Men's Swimming
Highlanders Wrap Up 2008 Metropolitan Swimming Championships

Rookie Sadie Mele earns school-record in 200 yard backstroke

Feb. 28, 2008


NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - NJIT wrapped up the 2008 Metropolitan Swimming Championships Sunday night with a number of outstanding performances.

The Highlander women, who experienced their finest championship meet in the history of the program, saw three more school records added to their total.

The men recorded a number of personal best swims while their 400 yard freestyle relay team barely missed the school record.

Highlights from the morning preliminary heats:

Sadie Mele qualified for the bonus finals in the 200 yard backstroke. Her time was the second fastest ever at NJIT. Mike Finley, competing in the men's heats, recorded his personal best in the event.

In the 100 yard freestyle, numerous Highlanders excelled. Leading the way was Karen Cilento who broke the school-record, while recording her personal-best and advanced to the bonus final. Also clocking her personal-best was Ashley Craig.

On the men's side, Hayk Ekshian advanced to the bonus finals, just missing his school record. Recording personal best times in the 100 freestyle were Steve Schreyer, Sean Stafford, James Paccioretti, Alfio Racite and Pablo Botero.

The final event of the prelims, the 400 freestyle relay, provided the NJIT women with their second school-record of the morning. Leading off the relay for the Highlanders, was Teresa Higgins who recorded her personal-best in the 100 freestyle. She was followed by Bonnie Fiallo, Sadie Mele and Karen Cilento. Their time of 4:04.48 broke the school-record by nearly five seconds and advanced them to the consolation final.

The men's squad of Stafford, Paccioretti, Schreyer and Ekshian recorded a seasonal best time in the same event while also advancing to the consolation final.

Highlights of the evening's finals:

In the women's 200 yard backstroke, Sadie Mele dropped her time from the morning by nearly three seconds. Her effort earned her the school-record previously held by Ana Ossa.

In the 100 yard freestyle, Karen Cilento again lowered the school-record. Her time of 57.11 secured the 22nd place in the event. On the men's side, Hayk Ekshian also improved his time from the preliminary heats and earned the 19th place slot.

The Highlanders saved some of their finest swimming for the night's final event, the 400 yard freestyle relay.

"We had another fantastic night. It is so hard to swim fast session after session, but our team really stepped up tonight.", said head coach Eric Rasmussen.

The rearranged women's squad featured Cilento on the leadoff leg. She was followed by Higgins, Mele and Fiallo. Finishing in 12th place, their time of 4:01.78 carved over two and a half seconds off their record from earlier in the day.

In the men's event, Ekshian swam the leadoff leg with a strong performance followed by personal-best splits by both Stafford and Schreyer. On the anchor leg, Paccioretti also recorded his fastest split of all time as the Highlanders captured 11th place with their fastest time of the season.

Their time of 3:21.29 fell just short of the school-record set last year but stands as the second fastest performance in the history of the program.

(descriptions courtesy head coach Eric Rasmussen)


New Jersey Institute of Technology Men's Swimming
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