January 27, 2012

Swimming and diving - Seniors provide highlights in final home dual

NORTHFIELD, VT. – Norwich University registered a split against Elms College to conclude its 2011-12 dual campaign Jan. 27.

At the conclusion of the men’s 154-80 win over the visiting Blazers and the women’s hard-fought 135-80 defeat, Coach Laura Dunn sang the praises of her seven seniors.

“They were awesome tonight,” she said. “I just can’t say enough about what they’ve done for both teams this year.”

Dunn pointed to a near miss on the men’s side for the pool record in the 400-yard freestyle relay. NU recorded a 3:19.29, just nine-hundredths off the mark. Mike Zemanek (Voorheesville, N.Y.), among the seniors’ group that was honored prior to the meet, led off the relay that included the underclassman trio of sophomores Brandon Kelly (Centreville, Md.) and Patrick Bowden (Cumberland, Me.) and freshman Lance Webster (Windham, Me.). NU’s coach also mentioned individual standout efforts from junior Andrew Grubbs (500-yard freestyle – 5:23.87) and senior Jason Leonard (Jackson, N.J.) (100-yard butterfly – 59.76 seconds) that were among the team’s 11 event victories.

“The men’s performances and energy were incredible tonight,” Dunn said. “What we did helps set up well for the preparations for the (New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association) Championships in a few weeks.”

For the women, the Maroon and Gold claimed four individual event victories. Janice Knoop (Cicero, N.Y.), again spotlighting the senior group, joined freshmen Giselle Lopez (Hobbs, Minn.) and Daniella Vitale (North Smithfield, R.I.) in claiming the 50-yard butterfly (Knoop – 30.94 seconds), 500-yard freestyle (Lopez – 6:50.37) and 100-yard intermediate (Vitale – 1:16.11) individually. NU also won the 400-yard freestyle relay.

“I was also happy to see (sophomore) Vikki Sabel (Watertown, Conn.) make the NEISDA ‘A’ cut in the 1650-yard freestyle,” Dunn said. “The team had a number of best times and was looking great for the final dual meet of the season.

“Overall, it was another night of awesome swimming from so many different people,” she added.

Norwich now prepares for the 2012 NEISDA Championships. The two-weekend event begins Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11 and 12, in the pool at UMass-Dartmouth and concludes Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18 and 19, at the pool at UVAC in White River Junction.