Stony Brook University pool. At the America East Championship, the Stony Brook women’s swimming and diving team finally reached championship weekend and placed sixth overall with 185 points. ARACELY JIMENEZ/STATESMAN FILE

Stony Brook Women’s Swimming and Diving battled belligerent waters on the road to returning to the America East Championship.

Swimming and Diving faced a five-year hiatus after maintenance renovations were done to the University Pool, which ended in 2017. The team was unsuccessful in all six events it participated in last season and lost nearly half its roster, with six swimmers remaining for the team’s final event. The season capped off with the firing of head coach Janelle Atkinson after news of alleged mental abuse toward the swimmers broke only a week before the 2018 conference championship.

The team finally reached championship weekend and placed sixth overall with 185 points, edging out Virginia Military Institute. UMBC earned the gold medal with a record-setting performance followed by New Hampshire.

Stony Brook opened up its return by earning a pair of sixth place finishes on Thursday, Feb. 14. The squad of sophomore Sara Chin and freshmen Yurika Tomita, Michelle Wootton and Emma Waechter earned first place in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:48.73. Wootton, Chin and freshmen Gabrielle Matiszik and Haille Bogumil followed up in the 800 free relay, combining for a time of 7:52.98.

Chin earned the highest individual Stony Brook finish of the weekend by finishing the ‘A’ final 100 breastroke in 1:06.39 for a spot in eighth place. Freshman Jess Salmon responded in the ‘B’ final by touching the wall in 1:05.67, taking the ninth spot. Wootton’s best individual finish came from the 50-yard freestyle in which she placed 13th in 24.48 seconds.

Although the team failed to win any individual races in the championship, just being able to participate in the event puts Stony Brook on the right path. The Seawolves concluded their 2018-19 season by winning 18 races through 11 events. They also won their first meet victory at home in five years by topping LIU Post, 124-109 on Saturday, Nov. 17.

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