By Michael Kotch
Saturday morning started off with snow and freezing temperatures, but that didn’t stop things from heating up in the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Junction, Vermont. Things got so hot in the pool that there was a brief power outage during the final session!
The Keene women’s 200 medley relay opened the night by resetting a meet record set just one year ago by past and current teammates. Lianna Wissman, Jill Whitaker, Maureen O’Leary and Kaila Umbarger clocked a 1:45.89 which was just under a second off the D3 “A” cut. Not to be outdone, the Keene men took home top honors in the 200 medley with a time of 1:35.32.
The women’s 400 IM was shaping up to be quite a showdown between two Northeast 10 rivals, but Assumption’s Monique Haney was disqualified for having her shoulder’s past vertical on a breaststroke pullout. Bentley’s Anne Kaduboski picked up her second title of the meet by winning the event with a D2 “B” standard time of 4:31.40. Keene’s Marc Marois took the men’s 400 IM with a 4:15.37.
As expected, Kaila Umbarger ran away with the 50 fly posting a new meet record time of 24.97. Bentley University senior Egen Ouelette out-touched top seeded CJ Johnson of UMass-Dartmouth with a time of 23.46.
The women’s 200 freestyle proved to be one of the most exciting races of the evening as it featured a come from behind victory by Bentley’s Kellen Power. Power’s time of 1:55.65 bested St. Michael’s Eileen Mullowney by a tenth of a second. Both swims were D2 “B” cuts. Keene’s Daniel Morse took the men’s 200 free with a 1:44.33.
Bentley sophomore Jess Hodson defended her crown in the 100 breast with a time of 1:04.78. That time puts her 6th in D2 as of today and she just missed the 1992 meet record set by Erin Anderson of Williams. The men’s 100 breast was decided by .02 as Jared Hyde of Keene bested Zach Wagner of the University of New England.
As is custom, very few people saw Haney take the 1000 free this afternoon with a 10:40.00 and Keene’s Patrick Luciano took the men’s 1000 with a 10:02.81.
The women’s 800 free relay was a three horse race heading into the last leg. Assumption, Keene, and Bentley anchors were separated by a mere .23 of a second. Power of Bentley, who was the 200 champion earlier in the evening, pulled it out in leading Bentley to a victory with a time of 7:55.60. Keene again took yet another relay by outpacing the field with a 6:54.42. That time was over 17 seconds faster than the second place team.
After the night was done, the Keene men are solidly in control of the meet while the Bentley women take a 192 point lead into Sunday.
Action resumes on Sunday at 10am with the 100 freestyle.