KINGSTON, R.I. - The University of Saint Joseph swimming & diving team qualified its 200 medley relay team along with a pair of individual swimmers to compete in the finals of their respective events on Saturday in the third day of competition at the 2018 New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships at the Tootell Aquatics Center on the campus of the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I.
The Blue Jays opened up the third day of competition on Saturday morning in the preliminaries by qualifying their 200 medley relay team for the B-Final to be contested later that evening. USJ's new school record holding 400 medley relay team of senior Veronika Latawiec (Newington, Conn.), junior's Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, Conn.) and Gabriella Alberino (East Haven, Conn.), and sophomore Taylor Houghtaling (East Hartford, Conn.) teamed back up for the 200 medley relay and posted a B-Final qualifying time of 1:58.93. They went on to improve upon that time in the final lowering it to 1:58.34 to earn them an 11th place overall finish and 32 points toward their team score.
Individually, the Blue Jays had a pair of swimmers qualify from the preliminary round and compete in the finals on Saturday evening. Latawiec recorded the 15th fastest qualifying time in the 100-yard backstroke in the preliminary round earlier in the day after turning in a time of 1:05.20, good for the B-Final, and then slightly trimmed her time down to 1:05.17 in the B-Final. The time resulted in a 16th place overall finish in the event and 11 points for the Blue Jays' team score.
Masayda was the other Blue Jay swimmer to individually contest in a final on the third day of competition. The junior standout breaststroker tallied a 13th place overall finish and 14 team points in the 100-yard breaststroke B-Final after touching the wall in 1:11.47. She qualified for the B-Final after turning in the 12th fastest qualifying time of 1:11.68 in the preliminaries earlier in the day.
Houghtaling and Alberino also competed in individual events in the preliminary round on Saturday morning but came up just a little short on advancing to the finals. Houghtaling competed in the 50-yard butterfly and posted the 36th best qualifying time touching the wall at the 31.72 timestamp. In the 200-yard freestyle, Alberino just missed out on the B-Final after registering the 17th fastest qualifying time swimming 2:08.33, just .19 off the pace to advance.
The Blue Jays have racked up 205 points through the first three days of competition and currently sit in 12th place on the team standings. They are just 69 points behind Gordon College to crack into the top-10 and are ahead of fellow GNAC rivals Norwich (14th) and Saint Joseph's College of Maine (16th).
The USJ swimming & diving team returns to the pool Sunday morning at 10 a.m. for preliminaries of the fourth and final day of the NEISDA Championships before contesting in the finals at 5:30 p.m.