By Michael Kotch
Friday morning had an unusual ending as the fastest swim nobody saw was turned in by Keene State College’s Kaila Umbarger. Her time trial swim of 56.55 in the 100 fly broke a ten year old meet record and was a very solid D3 “B” standard. Already having achieved a D3 “A” cut earlier in the morning by breaking her own meet record in the 50 freestyle (23.52), Kaila will return for the evening as the top seed in that event.
Individually, the Keene State men dominate the heat sheets for tonight’s finals by rolling out to the top seed in seven of the nine events contested this morning. Leading the charge for the KSC Owls is freshman sensation Drew Ledwith who swam his way to the top seed with a 4:40.85 in the 500 free. He also surprisingly surfaced in the 200 backstroke where he recorded the 3rd fastest preliminary time of 1:59.19. Roger Williams’ Phil Jacques is the top seed for tonight’s final with a time of 1:53.68. Not to be outdone by his young gun teammate, KSC senior Cody Larrimore is the top seed in the 100 fly with a 50.71 and also the 50 free with a 21.11.
Bentley University can be dubbed “Breaststroker U” for now as both Jessica Hodson and Phil Chan hold the top seeds going into tonight’s final of the 50 breaststroke. Bentley Falcons’ senior All-American Anne Kaduboski cruised into the top seed in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:08.02. Kaduboski also led off the 400 medley relay with a 57.80, just missing the meet record which was set in 2009.
Assumption College’s Monique Haney paced the field in the 500 turning in the top time of 5:12.71. Look for her to turn it on this evening. She had posted a 5:04.83 earlier at the Northeast-10 championships.
The 200 IM saw Bentley freshman Erin Campbell record the top preliminary swim with a time of 2:11.04 and the men’s top time was recorded by Keene’s Lucas Pozzetta with a 2:00.52. Look for the men’s 200 IM to be one of the tightest contests of the evening; of course alongside the 50 breaststroke events.
All in all, expect the evening to bring out some phenomenal performances across the board as this writer noticed many tech suits being left in the backpacks and many comfortable swims from the list of talented finalists.
Keene’s Kaila Umbarger earned the reputation as a come from behind specialist as she twice thrilled the capacity crowd with some blistering splits in the final leg to touch the wall first in the 200 free and 400 medley relays. Her freestyle leg relay splits of 22.64 and 50.39 both, ironically enough, were enough to overcome the Bentley University relay squads.
As suspected, records fell most of the evening. These highlights included Umbarger resetting her own 50 free record with a time of 23.44 as well as teammate Drew Ledwith breaking the 500 free record of Williams’ Gregory Jordan that stood since 1992. His time of 4:32.01 was good for a fifteen second victory over teammate Daniel Morse and is currently amongst the fastest D3 times recorded this season.
The Keene State 200 free relay quartet of Connor Pennoyer, Austin Harris, Jared Hyde and Cody Larrimore clocked a D3 provisional time of 1:22.88. Larrimore’s busy evening also included NEISDA victories in the 50 free (21.03), the 100 fly (50.40) and as a member of the 400 medley relay team that clocked a 3:30.25.
The record swim that nobody saw was erased at finals when Keene State’s Maureen O’Leary swam a 56.36 in the 100 fly to erase the record broken earlier in the day by teammate Umbarger. Her time was a mere .08 off of the automatic D3 standard, so expect her to receive an invitation to Knoxville in March.
Bentley senior Anne Kaduboski ran away with the 200 backstroke clocking a meet record time of 2:03.40. That time was nearly seven seconds ahead of second place and now replaces the 1992 record formerly held by Williams’ Kari Anderson.
Championship performances were also turned in by Assumption’s Monique Haney in the 500 free (5:05.45), and Bentley’s Jess Hodson defended her crown in the 50 breast with a 30.04. Eric Thurston of Roger Williams took the title in the men’s 50 breast while teammate Phil Jacques defended his crown in the 200 back with a solid D3 “B” time of 1:51.91. Freshman Erin Campbell of Bentley held onto her top seed from the morning to win the 200 IM, although she was pushed much harder by the field this evening. Her victorious time of 2:11.24 out-touched Assumption’s Jennifer Ryan by just over a second.
The men’s 200 IM was a sweep for Keene State College. Jared Hyde led teammates Marc Marois and Lucas Pozzetta to the hardware with a time of 1:54.66.
The Keene men will put the lead under their pillows tonight while the Bentley women do the same.
Action resumes in White River Junction, VT at 10am Saturday. Live results can be followed at http://