SOMERSET, N.J. - The Sacred Heart University swimming team has been picked fifth, out of seven, in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll. Saint Francis (PA) received five first place votes on its way to being selected as the favorite to win the NEC title at year's end.
The Pioneers will look to improve on its fifth place finish from 2010 with the help of All-NEC senior Katie Marshall (Cumberland, R.I.) . Marshall nabbed the lone SHU swimming medal of the meet when she out touched the rest of the field in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:05.47.
Marshall will serve as a captain for the Pioneers along with classmate Taylor Sullivan (Stoughton, Mass.). Last season Marshall represented Sacred Heart at the U.S. Senior Nationals in the 200 fly. She was the first ever national qualifier in program history. Sullivan has been a consistent individual medley scorer and team staple for the past three seasons with the Pioneers.
Rachel McGrath (Dorchester, Mass.) returns for her sophomore season after taking part in a pair of record-setting relay teams for SHU. Last year, she swam the third leg of the 200 and 400 freestyle relays at the ECAC Championship which finished in school-record times of 1:41.95 and 3:40.16, respectively. McGrath will also compete individually in several freestyle sprints.
Meg Bellamy (Barringon, R.I.), also a member of the record-setting freestyle relay teams, returns as a sophomore and looks to build on a rookie campaign in which she qualified for the ECACs in the 100 and 200 backstroke as well as the 200 IM. She holds the Pioneer record in the 100-back after recording a time of 59.82 seconds at the NEC title meet.