by Tyler Roaix
Coming off of a huge victory on Senior Day last week, the Central swimming and diving team carried the momentum into another win over LIU Brooklyn. The Blue Devils took the top spot in 10 of the 14 events, on their way to a 160-77 win.
The Blue Devils came to a hot start in the first event of the day, the 200-yard medley relay. The ‘A’ team of junior Kaitlyn Troy, senior Maddy Garber and sophomores Valentina Gomez and Erika Maercklein took home the winning time of 1:50.06 to secure 11 early points for Central.
The momentum would build as CCSU took victories in the first six events, including a narrow victory by sophomore Alexis Fredricks in the 100-yard backstroke by just .11 seconds.
Garber also had a close win, edging out Maercklein by .35 seconds in the 100-yard breaststroke. Grace Regan and Grace Fredricks followed suit, finishing in third and fourth place, respectively, to take complete command of the event for Central.
Garber would prove to dominate the breaststroke, winning the 200-yard race as well.
Gomez had a terrific day for Central, tallying three individual wins. The 18-year-old won the 200-yard butterfly, 100-yard butterfly and 400-yard individual medley.
While Gomez won the 400-yard medley, it was another dominant event for the team, as the Blue Devils took four of the top five spots. That performance was good for 16 points in that event alone.
Aidan Devers continued her strong junior campaign, taking a victory in the 200-yard backstroke. She also had runner-up finishes in the 200-yard freestyle and the 400-yard medley.
Senior Lauren Czulewicz is rounding out her senior season on a strong note. She notched another victory in the 200-yard freestyle. She had second-place finishes in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyles. She was also a part of the squad, along with Maercklein, Troy and Alexis Fredricks, that came in second in the 200-yard freestyle relay to close out the day.
Despite the seemingly one-sided victory, head coach Bill Ball was not completely satisfied, saying that there is still room for improvement as the Blue Devils head into conference and national meets.
“We made another step forward but not where we need to be yet,” Ball said. “A little more work before we rest. Still more questions we won’t know the answers to until we get to conference.”
The Blue Devils won’t be back in the pool until Feb. 21 to 24 for the NEC Championships. Central is getting hot at the right time, as they’ll look to take home their fourth consecutive NEC championship. Ball hopes the team’s work ethic this year will prove to be worth it at the conference meet.
“Not the same team we have had in the past as far as depth, but the hardest working we have ever had. Let’s hope that all pays off,” Ball said.