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Bearcats jump up to third at America East Championship
400 free relay sets new conference record; Cai hits NCAA qualifying standard

ORONO, Maine - The Binghamton women's swimming and diving team enjoyed the greatest upward climb among conference schools, placing third out of seven teams at the America East Championship, held at Stanley M. Wallace Pool at Maine. The Bearcats totalled 518 points, behind only Northeastern (821.50) and New Hampshire (774.50) in the three-day event.

"The women had some surprise wins," head coach Benji DeMotte said. "I'm thrilled to death with their performance. We were the highest movers from last year."

Highlighting the championship were a pair of conference records. Sophomore Huijue Cai (Shanghai, China) established a new America East Championship record in the 100 fly, touching first in 54.52. That mark lowered her own school record and also lowered her NCAA "B" qualifying time, raising hope that she will earn a trip to the NCAA Championship.

"I'm almost positive that time will be good enough for Huijue to go," DeMotte said.

The Bearcats concluded the meet with a stellar performance in the 400 free relay. The quartet of freshman Stephanie Gerber (Middle Village, N.Y./St. Francis Prep), junior Yun Qu (Hangzhou, China), sophomore Laura Linek (Canandaigua, N.Y.) and Cai broke the school and conference mark with a posting of 3:28.38. DeMotte was especially impressed with that time.

"That record might not be broken for a long time," he said.

Cai also established an NCAA "B" cut in the 100 free, winning that event in 50.77. She was second in the 50 free (23.81) and swam a leg on BU's winning 400 medley relay (3:52.02). Other individual winners were Qu in the 200 fly (2:01.21) and sophomore Hannah Clegg (Hampshire, England) in the 100 back (57.50).

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