2024 NEC Championships: Wagner Sweeps 800 Freestyle Relays to Open Day 1 of Competition

2024 Northeast Conference Championships 

In a quick session on Tuesday night, Wagner College started the 2024 NEC Championships with a bang, winning both the men’s and women’s 800 freestyle relays. 

On the men’s side, Wagner’s team of Jasu Ovaskainen, Kaan Nalcaci, Manuel Villalpando, and Ruben Van Gool combined for a time of 6:38.82 to easily take down the field by almost 5 seconds. Notably, Ovaskainen split a 1:37.70 on the opening leg, the fastest split in the field by nearly 3 seconds to get the team off to a commanding lead that they never relinquished. Wagner also saw a sub-1:40 split from Nalcaci on the second leg as he produced a split of 1:39.65. Long Island University finished 2nd in the event with a time of 6:43.39, with a 1:38.60 lead-off leg from Emillio Garcia. Howard University took the bronze with a 6:44.24. 

Like they did last year, the Wagner women dominated the women’s 800 freestyle relay, winning by over 5 seconds. The team of Rebekka Luoto, Aura Vilarrasa, Brooke Woolfe, and Olivia Bishop combined for a time of 7:22.65, coming within a few tenths of the meet record of 7:22.49 that was set by last year’s team from Wagner. Notably, both Vilarrasa and Bishop produced sub-1:50 splits, leading the entire field with splits of 1:49.23 and 1:49.06, respectively. Both swimmers also swam on the record-setting relay last year. Central Connecticut State (CCSU) finished 2nd in the race with a time of 7:27.38, dropping 14 seconds off of their entry time with a boost from a 1:50.68 anchor leg from Shannon Welcome. St. Francis University touched 3rd in a time of 7:30.80. 

Howard saw a win on the diving boards via Jordan Walker, who claimed first in the men’s 3m event with a score of 244.95. 

Walker’s diving win puts Howard 10 points ahead of Wagner on the men’s side after day 1, with the Howard men looking to claim their 2nd consecutive NEC title. The Wagner women currently hold the lead on their board, about 8 points ahead of CCSU. 

Team Rankings Through Day 1 – Men

  1. Howard – 67
  2. Wagner – 57
  3. Le Moyne – 46
  4. Long Island – 34

Team Rankings Through Day 1 – Women

  1. Wagner – 64
  2. CCSU – 56
  3. St. Francis – 54
  4. Howard – 52
  5. Long Island – 50
  6. Sacred Heart – 48
  7. Merrimack – 46
  8. Le Moyne – 44
  9. Stonehill – 40

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

Read More »