Bears up-and-down season finishes on a high note

By Emily Hayes

Comment Staff

Senior Chelsea Nolan paced the Bears at the NEISDA Championships as she earned All-NEISDA honors in two events. Kendra Perry - Photo.
Senior Chelsea Nolan paced the Bears at the NEISDA Championships as she earned All-NEISDA honors in two events. Kendra Perry – Photo.

The Bridgewater State University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed to the very end, as their season came to a conclusion this past weekend at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Div. II/III Championships.

During the three day event, the women placed ninth and the men placed 11th.

“Just the entire season, their attitude was amazing,” said head coach Michael Caruso. “This was one of those very few teams that you can get that they’re just committed 100 percent and they have a completely positive attitude at all times.”

The big winners for Bridgewater State at the NEISDA Championships were senior Chelsea Nolan and junior David Elofson. Nolan placed sixth in the 1650-meter freestyle and fourth in the 1,000 freestyle to earn All-NEISDA honors in both events. Elofson also received All-NEISDA honors for his performances on the one and three-meter diving boards.

The Lady Bears also got a strong showing from their 200-meter relay squad of freshman Sarah Biltcliffe, junior Sarah Rechtiene, senior Ashley Dunican, and senior Nelia Borden with a tenth place finish.

The men’s team went home with some recognition as well, as they received the Steve Looke Team Sportsmanship Award for the second straight season.

“Winning the sportsmanship award is a big deal to our men’s team,” said junior Todd Avery said. “We’re not the fastest swimmers out there, but we definitely have the most fun. It’s nice getting recognized for how much we care about each other.”

The entire season for the Bears had its ups-and-downs. The men went 1-8, while the Lady Bears went 8-9. Throughout it all though, Caruso said the teams never got discouraged.

“I just would like to have more time with the athletes,” Caruso said. “It ends very abruptly and you kind of wish you could continue when you have such a good group of kids.”

This season may have finished and some of the athletes are not going to return, but the teams have no choice but to carry on.

“Right now, we go right back to work,” Caruso said. “We’re doing recruiting, offseason work, our conditioning programs and getting our athletes better prepared for another upcoming year. It doesn’t stop for us.”

Emily Hayes is a Comment sports writer. Email her at

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