Swimming and Diving Sweeps Ramapo for First NJAC Win


Montclair, NJ (12/11/10) - The Montclair State men's swimming and diving team pulled off a last-event victory while the Red Hawks women posted a 135-110 triumph as the MSU posted its first NJAC wins of the season, sweeping past Ramapo College at the Panzer Athletic Center Pool in Saturday afternoon.

Montclair collected 13 points in the final event - the 400 freestyle relay to clip the Roadrunners 132-130, improving to 5-4 overall, 1-1 in the NJAC. The women's team is now 4-4 overall, 1-1 in the NJAC following their victory.

The Red Hawk men won just six of the 16 events contested in the meet but used its depth to stay within striking distance of the Roadrunners.  Heading into the final event, MSU trailed 126-119 and needed to not only win the event, but finish second or third as well to claim the victory.

The first part came through as the relay team of Michael Smith (Cherry Hill, NJ / Cherry Hill East), Thomas Long (Morristown, NJ / Morristown), Zak Westerberg (Hamilton, NJ / Hamilton North) and Blaise Lacca (Sewell, NJ / Washington Township) as they won the event with a time of 3:18.10. Ramapo would take second bringing the meet down to the third-place showing. Montclair would get that spot as the quartet of Joseph Berry (Edison, NJ / Edison), Michael Volski (Edison, NJ / Edison), Sean French (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) and Jason Jennings (Cedar Run, NJ / Southern Regional) registered a time of 3:22.97 to complete the victory for the Red Hawks.

Smith and Berry would alternate 1-2 finishes in the meet. Berry won the 1000 freestyle with a time of 10:44.53 with Smith placing second at 10:53.41. The two would reverse roles in the 500 freestyle with Smith taking top honors (5:02.84) and Berry second (5:04.36).

Smith would get a second individual win in the 200 freestyle. Smith posted a time of 1:47.24 touching in ahead of Westerberg (1:51.61). Chris Lee (Morris Plains, NJ / Parsippany Hills) was victorious in the 100 breaststroke clocking in at 1:03.40. Lacca was a winner in the 100 freestyle recording a time of 50.19.

Meanwhile, the women’s team rolled past Ramapo winning 10 events. Galina Loutchouk (Richboro, PA / Council Rock) and Ashley Vallone (Park Ridge, NJ / Park Ridge) each won two individual events as did Maria Vira (Bayonne, NJ / Bayonne).

Loutchouk won the 1000 freestyle (11:44.97) and the 200 butterfly (2:20.87) while Vallone took first place in the 50 freestyle (25.63) and 100 freestyle (55.75). Vira’s win came in both breaststroke events coming in a 1:12.43 in the 100 and 2:35.14 in the 200 race.

Freshman Kelsie Donahue (Egg Harbor Township, NJ / Egg Harbor Township) also swept a stroke winning the 100 and 200 backstroke with times of 1:04.08 and 2:19.94, respectively. Kelly Abner (Glenwood, NJ / Vernon) won the 200 freestyle (2:05.17) leading a 1-2-3 MSU finish in the event.

Montclair also won the 400 medley relay as the team of Donahue, Laura Spadoni (Nazareth, PA / Nazareth Area), Lauren Uckar (Manalapan, NJ / Manalapan) and Vallone posted a time of 1:56.10.

Both teams are now off until January 22, 2011 when they return to action against NJAC rival Rowan University at the Panzer Athletic Center Pool beginning at 1:00 pm.