Kiss breaks own record as lions take 12 NCAA cuts

This past weekend, the Lions participated in the Rutgers University Super Splash. The women’s team took home eighth place, while the men’s team captured fourth place in the three-day event.

The Lions also finished with 11 NCAA Division III “B” cuts and one NCAA Division III “A” cut. Leading the way with the “A” cut was sophomore Ava Kiss, who broke her own school record in the 100-meter butterfly trials. With her time of 57.58, Kiss received an automatic qualifying time. After besting her trial time from last year of 57.59, Kiss placed seventh in the finals with a time of 57.84.

The men’s team secured eight of the total “B” cuts in the meet.

“Overall as a team we swam really well,” sophomore Liam Gallagher said. “This is the (largest) amount of NCAA cuts we have had at this point in the season and I think we really showed how much potential we have for the end of the season. We want to dominate our conference and qualify more guys for Nationals because our focus for this season is to break into the top eight at NCAAs and we can definitely do that.”

Gallagher took fourth place in the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 1:55.06 for the provisional Division III time. Gallagher also collected 10th place in the 400-meter individual medley to receive his second “B” cut of the tournament with a time of 4:12.72.

“I was really focused on this meet. We all were,” Gallagher said. “I have just been training really hard and with the great competition this weekend, it was an opportunity to swim well.”

In the 200-meter freestyle relay, the College collected a fourth-place finish in 1:24.93 for the “B” cut thanks to Gallagher, junior Kyle King, freshman Tom Nawrot and senior Jeff Glenn.

The Lions received their third NCAA “B” cut in the 400-meter medley relay where they finished in 3:28.08 to take third place. Swimmers for the medley were sophomore Kevin Oliver, senior co-captain Steve Swenson, sophomore Josh Forsman and King.

“B” cut number five for the Lions came from Oliver, Swenson, Forsman and King, who placed third in the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 1:34.86.

Swenson and King also came away with individual NCAA “B” cuts. In the 200-meter breaststroke, Swenson finished third with a time of 2:06.96 while King took fourth in the 100-meter freestyle in 46.43 to make the cut.

The men’s last NCAA “B” cut came in the 400-meter freestyle relay where King, Gallagher, Forsman and Glenn finished in second with a time of 3:06.64 to round out the Lions’ provisional times.

“Personally, I wasn’t happy with my times, but as a team we performed very well,” Swenson said. “Our team is swimming very fast so I guess it is a matter of staying focused. I guess the challenge is to instill my teammates with the notion that as long as they work hard, their goals can be attainable.”

Senior tri-captain Erin Stutz recorded all three of the NCAA Division III “B” cuts in the tournament for the women’s team. With a time of 2:10.80, Stutz finished seventh in the 200-meter individual medley.

Stutz received her second “B” cut in the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:35.02 to take eighth place in the event. In the 200-meter butterfly, Stutz posted her third provisional time of the meet with a seventh place finish in 2:09.99.

Next on the agenda for the women’s teams will be to battle C.W. Post away on Jan. 14. On both Jan. 20 and 21, the men’s and women’s teams will travel to West Chester, Pa. to compete against West Chester University and Johns Hopkins University.