SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – On day one of the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Division II/III Championships, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth junior Michael Gryss (New Bedford, Mass.) qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships in the 100 yard men's butterfly, while freshman Kaya Flanagan (Fairhaven, Mass.) set a new UMass Dartmouth record in the 200 yard women's backstroke.
Gryss finished the 100 yard butterfly in 6th with a time of 54.28 seconds, just edging the ECAC Men A qualifying time of 54.52 seconds. The ECAC Championships are held at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. on Feb 28.
Flanagan set a new UMass Dartmouth record in the 200 yard backstroke event, covering the distance in 2:15.41 minutes. The freshman also took 10th in the 200 yard individual medley with a race time of 2:20.58.
The Corsair men's swimming and diving team currently sits in sixth place in the overall standings, racking up 108 combined points in the first day of action. Keene State (383) holds a firm grip of first place, while Roger Williams University (210) trails in second. UMass Dartmouth women's swimming and diving finished with 122 points, placing them in 10th after day one. The Owls lead the pack by a commanding margin (621.50), with the Hawks (443) and Eastern Connecticut State University (337) rounding out second and third place.
On the men's side, the 400 yard medley relay team of freshman Robert Muir (Sagamore Beach, Mass.), junior Phil Lowney (Mattapoisett, Mass.), Gryss and Grayham Ronan (Millis, Mass.) finished with a fifth place time of 3:46.58.
The Corsairs had three swimmers compete in the finals of the 200 yard individual medley event. Sophomore Bryan Baranick (Assonet, Mass.) took 8th place with a time of 2:08.57, junior Ed Olean (Seekonk, Mass.) was just two spots back with a race time of 2:11.45 and sophomore Robert Braza (Attleboro, Mass.) placed only one spot back of Olean with a finish of 2:12.69.
The 200 yard freestyle relay team placed in 9th with a time of 1:37.86. The team was comprised of junior Timothy Doucette (Middleboro, Mass.), freshman Kyle Berry (Billerica, Mass.), Lowney and Gryss. In the 50 yard breaststroke, Lowney placed 9th and swam the distance in 29.21 seconds, while Muir also took 9th in the 200 yard backstroke (2:08.51).
Freshman Brian McCauley (Franklin, Mass.) increased his 500 yard freestyle qualifying standing by two spots and took 15th with a time of 5:17.88, while Doucette also moved up two spots into 15th place in the 50 yard freestyle (24.14).
In the one meter diving event, seniors Christian Francia (Hampton, N.H.) and Conor Szarek (Leominster, Mass.) took 5th and 7th with point totals of 370.40 and 291.15.
For the women, senior Katelyn Kidney (Lynn, Mass.) recorded the best swimming finish for the Corsairs, taking fourth place in the 500 yard freestyle event with a time of 5:19.53. Sophomore Caissie Niles (Raynham, Mass.) competed in the final round of the 200 yard individual medley and touched the wall at 2:45.28.
The 400 yard medley relay team comprised of Flanagan, senior Kerryn Kane (Arlington, Mass.), Kidney and freshman Yulyssa Diaz (Dorchester, Mass.) finished with a 10th place time of 4:21.63. In the 200 yard relay, sophomore Cori Spagna (Raynham, Mass.), freshman Kendra Hebert (Lowell, Mass.), junior Ally McCarville (Stoneham, Mass.) and freshman Cara Butcher (East Longmeadow, Mass.) touched the wall with 1:53.97 minutes on the clock.
In the one meter diving competition, freshman Kendra Hebert (Lowell, Mass.) generated 335.25 points to take home third place.
The preliminaries for Day 2 of the NEISDA Championships begin on Saturday at 10 a.m. and finals proceed in the evening at 6:30 p.m. For a full list of Saturday events click HERE.