Freshman Kristen McMaster (Brooklyn, NY/Fontbonne) paced the Lady Bears with dominating performances taking first in all three individual freestyle events she swam, 500-yard (7:37.03), 100-yard (1:09.63), and 50-yard freestyle (28.88). McMaster would have also anchored the 200-yard freestyle relay team to another first place finish, but the relay was disqualified due to an early exchange.
Freshman Alison Nunziata (Brooklyn, NY/Bishop Kearney) took first place in one of the most exciting and closest races of the night. In the 50-yard butterfly, after trailing most of the final leg, Nunziata edged Kelly Kate by thirteen-hundredths of a second with a “Phelps-like” touch at the wall. Nunziata also anchored the 200-yard medley relay to a win that set the tone for the remainder of the night and took second in the other two events she swam.
First place finishes were also turned in by Brianne Reilly (Queens, NY/Frank Sinatra) in the 50-yard backstroke (39.70), Elizabeth Fiorella (Brooklyn, NY/Bishop Kearney) in the 50-yard breaststroke (43.78) and Jessica Lintner (Queens, NY/Frank Sinatra) in the 100-yard backstroke (1:53.96). Overall, the Lady Bears took first in eight of the 14 events, and went 1-2 in two events.
Competing as a club team this season, St. Joseph’s has fared well against well-established swimming programs that have their own pools on campus and the opportunity to practice regularly. The Lady Bears practice at the pool of nearby Brooklyn Technical High School. Due to limited availability, the team practices twice a week usually late in the evening.
Head coach Leonard DiVirgilio said after the meet, “I am extremely proud of what our young group of women have been able to accomplish in such a short period of time. Compared to our first meet, our women have shown tremendous improvement, thanks to their dedication and hard work.”
The Lady Bears will be back in the pool on Friday, February 13th to face College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ.