WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. – The Elms College men’s and women’s swim teams completed the day three preliminary events of the three-day New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championships on Sunday morning at Upper Valley Aquatic Center.
On the men’s side, senior Nick Whitman (Florence, Mass.) registered a 16th place finish to qualify for Sunday’s finals in the 50-yard backstroke (29.91), while junior Garrett Brune (Lakeville, Mass.) earned a return trip in the 200-yard breaststroke with a 15th place mark and a time of 2:29.09.
The Blazers qualified two swimmers in the 100-yard individual medley as freshman Aaron Starke (Chicopee, Mass.) and junior Nick Provost (Three Rivers, Mass.) staked ninth and 13th places respectively with times of 59.43 and 1:01.08.
The 400-yard freestyle relay squad of Starke, Brune, Provost and Gehring glided to a seventh place finish (3:30.68) to move into the finals on Sunday evening.
For the women, freshman Devon DeGrazia (Westport, Mass.) and sophomore Chalis Bird (Windsor, Mass.) garnered 11th and 13th place respectively to qualify for Sunday’s finals. DeGrazia earned a time of 56.39 while Bird notched a 57.70.
DeGrazia added an eighth place finish in the 50-yard backstroke (29.82), while sophomore Tessa Dudunake (Northampton, Mass.) and Ashley Kirchner (Dalton, Mass.) raced to fourth and seventh place in the 100-yard individual medley. Dudunake clocked a 1:04.03 to break the school record, while Kirchner followed with a 1:05.30. Sophomore Emalee Furtek (Ludlow, Mass.) registered a time of 1:09.83 to secure 21st place. All four advanced to Sunday’s finals in their respective events.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Dudunake, Bird, Kirchner and DeGrazia turned in a school record-breaking time of 3:50.92 to place sixth and advance to Sunday's finals.
Elms concludes its 2010-11 season Sunday evening with the finals of day three at the NEISDA Championships.