Bates Sets 50 Freestyle Mark at Metropolitan Swimming and Diving Championships

New Brunswick, NJ (2/22/08) – Senior Kristine Bates (Clark, NJ / Arthur L. Johnson) set a new school record in the 50 freestyle as the Montclair State men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams stand in eighth and sixth place, respectively after the first day of action at the 2008 Metropolitan Conference Championships held at the Sonny Werblin Rec Center at Rutgers University.

Bates reset her own school mark during the first event of the competition – the 200 freestyle relay. Swimming the leadoff leg of the race during the preliminaries, Bates posted a time of 24.52 to break her previous standard of 24.63 set at last year’s championship. Bates, Raquel Erwin (Ridgewood, NJ / Ridgewood), Kaitlin Muchler (Vineland, NJ / Vineland) and Brittany Cole (Linden, NJ /Linden) would post a time of 1:41.87 to move into the championship final where they would finish sixth with a time of 1:41.04.

Bates would later add a sixth-place finish in the 50 freestyle event as she swam 24.89. Erwin, who just missed making the championship final, finished ninth with a time of 24.94. On the men’s side in the same event, freshman Blaise Lacca ( Sewell, NJ / Washington Township) placed 13 th with a finals time of 22.27. Lacca had recorded a time of 22.22 during the preliminaries.

Senior Ricky Miller ( Seaside Park, NJ / Monsignor Donovan) was seventh in the 500 freestyle as he registered a time of 4:46.87 in the morning prelims. He then had a time of 4:48.49 in the finals. Freshman Laura Hess ( Berlin, NJ / Eastern) also finished in the Top 8 in the one-meter diving competition. Hess was sixth as she collected 249.12 points during the finals.

Rounding out the first day of action for the Red Hawks, the women’s 400 medley relay team of Bates, Cole, Liz Nelson (West Caldwell, NJ / Caldwell) and Laura Spadoni (Nazareth, PA / Nazareth Area) posted a time of 4:16.99 to place seventh in the event. Miller, Lacca, John Adams (Wharton, NJ / Pope John XXIII) and Jon Kurtz (Stockholm, NJ / Vernon Township) combined to lead the men’s quartet to a sixth-place showing (3:37.10).

The Metropolitan Championships continue on Saturday, February 23 with 15 events.