Swimming and diving strong across the board at Maine

Andrew Briggs won the 100 IM and the 200 breaststroke in a dual meet at the University of Maine on Dec. 7, 2013. File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College.

ORONO, Maine -- The Bates men's and women's swimming and diving teams produced excellent efforts across the board in their final meet before the holiday break, a dual meet at Division I Maine, even seeing a team record fall.

The host Black Bears won the team scoring for women, 133-109, and by a 135-96 count on the men's side. 

"This is an extremely demanding week for all student-athletes, with papers, tests, and exams looming," said head coach Peter Casares. "The team should be extremely proud of how they handled both this week. It is a special thing to watch each athlete rise to the challenge."

First-year Sara Daher (Marblehead, Mass.) broke a 22-year-old team record en route to winning two events for the Bobcats. Daher won the 100-yard individual medley, posting a time of 1:00.89 to clip Maine's Katerina Mosquera-Cardi by 0.67. Daher's time eclipsed the team record of 1:02.34, held by Katie Moran since 1991, by 1.45 seconds.

Daher went on to win the 200 back as well, posting a time of 2:08.80, more than five seconds ahead of runner-up Shannon Bender of Maine, to move into second place on the team's all-time performance list in the event, trailing only Katelyn Drake's 2:05.08.

Senior Gabrielle Sergi (Newburyport, Mass.) won the 50-yard freestyle race, touching the wall in 24.64 seconds, 0.23 ahead of Maine' Naja Harvey. Sergi alos placed second in the 100 free at 54.68.

First-year Julia Smachlo (Rexford, N.Y.) won both long-distance swims, claiming first in the 1,000 freestyle in 10:47.29, over six seconds faster than runner-up Kailey Dowd of Maine, then swimming the 500 free in 5:18.32, over three seconds faster than Dowd.

First-year diver Emma Jarczyk (Sudbury, Mass.) scored 230.48 points in 1-meter diving event to claim first place ahead of Maine's Hayli Weitz (220.88). Jarczyk went on to claim second place at 3 meters, with 251.03 points.

Other highlights for the Bates women included sophomore Melissa Paione's (Auburn, Maine) second-place finish in the 200 breast, a time of 2:28.69, and sophomore Lyndsay Prelgovisk's (Oakland, Maine) lifetime-best time of 2:15.01 in the 200 butterfly.

Junior Andrew Briggs (York, Maine) won two individual events and helped win a relay as well to lead the men's squad. Briggs timed in first in the 100-yard individual medley at 55.59 seconds, edging runner-up senior teammate Venkatesh Duvvuri (South Orange, N.J.) by 1.10 seconds and moving into fourth place on the team's all-time performance list in the event. Briggs then won the 200 breaststroke in 2:15.62., with Bates first-year J.D. Chow coming in second at 2:16.85.

First-year Paden Brunault (Orlando, Fla.), Briggs, junior Matthew Gagne (Winnetka, Ill.) and first-year Mike Connolly (Duxbury, Mass.) swam the 400 medley relay in a winning time of 3:37.62, 3.00 seconds ahead of the Black Bears.

First-year Jack Dina (Kenilworth, Ill.) won the 100 freestyle in 49.70 seconds. Dina also placed third in the 200 free (1:49.34).

"The coaching staff couldn't be prouder," added Casares. "Every event -- from sprinting to distance, from diving to the strokes -- had at least one person do something impressive. It was an extremely fun meet to watch unfold."