Wagner’s Nihipali Named NEC Swimmer of the Week

Anu Nihipali, Wagner
Jr., Honolulu, HI/Hawaii Preparatory Academy

Competing at the Frank Elm Invitational, Nihipali set five school records, two meet records, made two NCAA qualifying “B” cuts and won two of her individual events. She won the 100 backstroke after posing a time of 53.69, which is a qualifying NCAA “B” cut and a new Frank Elm meet record. Nihipali took first in the 100 free, touching at 49.99 to set a school mark and break a meet record that stood since 2005 by U.S. national team member Madison Kennedy, while also making the NCAA “B” cut. The two-time NEC Swimmer of the Week went on to take ninth in the 50 free (school record time of 23:18) and 100 butterfly (54.97) and was a part of the 200 Medley and 400 free relays that turned in school records.  Her 50 free, 100 free, 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly times are the fastest in the conference this season.NEC DIVER OF THE WEEK
Kelci Abernethy, Bryant
Fr., Chandler, AZ/Perry

Abernethy clinched her third straight NEC Diver of the Week honor and fourth of the season after winning both of her events at the Harold Anderson Invitational. The Chandler, AZ product won the 1 meter dive with a score of 227.25 and the 3-meter dive with a score of 233.55.

Nathalie Meyers, LIU Brooklyn
Fr., Dearborn, MI

Competing in a triple dual meet against Manhattan, Monmouth and Siena, Meyers took first place in two individual events. She won the 200 IM in 2:15.15 and the 200 backstroke in 2:10.27. The freshman was also a part of LIU’s winning 200 medley relay team that clocked in at 1:49.55.

Competing at the Frank Elm Invitational this past weekend, the Wagner swimming and diving team finished the meet setting an astounding nine school records.Wagner finished sixth overall and first among the three NEC teams competing in the meet.

The Seahawks’ first record came in the 400 free relay as NEC Swimmer of the Week Anu Nihipali (Honolulu, HI/Hawaii Preparatory Academy), Dorian McMenemy (Northborough, MA/Algonquin Regional), Kirsty Hessing (Bloomington, IL/Normal Community) and Maddie McNichol (Downingtown, PA/Henderson) claimed fourth place with a school-record time of 3:26.48.

Nihipali took home two individual victories while setting five new school records and two meet records. Her individual times in the 100 backstroke (53.69), 100 free (49.99) and 100 butterfly (54.79) are all top times in the NEC this season. She also posted qualifying NCAA “B” cut times in the 100 backstroke and 100 free. Junior Katja Claesson (Fullerton, CA/Troy) set a school mark in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:02.81. Claesson’s time was a U.S. Winter National qualifying mark. Nihipali and Claesson combined with Michele Detka (Buckeye, AZ/Verrado) and Dorian McMenemy (Northborough, MA/Algonquin Regional) to lower the school record in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:42.25.

Senior Erica Curry (Fountain Valley, CA/Fountain Valley) attempted the women’s platform, becoming the first Seahawk to do so. Curry placed sixth with a school record mark of 134.35 points.

NEC Swimming & Diving Wrapup:

• LIU Brooklyn claimed nine first place finishes in a triple dual meet against Manhattan, Monmouth and Siena. The Blackbirds earned wins in the 200 medley relay (1:49.55) and the 200 freestyle relay (1:40.67). Danielle Jefferies (Kihei, HI) grabbed two individual victories for the Blackbirds. She was first in the 1000 freestyle with her time of 10:55.10 along a first place time of 58.69 in the 100 butterfly. NEC Rookie of the Week Nathalie Meyers (Dearborn, MI) was also a double-winner as she placed first in the 200 IM (2:15.15) and the 200 backstroke (2:10.27). Oleksandra Kashyrina (Odessa, Ukraine) claimed another victory in the 50 free as she swam a time of 25 seconds flat. Aleksandra Dziewa (Lublin, Poland/Liceo Maria Ausiliatrice) and Milly Furneaux (Dover, England) claimed wins in the 500 free and 100 breaststroke, respectively.

• Sacred Heart also competed at the Frank Elm Invitational this past weekend. Jessica Pool (Shelton, CT/Shelton) swam in the 200 breaststroke and finished with a personal-best time of 2:28.66. Nicole Sauve (Walpole, MA/Walpole) also lowered a personal-best score as she competed in the 1,650 and finished at 18:45.63. Sauve also posted a season-best time in the 1,000 free with a time of 11:22. Kaylyn Cuozzo (West Milford, NJ/West Milford) posted a career-best showing of 58.17 in the 100 freestyle event while teammate Siobhan Goodman (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood) competed in the 200 butterfly and touched in a season-best time of 2:15.57.
• Central Connecticut finished seventh at the Frank Elm Invitational this past weekend. Sophomore Maddy Garber (Milford, MA/Milford) posted two NCAA ‘B’ cut times, one of which came in the 200 breaststroke where she placed second with a time of 2:15.95. Garber’s second NCAA ‘B’ cut time was in the 100 breaststroke in both the prelims (1:02.17) and finals (1:02.43).

• Bryant swam at the Harold Anderson Invitational and took home a fifth place finish. Four-time NEC Diver of the Week Kelci Abernethy (Chandler, AZ/Perry) was the top performer for the Bulldogs as she claimed first place finishes in the 3-meter and 1-meter events. She won the 3-meter with a score of 233.55 and the 1-meter with a score of 227.25. Jillian Rice (Trumbull, CT/Saint Joseph) finished third in both the 200 free and 100 free, while teammate Julia Messina (Canandaigua, NY/Canandaigua Academy) also earned a third place finish in the 100 breast.

• Saint Francis U competed in a three-day meet hosted by Cleveland State. Sophomore Katie Lafferty (Bremen, IN/Bremen) was a top performer for the Red Flash as she set a season-best time of 52.26 in the 100 freestyle to win her heat. Lafferty also posted a top time for SFU in the 50-yard butterfly as she finished 17th out of 39 swimmers with a time of 26.57. Freshman Jessica Crumm (New Hampton, NY/Minisink Valley) also recorded a team-best time for the Red Flash in the 200-yard breaststroke. Crumm completed the race in 2:29.61.

Swimming news courtesy of the NEC.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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