Worcester, MA --- The WPI women's swimming and diving team won its first ever invitational, besting the nine-team field with a combined 3,357.5 points over 24 events in the Gompei Invitational held at the WPI Natatorium on Saturday and Sunday.
The Engineers set eight school records and were headlined by freshman Emily Martin (Penfield, NY) who had a hand in six of the new program-best times.
Martin set the school record in the 100-yard freestyle (54.20) and 200-yard individual medley (2:12.23), while swimming in four record-setting relays. Martin was in on the 200-yard medley relay (1:51.10), 400-yard medley relay (4:06.33), 200-yard freestyle relay (1:40.43) and 400-yard freestyle relay (3:41).
She also won the 50-yard freestyle (24.68) and was WPI's top swimmer in the 200-yard butterfly (3rd, 2:17.43). Martin finished fourth in the 100-yard butterfly (1:01.41) behind classmate Eva Childers (Henniker, NH) who came in at 1:01.02. The Engineers also had the fifth-, sixth- and seven-place finishers.
Childers was the only other female swimmer to claim a school record, doing so in the 200-yard freestyle as she broke the 33-year old standard set by WPI Hall of Fame member Anne Kruglewicz with a time of 1:58.07. Childers joined Martin on the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relays and also swam the second leg of the 800-yard freestyle relay (8:02.20), which constituted yet another school record pace.
Joining Childers one the 800-yard relay were senior captain Sonja Kent (West Boylston, MA), sophomore Amanda Konieczny (West Springfield, MA) and freshman Heather Stratica (Wappingers, NY). WPI won all five relay events.
Konieczny was also on the 200-yard medley relay, the 400-yard medley relay and swam anchor in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Nysa Casha (Andover, MA) was part of four relay records, swimming in all but the 800-yard freestyle relay.
Freshman Marissa Patterson (Hampton Fall, NH) swam the opening lap backstroke on the 200-yard and 400-yard medley relays.
WPI also had the third-place team in the 200-yard medley relay (1:54.13) and the fourth-place team in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:42.98).
Casha was a frequent point-getter for the hosts, with the top WPI finishes in six individual races. She impressed in the 50-yard butterfly (2nd place, 26.92), the 50-yard freestyle (4th place, 25.48), the 400-yard individual medley (4th place, 4:51.09), the 100-yard breaststroke (5th place, 1:09.80), the 200-yard breaststroke (5th place, 2:34.10), and the 50-yard breaststroke (6th place, 32.92).
Also making strong contributions were Patterson, who won the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.35) and Kent with second in the 1,650-yard freestyle (18:04.18).
Freshman Julia Bushell (Windham, NH) was WPI's top swimmer in the 200-yard backstroke (3rd place, 2:14.86) and the 50-yard backstroke (4th place, 29.90).
Bushel also took fifth place (1:04.85) in the 100-yard individual medley, one place behind classmate Zoe Eggleston of Newtown, CT (4th place, 1:04.53).
Sophomore Veronica Nikolaki (Athens, Greece) claimed second place in the 1-meter dive (435.75 points) and third in the 3-meter dive (410.65) while qualifying for the NCAA championships on both boards.
Along with its program records, the Engineers also set pool records in the 200-yard medley relay and the 50-yard backstroke.
The WPI women's swimming and diving team is now off through winter break. They will compete next at Bowdoin at 2pm on January 11.
Release by Carl Setterlund - WPI Athletics Intern - Emerson '14
Championship photo by Mark Therrien