Norwich University Defends GNAC Championship Titles

2024 GNAC Championships

Courtesy: Norwich Athletics

WORCESTER, Mass. – For the second straight season, the Norwich University men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams topped the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championships, dominantly taking home the league crowns after a stellar three-day weekend at WPI.

The Norwich women secured their fifth overall conference title and their second since the 2000 season, while the Cadet men claimed their fifth in the six years the GNAC has sponsored a men’s swimming & diving championship.

The Norwich men again coasted to victory, winning comfortably on a 512 score, topping second-place Regis College’s 160 by a significant margin.  The Cadet women again saw fierce competition from 17-time GNAC champions Simmons University.  Norwich widened the gap between them and the Sharks throughout the three-day weekend, finishing with 894.5 points to the Sharks’ 781.

In addition to their team hardware, the Cadets received end-of-year recognition from the conference.  Reilly Laitala (Sterling, Mass.) and Aidan Grady (Sandwich, Mass.), who have been commanding all year in diving competitions, were honored with Women’s and Men’s Diver of the Year, respectively.  The men rounded out the major awards, as Kristian Adlianitski (Cheshire, Conn.) was recognized as the Men’s Rookie of the Year, while Will Thompson (Downingtown, Pa.) hauled in Men’s Swimmer of the Year accolades.

All-Conference recognition was also given to the top three finishers in each event.  These recipients include Kylie Farris (Leander, Texas), Abbey Houghton (Dover, N.H.), Maria Piekarczyk (Dudley, Mass.), Alannah Kelliher (Middleboro, Mass.), Adrian Riendeau (Ridgecrest, Calif.), Will Thompson (Downingtown, Pa.), Arthur Abrams (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.), Gio Giovenco (Alexandria, Va.), Brandy Lewis (Strafford, Vt.), Benjamin Stark (Montverde, Fla.), Anna Gosselin (Lisbon, Conn.), Kristian Adlianitski (Cheshire, Conn.), Martin Adlianitski (Cheshire, Conn.), Andrew Clark (Acworth, Ga.), Logan Wineriter (Canterbury, N.H.), Daniel Taylor (Minden, Nev.), Braeden Scott (Keene, N.H.), Gregory DeMeyer (Collierville, Tenn.), Heather Ansley (Owens Cross Roads, Ala.), Dylan Feeney (Medway, Mass.), Jenna Tschida (Goffstown, N.H.), Reilly Laitala (Sterling, Mass.), Aidan Grady (Sandwich, Mass.), Hannah Shaner (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Tobias Macedo (Kennebunk, Maine), John Harman (Niceville, Fla.), and Joshua Kelly (Stowe, Vt.).

Records were shattered throughout the three-day weekend, including two GNAC men’s records by Will Thompson and Andrew Clark on the final day.  Brandy Lewis, meanwhile, shattered a 25-year-old women’s program record in the 1650 freestyle, set by Kelly Chiffer in 1999 with an 18:37.47 time.  Lewis broke the record by just shy of four seconds, swimming an 18:33.74 on the final day of competition.

The title marks the fifth for the Norwich men since the 2017-18 season, and the 11th overall dating back to 2011-12, when the GNAC conducted an invitational event as opposed to a championship.  The women, meanwhile, haul in their fifth title after claiming the first three GNAC Championships in 1998, 1999, and 2000, and again after returning to the throne in 2023.

The GNAC Championships were held at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Sports and Recreation Center in Worcester, Mass.  The Cadets were picked to sweep the titles in the GNAC Pre-Championship polls last Wednesday, with the men overwhelming favorites while the women held a narrow edge over Simmons.

DAY 1:

    DAY 2:

DAY 3:

Qualified team members will now look ahead to the ECAC Open Championships, set to take place from Friday, Mar. 1 to Sunday, Mar. 3, hosted by the Naval Academy in Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md.

2024 GNAC Women’s Swimming & Diving Final Rankings
1. Norwich – 894.5
2. Simmons – 781
3. Saint Joseph’s (Maine) – 553
4. Regis – 509.5
5. Elms – 440
6. University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) – 402.5
7. Albertus Magnus – 173.5
8. Colby-Sawyer

2024 GNAC Men’s Swimming & Diving Final Rankings
1. Norwich – 512
2. Regis – 180
3. Colby-Sawyer – 40
4. Saint Joseph’s (Maine) – 34
5. University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) – 29
6. Albertus Magnus – 7

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