Worcester, Mass. - February 23, 2014 - The Springfield College women's swimming and diving team finished second at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship this weekend. The Pride swept the major awards as Kellie Pennington (Monson, Mass.) was the Swimmer of the Year, Jennifer Thompson (Cheshire, Conn.) the Diver of the Year, and Emily Medeiros (Wakefield, Mass.) the Rookie of the Year.
As a team, the Pride finished in second for the fourth-straight year as Springfield totaled 1209.5 points.
Pennington became the first swimmer in the history of the NEWMAC to win the conference's Swimmer of the Year award all four years of their career. On the women's side, this marks the ninth time in the past 12 years that a Springfield College swimmer has been tabbed the best in the league.
In the 100 freestyle, Pennington put together another dominating performance, producing a time of 50.18 to best the field by over two seconds. In the final event of the championship, Pennington capped off her historic NEWMAC career by anchoring the 400 free relay to a come-from-behind win in a school record and NCAA "B" cut time of 3:28.30. Entering the final leg trailing by two seconds, the senior clocked in a split of 49.33 to complete the win for and her teammates, Callie Phillips (East Longmeadow, Mass.),Delaney Dyjak (Ludlow, Mass.), and Nicole Scotto (Southbury, Conn.)
Thompson also repeated as a major award winner within the conference as was named as the NEWMAC Women's Diver of the Year. Thompson became the first female diver in the Springfield College history to earn consecutive NEWMAC Diver of the Year honors.
Springfield was dominant on the three-meter board with four of the top six finishers. Thompson registered a winning mark of 512.20 to complete the sweep of diving events, while Morgan Kitzmiller (Dover, Pa.) was the runner-up in the event with a 475.10. Kyra Breitweiser (Westwood N.J.) took third with a 471.80 and Melanie Avdoulos (East Longmeadow, Mass.) placed sixth after posting a 445.00.
Medeiros became the third Springfield College women's swimmer to be selected as the NEWMAC Rookie of the year, and the first since Pennington took home the honor in 2011. The first-year swept the breast stroke events for the weekend as she captured the 200 breast in a NCAA "B" cut time of 2:20.68 on Sunday. Teammate Nicolle Stracqualursi (Deedham, Mass.) placed eighth in 2:27.31.
In the evening's opening event, Ashleigh Monroe (Southbury, Conn.) swam the fastest time in the 1650 freestyle 17:16.86 to win her second individual championship of the weekend. Natalie Waechter (Ventura, Calif.) added a ninth-place finish.
In the 200 fly, Christiana Greco (Wilbraham, Mass.) swam to a fifth-place finish in 2:10.74, while in the 200 back, Kelsey Poole (Westfield, Mass.), finished 6th with a time of 2:11.16