SMITHFIELD, R.I. – For the first time in program history, the Bryant University women's swimming and diving program is champions of the Northeast Conference. The Bulldogs finished first in the four-night meet, totaling 793 points, besting second-place Wagner by 55 points.
Coach Cameron's Comments
"I have never been prouder of a group of girls in my 20 years of coaching. This team is so resilient and passionate and to be able to win this is an incredible feat. I'm so happy for our seniors. To be able to send that amazing group of girls off like this is amazing."
- Bryant again qualified all five divers into the finals, while eight swimmers qualified for A finals on the night.
- Sophomore Alaina Scifo (Ipswich, Great Britain) was the Bulldogs' lone qualifier in the 200 back (2:00.90).
- Junior Jillian Rice (Trumbull, Conn.) and freshman Alexa Rivera (Boynton Beach, Fla.) both finished in the top five of prelims in the 100 free, qualifying them for the A final that night.
- Freshman Heather Wong (Ramsey, N.J.) and sophomore Kayleigh Canavan (Cumberland, R.I.) each qualified in the 200 breast, recording Top 5 qualifying times.
- Freshmen Elin Svärd (Falun, Dalarna, Sweden) and Meghan Veenstra (Tyngsborough, Mass.) recorded top eight times in the 200 fly, with Svärd qualifying with a time of 2:05.82 and Veenstra qualifying in 2:08.32.
- Juniors Ann Burdick (Glenmont, N.Y.) and Stephanie Jennings (Elmont, N.Y.) finished in the Top 4 of 3-meter prelims, while freshman Gabrielle Ritzer (Sutton, Mass.), junior Carissa Stemen (Naples, Fla.) and freshman Elizabeth Cahill (Ashland, Mass.) all slotted in the top 8 to qualify for the night's 3-meter final.
- The night started with the 1650 free in which sophomore Alyssa DiFiore (Wethersfield, Conn.) and senior Mackenzie Kirk (San Jose, Calif.) each finished in the Top 4, with DiFiore taking home second place honors.
- Scifo was able to add to her medal haul, winning bronze in the 200 back (2:00.90).
- Wong broke the first of four school records on the night, swimming a 2:18.18 in the 200 breast and winning another bronze medal.
- Rice won her second consecutive gold medal, defeating the competition in the 100 free.
- In the 3-meter diving, Jennings claimed bronze medal honors with a score of 241.95, while Stemen, Cahill, Ritzer and Burdick all rounded out the Top 8 to secure meet-winning points for the Bulldogs.
- The Bulldogs ended the meet just how they started it: winning gold in a relay. Rice, Difiore, Rivera and Scifo teamed up to swim a 3:26.16 in the 400 free relay, claiming first place and icing the Bulldogs' first conference championship.
Stats and Notes
- Bryant became just the third team in the NEC meet's history to win all five relays and the first since 2008 (Central Connecticut).
- DiFiore broke two school records in the mile, beating the 1000 free record (10:24.57), while also besting the overall mile record (17:14.04).
- Wong's school record broke Molly Smith's record of 2:19.29 set in 2013.
- Rice also broke a school record en route to her top finish, swimming a 50.07 in the 100 free, breaking Casey Ostrander's record in 2013.
- All in all, the Bulldogs broke 10 school records in the meet and three Northeast Conference Championships meet records.