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UNCP enters final day leading Conference Carolinas swimming championships

Feb. 23—KINGSPORT, Tenn. — UNC Pembroke newcomer Benedetta Pepe Pugliese established a new Conference Carolinas meet record in the 400-yard Individual Medley, while Ketlyn Rodriguez Matos and the 400-yard Medley Relay team both shattered school records to highlight action at the Conference Carolinas Championships on Friday at the Kingsport Aquatic Center.

The Braves made a leap in the team standings and now sit atop the leaderboard with 520 points with one day of competition remaining. Emmanuel is now in second place with 489 points, followed by Converse in third place with 299 points.

Pepe Pugliese bested the field in the 400-yard Individual Medley to take top honors with a time of 4:24.58 for an NCAA B Standard time as well as a Conference Carolinas meet record. Chiara Ambrosi placed second in the 400-yard Individual Medley with a time of 4:40.20. Britta Schwengle claimed first place honors in the 200-yard Freestyle with an NCAA B Standard time of 1:52.96, while Rodriguez Matos broke her own school record in the 100-yard Breaststroke on the way to a runner-up finish.

The Braves closed Friday's evening session with an impressive performance in the 400-yard Medley Relay as Schwengle, Rodriguez Matos, Fatima Portilo, Mariel Mencia Martinez touched in first place with a time of 3:38.89 to shatter the school record.

Saturday's final-day action inside the Kingsport Aquatics Center will get underway at 10 a.m. with the preliminaries of the 200-yard Backstroke. Saturday's evening session will include the finals of the 200-yard Backstroke, the 100-yard Freestyle, the 200-yard Breaststroke, the 200-yard Butterfly and the 400-yard Freestyle Relay.

In Thursday's action, Mencia Martinez registered an NCAA B Standard qualifying mark in the preliminary and finals round of the 50-yard Freestyle on Thursday, and then touched ahead of the rest of the field in that discipline in the finals. Schwengle, likewise, tacked up an NCAA B Standard mark in the 500-yard Freestyle finals on the way to topping the rest of the field with a time of 5:02.49.

The quartet of Rodriguez Matos, Schwengle, Rhyan Murphy, and Mencia Martinez edged out Emmanuel by 0.43 seconds took top honors in the 200-yard Freestyle Relay to close out the action on Thursday. The relay team also broke the school record in the event as well.

On the event's opening day Wednesday, Sofia Pereira got the action started by staking claim to the 1000-yard Freestyle title with a Conference Carolinas meet record time of 10:27.04. Teammate Fatima Portilo earned all-conference honors in the 1000-yard Freestyle as well placing second with a time of 10:38.00.

Katie Raleigh, Rodriguez Matos, Rachel Carapella and Mencia Martinez teamed up in the 200-yard Medley Relay to stand at the top of the podium with a. time of 1:45.06. The performance from the relay squad marked a Conference Carolinas meet record as well as a school record.

Schwengle, Portilo, Pereira, and Rodriguez Matos closed out the opening day with a second-place finish in the 800-yard Freestyle Relay.

The Braves led the team standings after Wednesday's action and were second at the completion of Thursday's competition.

The top three finishers in each event earn first, second, and third team all-conference honors.