UMass Dartmouth Places 4th in 2014 NEISDA Championship

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I.-- University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Christian Francia (Hampton, N.H.) captured the three-meter diving competition this evening to help the men's team place fourth overall at the 2014 New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Championships inside the Tootell Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Rhode Island.

Keene State College cruised to the team championship with 1,121 total points.  Roger Williams University was a distant second with 616 points, followed by Norwich University (453).  The Corsairs (389) leapfrogged Elms College (355) for the fourth position in the 12-team standings.

Francia was chosen as the Diver of the Meet after earning All-New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) recognition on both the one and three-meter boards, respectively.  He captured the three-meter board with 487.70 points to defeat his nearest competitor (Joshua Teller, KSC) by 28.25 points.  Francia posted a score of 370.60 to place fifth on the one-meter podium.

Freshman Robert Muir (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) set the UMass Dartmouth program record in the 50 backstroke in the preliminary heats, when he touched the wall at 26.41 seconds to lower the previous standard that was set by Eric Frohman (26.52).  Muir tripped the timer at 26.46 seconds in the finals to earn All-NEISDA honors with a sixth place finish.

Junior Phil Lowney (Mattapoisett, Mass.) posted an Eastern College Athletic Conference B Cut in the 200 breaststroke, covering the distance in two minutes, 16.29 seconds to finish sixth overall.

The Corsairs registered a pair of top-10 performances in the 200 butterfly.  Junior Michael Gryss (New Bedford, Mass.) was sixth with a time of two minutes, 5.37 seconds, while sophomore Bryan Baranick (Assonet, Mass.) swam the ninth fastest time (2:06.36).

Freshman Brian McCauley (Franklin, Mass.) boasted the sixth lowest time in the 1,650 freestyle to earn a spot on the awards podium, hitting the wall at 18 minutes, 19.71 seconds.

Classmate Grayham Ronan (Millis, Mass.) recorded a pair of solid performances in his NEISDA debut. He placed ninth in the 100 IM (59.14) and 11th overall in the 100 freestyle (50.10).

The UMD 400 freestyle relay, comprised of Ronan, Baranick, Muir, and Gryss, sported the ninth fastest combined time (3:26.60) to finish just off the medal stand.  

UMass Dartmouth will return to action on February 28, when the Corsairs compete at the 2014 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships at the U.S. Naval Academy.