Blue Devils Widen Lead in NEC Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday Night

Devers claimed her second gold of the Championships on Friday
Devers claimed her second gold of the Championships on Friday

The Central Connecticut women's swimming and diving team widened its lead in the 2017 Northeast Conference Championships on Friday night.  The Blue Devils have 559.5 points at the end of the third day of competition, 162.5 points ahead of second place Bryant (397).  Wagner is third (382.5), followed by LIU Brooklyn (275), Saint Francis U (269.5), Sacred Heart (167.5), Mount St. Mary's (139) and St. Francis Brooklyn (127).

Junior Maddy Garber led a host of successful Blue Devils on Friday, and she made the biggest splash during the prelims in the morning.  Garber won the 100 breaststroke on Friday night in a time of 1:01.24, a time that would have set a school and NEC record if not for her morning swim.  Garber posted a blazing time of 1:00.01 in the prelims to set a school and NEC record, and posting the 17th fastest time in the NCAA this season.

Freshman Erika Maercklein finished fourth in the same event in a time of 1:03.46, while sophomore Kailey Demers was seventh in a time of 1:04.73.

Central opened the night with four A finalists in the 400 yard Individual Medley.  Sophomore Aidan Devers set a new school record and won gold with a time of 4:23.08 in the race.  The time topped a 15-year old record for the Blue Devils, held by Hall of Famer Tammie Repass (1:59.82) set in 2002.

Central freshman Gracie Regan was fourth in the race with a time of 4:30.42, while classmate Keelin Kendall placed sixth in 4:31.41 and senior Stephanie Czulewicz was seventh in 4:33.59.

Freshman Alexis Fredricks finished third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.20 and senior teammate Sabree Thomas was fifth with a time of 56.50.

Senior Christine Rasile dominated in 1:49.27 to win the 200 freestyle for the second straight year.  Rasile finished ahead of junior Lauren Czulewicz, who was second and posted a time of 1:50.69.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Troy finished second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.69.  Fredricks was third in 56.11.  Junior Maeve Awiszus finished 12th with a time of 58.19.  

The team of Troy, Garber, Thomas and Rasile claimed first in the 400 medley relay to end the night, posting a time of 3:43.46.

The Championships will finish on Saturday, beginning with prelims at 10 a.m.  At 6 p.m. the night will start with the 1,650 freestyle, and will also include the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 3 meter diving and the 400 yard freestyle relay.