Women’s Swimming Break into Top 10 For First Time in Program History and Men’s Swimming Finish Program-Best 14th

HOBOKEN, NJ– The Stevens Institute of Technology women’s swimming team finished sixth at the 2011 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Swimming and Diving Championships last week, breaking into the top 10 for the first time in program history. Stevens finished with a team total 184 points and senior Laura Barito (Arkadelphia, Ark.) won the National Championship in the 50-yard freestyle to become the first NCAA champ in the history of Stevens.

Emory University won the title with a team total of 614, and rounding out the top five was Denison University (428), Williams College (362), Kenyon College (351), and The College of New Jersey (198). Ithaca College, the only other Empire 8 school to place, earned 41 points and took 21st. A total of 54 institutions earned points at the championships.

Stevens sent nine student-athletes to the championships – seniors Barito, Gabrielle Czernik (Wanaque, N.J.), and Amanda Nauman (Mission Viejo, Calif.), juniors Hayley Hatfield (Dallas, Texas) and Sian Pearson (Foothill Ranch, Calif.), sophomores Marissa Douglas (Cumberland, R.I.) and Allison Henning (Idaho Falls, Idaho), and freshmen Megan Lisbon (Woodbridge, Va.) and Louise Moores (Mukilteo, Wash.).

Day 1 – Barito headlined the first day of competition with her win in the 50-yard freestyle to become the Ducks’ first-ever NCAA Champion. She took fourth in the prelims before turning in a perfect race to win the title with a school-record time of 22.87.

The 200-yard medley relay team of Czernik, Douglas, Moores, and Barito placed fifth in the prelims and finals to earn All-America honors. The quartet also broke and re-broke the school-record with times of 1:44.65 in the prelims and 1:44.10 in the finals.

Day 2 – The 200-yard freestyle relay team carded a 1:34.00 in taking third in the prelims before finishing fourth in the finals (1:34.11). The prelim time was good for a new school-record as Hatfield, Henning, Moores, and Barito all received All-America nods. Pearson took 22nd in the 200-yard freestyle with a school-record time of 1:52.99, while Lisbon, Czernik, Moores, and Barito teamed to turn in a 3:49.78 in the 400-yard medley relay prelims. That quartet returned in the finals to set a new school-record (3:48.75) and take seventh place to earn All-America accolades.

Day 3 – The 800-yard freestyle relay team finished in eighth place to earn All-America honors as Nauman, Barito, Hatfield, and Pearson set a new program-record with their time of 7:33.06. Nauman set a new program-record with her 2:04.97 in the 200-yard butterfly prelims before taking 16th in the finals to earn the honorable mention All-America honor.

Moores posted the 12th-best time in the country in the 100-yard backstroke (57.05) to earn honorable mention All-America honors.

Day 4 – Barito touched at 49.97 in the 100-yard freestyle prelims to break her own school-record before finishing third in the final to record her second individual All-America nod of the event. Pearson, Hatfield, Moores, and Barito broke the school-record twice, finishing third in the prelims and finals to earn All-America nods in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The best time came in the finals, 3:24.81.

In total, Stevens had 22 All-America nods, two honorable mention All-America nods, and broke nine school-records.

The Stevens Institute of Technology men’s swimming team finished 14th in the nation at the 2011 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Swimming and Diving Championships last week in Knoxville, Tenn. The finish was the best in program history as the Ducks combined for 86 team points. Denison University won the title with 500.5 points, ending Kenyon College’s 31-year reign as the champs. Kenyon finished with 499.5 points.

Rounding out the top five was Emory University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Williams College.

Stevens sent a program-best eight student-athletes to the NCAA’s this year – seniors Dan Pecoraro (Lodi, N.J.), Matthew Preedy (Southampton, Pa.), and Evan Wilson (Oak Harbor, Wash.), sophomores Alex Benham (Raleigh, N.C.) and John Hu (Oak Harbor, Wash.), and freshmen Tyler Hessler (Southbury, Conn.), Joe Huyett (Blandon, Pa.), and Nick Noga (Oriskany, N.Y.).

Day 1 – Benham set a new school-record in the 500-yard freestyle prelims with a time of 4:32.28 before taking 13th in the final to earn honorable mention All-America honors. He turned in a time of 4:35.06. Hu finished fourth in the 200-yard individual medley prelims, turning in a 1:50.72 and breaking the previous school-record by almost two full seconds. The sophomore took sixth place in the final (1:50.93) to earn All-America distinction.

Day 2 – Huyett, Pecoraro, Hessler, and Preedy combined to break the school-record in the 200-yard freestyle relay prelims, notching a 1:23.54 and finishing 13th. In the final, that group took 12th place as all members were honorable mention All-American. Hu and Wilson went one-two in the 400-yard individual medley prelims, and Hu’s time of 3:55.21 was a new program-best. In the final, Hu placed fifth and Wilson was eighth.

Pecoraro was 11th in the 200-yard freestyle prelims (1:39.42) and crushed his own previous school-record. He went on to take 16th in the final and earn an honorable mention All-America nod.

Day 3 – Hu recorded a sixth-place finish and took home All-America honors in the 200-yard butterfly prelims and final with his best time of 1:49.65 coming in the prelims, while the 800-yard freestyle relay team of Hu, Wilson, Noga, and Benham were honorable mention All-American thanks to a 14th place finish. Their time of 6:47.37 beat the previous program-record by more than 2.5 seconds.

Day 4 – Benham and Wilson started the final day of competition with an 11th and 15th in the 1,650-yard freestyle, while Huyett, Pecoraro, Hessler, and Preedy were 15th in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:04.96. The quartet earned honorable mention All-America honors.

The Ducks earned All-America honors six times, honorable mention All-America honors 16 times, and broke six school-records at the four-day event.

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research.  The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.

Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts.  Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,350 undergraduate and 3,600 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world.  Additional information may be obtained at www.stevens.edu and www.stevens.edu/news.