.25 to earn a pair of points towards her team's total.
  • Alberino was the first Blue Jay to qualify for an A Final and did so in the 200 free. After posting a time of 2:10.68 in the prelims, she swam to an eighth place finish and 11 points after touching the wall at the 2:12.81 timestamp.
  • The first of three A Final appearances for Masayda came in the 100 breast where she logged a fifth place finish with a final time of 1:13.77, which was good for a fifth place overall finish. Berube contested in the B Final and grabbed a 16th place result after turning in a time of 1:25.79.
  • Alberino and Houghtaling were at it again in the 50 fly. The duo qualified for the B Final and placed 11th and 15th, respectively, finishing with times of 30.45 and 33.14.
  • Junior Veronika Latawiec (Newington, Conn.), USJ's second leading scorer at the championship meet (41 points), contested in her first final in the 200 back. Latawiec qualified for the B Final after posting a mark of 2:27.32 in the prelims and then bettered her time to 2:25.40 to snag a 10th place finish and seven points.
  • The USJ 400 medley relay team of Latawiec, Masayda, Alberino and Houghtaling excelled and garnered a place on the podium with a bronze medal after combining to swim to a time of 4:34.89.
  • In her first championship competition from the diving board, Sears crushed it from the 1-meter board. Across six dive attempts, Sears racked up 172.30 points to earn a sixth place finish and 13 points for USJ.
  • The medley relay team of Latawiec, Masayda, Alberino and Houghtaling picked right up from where they left off on the second day of finals competition and opened the day with another third place finish. The team combined to record a time of 2:02.09, over two seconds faster than their qualifying time.
  • In the 50 breast, Masayda recorded her first of two fourth place results on the second and final day of finals competition. The junior sped to a time of 33.87 to record the result in the A Final.
  • Latawiec was the fastest of the B Final in the 100 back and recorded a ninth place finish and nine points towards USJ's team score after posting a time of 1:06.64.
  • Houghtaling was the lone Blue Jay to swim in a final in the 100 free. The sophomore contested in the B Final and picked up four points for the Blue Jays after she touched the wall with a time of 1:01.38.
  • USJ's most successful individual event came in the 100 IM. The Blue Jays placed three swimmers in a final, including a pair in the A Final headlined by a sixth place overall finish from Alberino. She swam to a time of 1:07.63 and was followed closely by Latawiec who also swam in the A Final and grabbed an eighth place finish coming in at the 1:09.82 mark. Thiel qualified for the B Final and finished 15th with a time of 1:20.14.
  • Masayda followed with her second fourth place finish of the day, this time in the 200 breast. She blistered to a time of 2:46.57 and her effort resulted in 15 points for the Blue Jays. Kajda also qualified for the B Final of the event and finished 12th with a time of 3:18.52.
  • In the 50 back, Latawiec posted her best result of the championship meet after touching the wall fifth with an A Final time of 30.86. Berube also posted her best result of the meet and finished inside the top-10 with a 10th place finish after swimming to a time of 35.91 in the B Final.
  • Thiel, DiFronzo, Kajda and Berube closed out the swimming portion of the meet by contesting in the 400 free relay. The team finished eighth and joined together for a time of 5:03.25.
  • Sears finished the meet from the 3-meter board and was slotted fifth in the standings after finishing with a score of 112.25, which was good for 14 USJ team points.

The USJ swimming & diving team will take a month off from competition until they head to Deerfield Beach, Florida for their annual winter training trip on Jan. 3. The Blue Jays will spend a week training both in the pool and on dry land in Florida before starting up the second half of their season with a dual meet at Plymouth State on Jan 12.