The University of New Hampshire women's swimming & diving team was edged out by the Yale University Bulldogs in its last dual meet of the season, 156.5-143.5 at Swasey Pool Friday evening.
Before the meet, five seniors were honored for their dedication and performance to the UNH women's swimming & diving program. The Class of 2014 consisted of Jenna Bull (Woodstock, New Brunswick), Bernadette Byrne (Braintree, Mass.), Katie Keefer (Waynesboro, Va.), Lauren McCandless (Macungie, Pa.) and Jenni Roberts (Springvale, Maine).
New Hampshire drops its first dual meet of the season, snapping an unbeaten streak of seven head-to-head match ups.
Bull, McCandless, Mann, Roberts, Bettina Caspersen (Lyngby, Denmark) and Katie Mann (Prince George, B.C.) all placed first in an individual event.
New Hampshire kicked off the event by setting a new pool record in the 400-yard medley relay. The leading quartet consisted of Bull, Mann, Roberts and Allison Morales (Santa Clarita, Calif.) compiling a Swasey Pool-best 3 minutes, 50.30 seconds.
Both Yale and UNH set pool record times in the 1,000-yard freestyle. McCandless earned a mark of 10:14.18. However, the Bulldogs' Eva Fabian registered the fastest time, touching the wall at 9:57.87.
Roberts tried to return UNH to its winning ways in the 200-yard freestyle. In spite of trumping her own record, the senior's time of 1:50.75 was off the lead mark by three milliseconds. Kina Zhou of Yale was able to squeak out the top time of 1:50.72.
Bull was able to get the Wildcats back on track in the 100-yard backstroke, powering her way through the water for a time of 57.40.
New Hampshire made it back-to-back wins in the 100-yard breaststroke. Caspersen put forth a career-best time in the event, touching the wall at 1:04.89.
McCandless, the pool record holder in the 200-yard butterfly, improved her best time. The senior managed to shave off a millisecond of her previous mark, clocking in at 2:01.91 for first in the event.
Freshman Sarah Broderick (Haverhill, Mass.) followed McCandless' performance with a top three finish in the 50-yard freestyle dash, placing second with a time of 24.33.
Competing in the one-meter dive, juniors Nicole Zahka (Medway, Mass.) and Kelsey Fachini (East Hampton, Conn.) earned points for the Wildcats, posting scores of 227.62 points and 219.97 respectively.
Mann and Caspersen went one-two in the 200-yard breaststroke. Mann rewrote her own pool record to clock in at 2:17.62. Caspersen again earned a personal-best time with a mark of 2:19.70.
On the high board, Zahka matched a career-high score of 232.57. Additionally, Kyle Bonus (Philadelphia, Pa.) was able to tack on a point for UNH by compiling a score of 205.72.
UNH came back in the 200-yard IM, taking the top three spots. Roberts led the 'Cats with a pool-best 2:03.37. Bull followed her classmate with a 2:05.99 time. Mann rounded out New Hampshire to earn bronze in the event, clocking in at 2:06.14.
In the final event of the meet, the quartet of Oneida Cooper (Johannesburg, South Africa), Emily Magnavita (South Glastonbury, Conn.) Megan Suffel (Cornwall, Ontario) and Broderick) prevailed in a nail-biter finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Collectively, the relay squad put forth a 1:38.06, bypassing the Bulldogs on the final leg of the relay to claim the last event.
New Hampshire competes in its final dual meet of the season before the America East Championships. The University of Maine Black Bears host the Wildcats in the last tune up before postseason competition on Friday, Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.