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Swimming Relays Grab Two Golds on Day One of ECAC Champs

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. - The LIU Brooklyn women's swimming team is off to a fast start at the ECAC Winter Championships, winning both relays contested on the opening night at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, N.Y. After the first four events, the Blackbirds stand in fifth place (219 points) with ten events on the menu for Saturday's slate. LIU captured gold in the leadoff event, the 200 medley relay in 1:45.09, placing 0.78 seconds ahead of second place Wagner with a season best 1:45.09 with a foursome of seniors Mads Carrigan, Briana Vega, sophomore Amanda Peren and freshman Jacqueline Grabowski. Peren led off with a 26.60 backstroke leg, followed by Carrigan in the breaststroke (29.77) and Grabowski with a blistering butterfly leg (25.49). Vega then brought home first with a 23.23 freestyle anchor leg. Also in the 200 medley, the LIU 'B' team scored with a 13th place team of senior Nathalie Meyers, sophomores Kyleigh Barao and Avery Vernon and freshman Lydia Amon in 1:51.09. In the only individual swim event of the night, freshman Amanda San Juan, came in at 17.25.24 to easily break the school record by well over 30 seconds in the 1650 freestyle and finished in fourth place. Classmate Macie Madden also raced in her first collegiate mile swim, finishing in 18:24.76 to score points for the Blackbirds as well. The Blackbirds then closed out the session by winning their second gold medal in the 800 freestyle relay, touching in at 7:31.75, only 0.64 off of the meet record, and almost four full seconds in front of second place Fairfield. The group of Peren, junior Noemie Lacroix-Moreau, sophomore Jeanne Touchette-McGowanand San Juan each swam under 1:55 to set a new school mark in the race. Additionally, Peren's leadoff leg set the pace for the entire field, going 1:50.88 which will stand as the new LIU record in the 200 freestyle, breaking her previous record from last season's NEC Championships. In the team points race, Fairfield is in first place with 354 points, followed by four Northeast Conference foes Wagner (306), St. Francis Brooklyn (239), Sacred Heart (234) and LIU (219). The three-day meet resumes Saturday with a day session at 10:00 a.m. and a night session beginning at 6:00 p.m., before concluding with a single session on Sunday also at 10:00 a.m.

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