NEWARK, Del. -- It all came down to the final race as the University of Delaware women’s swimming and diving program trailed George Mason by 11 points heading into the 400 freestyle relay Saturday afternoon at Rawstrom Natatorium.

Delaware earned 13 points in the pivotal race thanks to a first and third finish in the event, but the Patriots (1-0) posted a second place finish to earn four points and leave as the winner with a tight 151-149 victory.

The Blue Hens got a clutch performance from the 400 freestyle relay team of Melissa Manuelli, Ellie Jogani, Sarah Braatz and Athena Cimino as the quartet (3:33.93) defeated the Patriots (3:37.32) by almost four seconds. Delaware’s ‘B’ relay team finished just over a quarter of a second behind the GMU top squad, swinging the meet in favor of GMU.

Cimino, a junior transfer from Georgia Southern University, continued her strong start to the season as the Florida native finished first in the 50 freestyle (24.70) and 100 freestyle (53.6). Cimino also served as the anchor leg of the victorious 400 freestyle relay team and the 200 medley relay squad that finished second.

Junior Amy Nemeth also swam well for the Blue Hens as she won 200 yard freestyle (1:56.76). Other highlights included junior Samantha Marino winning the 200 backstroke and the Blue Hens finishing first, second, and third in the 200 freestyle.

Delaware returns to action next Saturday, Oct. 21, when the Blue Hens host Washington College for a 1 p.m. meet at Rawstrom Natatorium.

Head Coach John Hayman:
“Today was an outstanding performance by our young team. We dominated some events but lacked some depth in others. I am extremely proud of the way the women’s team fought through a very close meet until the end. It is always fun to watch a meet that comes down to the last event to determine the winner.  We needed to finish with the top two times in the 400 freestyle but we fell short and finished first and third despite a season-best performance.”

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