Pride Off to Strong Start at GNAC Swim & Dive Championships

Pride Off to Strong Start at GNAC Swim & Dive Championships

BOSTON – Regis College won the final three events of the opening session Friday night of the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships, hosted by Simmons University at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium.

Grant Kollien (Acton, Mass.) earned Regis's first conference title of the meet with a convincing victory in the 1000 freestyle, posting a personal-best time of 10:29.69 to win by over 22 seconds.

Sarah Leonard (Brockton, Mass.) broke a 24-year-old school record in the 50 backstroke, leading off the 200 medley relay with a split of 27.61 seconds. She, along with Julia Burke (North Andover, Mass.), Katherine Mariano (Newton, Mass.), and Jessica Zernitsky (Newton, Mass.), eventually won the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:52.69, also a school record.

The men's 200 medley relay was decided by a half-second, as the Pride quartet of Kevin Dugue (Roslindale, Mass.), Joshua Unas (Santa Clarita, Calif.), GianCarlos Banrey (Roslindale, Mass.), and Connor Schwarze (Melrose, Mass.) finished first in 1:42.47, just ahead of Norwich's time of 1:42.97. The key leg belonged to Banrey, as he erased a 0.61-second deficit with a blistering 50 fly split of 22.97 seconds, giving Schwarze a lead he was able to hang onto in the anchor leg.

In the women's 200 freestyle relay, Leonard led off with a 50 free split of 25.62 seconds to give the Pride the lead. After Kyleigh Boatwright (Roseville, Calif.) and Alexa Lancisi (Milford, Mass.) swam their legs, Zernitsky dove in facing a deficit and posted the fastest anchor split of 24.14 seconds, but it was not enough as Simmons finished first by 0.26 seconds, with Regis second in 1:42.30.

Regis's men's 200 freestyle relay squad of Banrey, Kollien, Dugue, and Schwarze also finished second with a time of 1:33.34, 0.83 seconds behind first-place Husson.

Thalia Bowie (Lexington, Mass.) led Regis with a sixth-place finish in the women's 1000 freestyle with a time of 11:32.80, moving into fifth on the Pride's all-time top 20 times list. Gloria Sutton (Suffield, Conn.) finished right behind Bowie in seventh place in 11:41.27, and Ryan Moran (Arlington, Mass.) also scored for the Pride as she ended up in 12th place with a season-best time of 12:26.13.

Thanks to its two victories and second-place relay finish, the Regis men's team is in first place with 41 points, ahead of Norwich with 36 points and Husson with 32 points. The Pride women collected 104 points, currently in second place behind Simmons at 141 points.

The second day of the GNAC Swimming & Diving Championships is set for Saturday, Feb. 2, with the first session including the preliminaries of the 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 100 breaststroke, 100 butterfly, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, and 50 breaststroke scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. The one-meter diving event will take place after the swimming preliminaries early in the afternoon, followed by the session featuring the finals of the above mentioned events as well as the 400 medley relay scheduled for 6 p.m.