DALLAS – The UConn swimming and diving team completed day two of The American Championships on Thursday night with the men’s team currently holding a third place spot (233 points) and the women’s team sitting in fifth place with 203 points.
Matt Dagenais and the women’s 200 Freestyle Relay highlighted the evening with school record performances. Dagenais swam a 1:47.36 just beating his previous school record of 1:47.78. The junior secured an All-Conference spot with his second place finish in the event.
Meanwhile, Eliza Manning, Jackie Van Lew, Megan Wenman and Madeline Blair raced the 200 Free Relay in 1:32.37, also barely beating the previous record of 1:32.47 set last season by Margot Manning, Madeline Blair, Eliza Manning and Brazil Rule.
“Tonight was an improvement from our morning performances,” said head coach Chris Maiello. “The team really raced hard in finals tonight. It was good to see them respond in that way. I think we are just hitting our stride right now and I am excited for the next two days.”
Freshman Erin Clifford shined on the boards for the Huskies with an All-Conference performance in the One Meter Dive. Clifford scored a 259.90 to earn second place in the event and notch 17 points for UConn.
"We came into this Championship meet with a majority of our Divers having no experience in a collegiate conference event, said head diving coach John Bransfield. "Regardless of the volume and intensity of the training, there remains the question of how an individual steps up under bright lights. What Erin Clifford did today was nothing less than brilliant. She did a very good job yesterday fininishing fourth, but today was special; Every kid in the field has more experience on One Meter than on Three Meter, but Erin shined today. She has matured in just the past few days in this environment, and there is no question that all of the extra work she has done, before practices and after; making time for the little things to leave less for chance, has paid off with a marvelous performance in both Prelims and Finals. I couldn't be more proud of a worthy young lady."
Senior Emma Smith also notched a second place finish and All-Conference honor in the 500 Free. Smith shaved 2.33 off her morning preliminary time.
Behind Dagenais record-breaking time and second place finish in the 200 IM. UConn dominated the A and B Final with David May (3rd place), Mark Hunter (4th), Will Kearsey (5th), Kyle Dunlap (9th) and Joseph Homan (15th) collecting 73 points in the competition.
In the women’s 50 Free, Van Lew scored a season-best time with a 23.27 and ended up placing eighth in the A Final. Luke Martin also nabbed a season-best time in the 50 Free racing to a 20.57 clip and 10th place finish.
The Huskies look to carry momentum into the second half of The American Championships with day three beginning at 10 a.m. CST. You can watch the live stream of The Championships on The American Digital Network.
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