SAN JUAN, P.R. - The University of Connecticut men's and women's swimming programs competed in the 2015 Copa Coqui Invitiational on Sunday, as the two teams each finished second to combine for a score of 696 points, the highest score among participating schools. Multiple Huskies earned first-place finishes in the annual event that features swimmers from a variety of colleges across the country.
Three UConn women's swimmers, senior Chinyere Pigot (Miami, Fla.), junior Laura Hyland (Southport, England) and sophomore Christine Pedersen (Vinterbro, Norwy), each finished first in one of the 16 individual events in San Juan. Pigot captured first-place honors in the 50-meter freestyle, finishing with a time of 27.46. She edged Illinois State's Marissa Yontz (27.86) and MIT's Lena Yang, who posted a time of 28.01. Connecticut sophomore swimmer Tara O'Prey (Ridley Park, Pa.) tallied a fourth-place finish after swimming the event in 28.45.
Hyland recorded a solid time in the 100-meter breaststroke, winning the race with a completed time of 1:18.09. The sophomore beat out Trinity's Audrey Butler, who finished with a time of 1:18.55, and Southern Illinois swimmer Courtney Taylor (1:19.13). UConn junior Laura Ruttan (Stittsville, Ontario) and freshman Sammi Bassman (Austin, Texas) both finished in the top eight of the event, while freshman Emily Caplis (Chillicothe, Ill.) earned a 21st-place finish (1:23.03).
Pedersen continued her strong start to the season, as she finished first in the 100-meter back with a time of 1:08.06. Sophomore Samantha Park (Washington Crossing, Pa.) was third (1:09.99) in the race, while sophomore Jaimie Lynn Brookover (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and freshman Emilia Weihenig (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) both earned top-eight finishes.
Pedersen, Hyland, Pigot and O'Prey teamed up to win the 200-meter medley relay after the completed the event in 2:04.61. Southern Illinois finished second (2:06.59) and MIT swam to a third-place finish (2:08.14).
"The Copa Coqui meet has over 400 swimmers from U.S. College," UConn swimming coach Bob Goldberg said. "Winning the combined championship shows what kind of depth we have on our team. We look forward to the next two weeks of intense training before the start of our next semester."
Senior Felix Samuels (London, England) marked the one UConn men's swimmer to win an individual event, as he finished first in 100-meter freestyle after swimming it in 53.52. Samuels, whose 37 points on the day ranked second among all men's swimmers, also tallied second-place honors in the 50-meter freestyle (24.55). Sophomore James Donlevy (Lake Grove, N.Y.) finished just behind Samuels, completing it in 24.55 to take home third place. Junior Jeff Magin (Brookfield, Conn.) was the other Husky to have a strong showing at the meet, finishing third in the 100-meter backstroke (1:10.11) and fourth in the 50-meter freestyle (24.94).
The Huskies are back in action on Jan. 24 when they resume their dual meet schedule at home against Boston College. That meet is slated for a 2 p.m. start.
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