by Tyler Roaix
The Central Connecticut swimming and diving team returned from their annual Florida trip, only to be back on the road in Boston to take on Northeastern.
The stands at the Barletta Natatorium were filled to capacity as friends and family gathered to honor the Huskies’ seniors before the meet.
Despite a strong showing as a team and individually, Central lost a 164-117 decision to the Huskies.
Head coach Bill Ball shared after the meet how Northeastern was simply better than Central.
“Northeastern was very good, and we were average at best,” Ball said.
Central opened up strong with a second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. The squad of Alexis Fredricks, Maddy Garber, Valentina Gomez and Kaitlyn Troy finished in 1:50.75, just under five seconds away from a victory. Central also had a second team in the event, which included Aidan Devers, Grace Regan, Erin Brown and Grace Fredricks. That team finished in 1:55.17, a good time for fifth place.
The success continued in the 200-yard freestyle, where senior Blue Devil Lauren Czulewicz picked up a victory, edging out a Husky by just over a second. Regan also competed and put forth a strong showing. She finished in third with a time of 1:58.83, just .03 seconds behind second place.
Garber continued her hot stretch of meets with another great day. She placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke, winning the 200-yard breaststroke and capping the day off with a win in the 200-yard medley, her final event of the meet.
Devers deserves an honorable mention for her performance as well. The junior won the 200-yard backstroke and followed that up with a second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle, her last event of the day.
The Blue Devils closed the meet out strong with a one-two finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Czulewicz, Erika Maercklein, Kaitlyn Troy and Alexis Fredricks teamed up to bring home the victory in the final event of the day.
What hurt the Blue Devils was multiple events that Northeastern simply dominated Central. For example, the Huskies took the top three spots in the 100-yard backstroke, picking up 16 points in the process. They also took three of the top four spots in the 200-yard butterfly, 100-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle. Northeastern outscored Central 44-10 in those events alone.
The Blue Devils are back in action, at home, Jan. 26 to take on Sacred Heart in a sprint meet. Central will honor it’s five seniors before the meet. The Blue Devils have just two events left before the NEC Championships on Feb. 21 to 24.
“We have a long way to go to be ready for our conference meet in five weeks,” Ball admitted.