Norwich University Sweeps 2023 GNAC Championship Titles

2023 Greater Northeast Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships

  • February 3-5, 2023
  • Wellesley, Mass.
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results

Courtesy: Norwich Athletics

WELLESLEY, Mass. – The Norwich University men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams secured a pair of Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) titles in emphatic fashion, sweeping the GNAC Championships after the three-day event.

The Norwich women claimed their first conference title in 23 years, while the Cadet men topped the GNAC for the first time since 2020. In total, the three-day weekend saw the Cadets record 23 individual first-place finishes and six team relay victories.

The Norwich men won comfortably behind a 469.5 score, topping second-place University of Saint Joseph’s 160 by a significant margin. The women’s field was substantially closer, as the Cadets held back a furious Simmons rally, finishing with 662 points to the Sharks’ 604.

“The team came to swim fast and have great performances! That has been our focus all along,” Head Coach Jennifer Cournoyer said. “We completely accomplished that which turned into being 2023 GNAC Champions. As their coach, I am in awe of this team along with the great support we receive.”

Reilly Laitala (Sterling, Mass.) and Jack Brennan (Hopkinton, Mass.) kicked off the festivities on Friday, scooping up victories in the 3 meter diving competitions behind 200.30 and 242.00 scores, respectively. The first subsequent team event saw Adrian Riendeau (Ridgecrest, Calif.)Will Thompson (Downington, Pa.)Derek Furtado (Plymouth, Mass.), and Michael Cowenhoven (Fairfield, Conn.) place first in the 200 yard medley relay with a 1:36.47 time.

The Cadets swept the 400 yard IM with efforts from Hannah Shaner (Gilbertsville, Pa.) and Benjamin Stark (Montverde, Fla.), while Martin Adlianitski (Cheshire, Conn.) captured the 200 yard freestyle. Nikky Avise (Owens Cross Roads, Ala.), the six-time GNAC Women’s Athlete of the Week honoree this season, took the 50 yard fly in her first event, before Nikita Ponomarenko (Mariupol, Ukraine) similarly won the same event on the men’s side.

Both Thompson and Riendeau returned to win the 100 yard breaststroke and 200 yard backstroke, followed by John Connor Hallstrom’s (Woodbridge, Conn.) victory in the 1000 yard freestyle, which closed out Norwich’s individual wins on the opening day. Stark, Thompson, Cowenhoven, and Adlianitski rounded out Friday with a first-place finish in the 400 yard freestyle.

Norwich wasted no time scooping up further victories on Saturday, first by Brennan in the 1 meter dive. Alexis Magee (Norwell, Mass.), Shaner, Jenna Tschida (Goffstown, N.H.), and Avise topped the 200 yard freestyle relay, while Adlianitski, Thompson, Cowenhoven, and Stark swept the event on the men’s side.

Ponomarenko and Adlianitski earned wins in the 100 yard butterfly and 500 yard freestyle, and Tobias Macedo (Kennebunk, Maine) picked up a victory in the 50 yard backstroke. Avise would close out the women’s individual victories on day two with a 24.08 time in the 50 yard freestyle, while Cowenhoven’s 22.21 effort secured a win on the men’s side.

Riendeau concluded the men’s portion of individual wins behind a 56.65 time in the 100 yard IM, before Stark, Riendeau, Cowenhoven, and Adlianitski strung together a 7:08.41 effort to win the 800 yard freestyle relay.

Sunday opened with Avise’s final individual win over the three-day weekend, courtesy of clocking a 52.45 in the 100 yard freestyle, which was complemented on the men’s side with a first-place finish from Adlianitski. The men coasted to a fury of wins over the final day, including by Thompson in the 50 yard breaststroke, Stark in the 1650 yard freestyle, Riendeau in the 100 yard backstroke, Hallstrom in the 200 yard butterfly, and Arthur Abrams (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) in the 200 yard IM.

The day’s festivities were wrapped up with one final victory in the 400 yard medley relay, made possible by Riendeau, Thompson, Stark, and Adlianitski.

Qualified team members will now look ahead to the ECAC Championships, set to take place over Friday, Feb. 24 to Sunday, Feb. 26, at Navy’s Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md.

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1 month ago

Congratulations to Norwich. Kudos to Ben Stark

Reply to  Eileen
1 month ago

I second this 🙂