WESTON, Mass. – The swimming and diving season is indeed a journey, made up of weekly competitions beginning in November and culminating with the NCAA championships in late March. For the Regis (Mass.) men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, this weekend marks the beginning of the postseason with the all-important New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) championships. The event will be held Feb. 15-18 in Kingston, Rhode Island at the Tootell Aquatic Center and hosted by the University of Rhode Island.
“The athletes look great in the water right now,” said head coach James Sweeney of his seven men and nine women making the trip. “They have a lot of extra energy because we’ve been tapering down heading into the meet. Liz (McQuaid) looks great on the diving board too so everyone is just pumped up to get the meet started.”
Nick Rainville headlines the men’s effort and will compete in both freestyle and butterfly events. He shined at the GNAC championships in December, setting a GNAC record in the 200 fly and a program and another GNAC record in the 100 free. Rainville added to his win total at the meet with a top finish in the 200 free relay and breaking another GNAC record with his split time.
The Pride will also look for Josh Unas to make a splash over the three-day event after joining Rainville on the 200 free relay team at the GNAC’s and being selected to the all-conference team in the process. He will compete in a trio of breastroke events.
The women’s team saw a handful of stellar performances this season. Elisabeth McQuaid set both GNAC conference and pool records in the one-meter dive en route to a repeat title in the event. Her focus will be on the one-meter at the NEISDA championships.
Jessica Higgins, Jessica Zernitsky, Sarah Leonard and Ashlyn DeRoche broke a GNAC record in the 200 freestyle relay and will all be competing this weekend as well
The championships kickoff on Thursday with the 800 meter relay.
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