NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Bentley University's Nicola Mancini (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth HS) continued her outstanding freshman season by winning the one-meter diving championship during day one of the Northeast-10 Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at Southern Connecticut State's Hutchison Natatorium.
Mancini posted a score of 431.70 in the finals after breaking both the pool and meet records during the prelims with a 453.60. She edged Pace University freshman Jenn Paladino by 1.35 seconds to secure the gold.
Bentley had an impressive showing in the diving, amassing a total of 63 points as four Falcons cracked the top six. Senior Shelly D'Aleo (Enfield, Conn./Suffield Academy) was third (405.25), sophomore Paige Wilde (Naugatuck, Conn./Holy Cross HS) took fifth (383.30) and senior Abby Mathews (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford HS) was sixth (359.15).
Bentley also had a strong effort in the 50 yard freestyle with senior Monika Drogosz (Unionville, Conn./Farmington HS) and sophomore Danielle Hellstern (Southbury, Conn./ Pomperaug HS) second and third, respectively. Drogosz posted a time of 24.92 seconds, and Hellstern followed in 25.04.
Senior Jessica Hodsdon (Brewer, Maine/Brewer HS) helped Bentley take second in both relays, with times of 1:38.94 in the 200 free relay and 3:56.55 in the 400 medley relay. She partnered with freshman Lindsey Goodwin (Staten Island, N.Y./Notre Dame Academy), Drogosz and Hellstern in the 200 free, and anchored the 400 medley, following juniors Caroline Lewis (Westfield, Mass./Westfield HS), Amanda Le (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford HS) and sophomore Nadine Edwards (Danbury, Conn./ Danbury HS) into the pool.
Edwards earned bronze in the 500 free, with her time of 5:06.93 an NCAA "B" cut, after having the best prelim time. Freshman Kelly Culkin (Avon, Conn./Avon HS), followed in 5:19.87, good for sixth place.
In the 200 individual medley, Le and Hodsdon were fourth and fifth, respectively, as they finished in 2:11.03 and 2:11.30.
Bentley finished the opening day in second place with 263 points, 35 back of first-place Southern Connecticut and 83 ahead of third-place Assumption College. The eight-team, three-day meet will continue through Saturday.