Lions patrol pool, dominate METs

Last year at the Metropolitan Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, the Lions walked away with a second-place finish for both the men and women’s squads. This year the men’s team walked away with the championship while the women’s squad finished second.

The three-day event included NCAA provisional times and record-breaking marks. The men’s head coach, Brian Bishop, was selected Male Coach of the Year, and freshman Myles O’Connor received the Male Rookie of the Year Award.

“Coach Bishop is a great motivator and he always keeps us in the right mindset,” O’Connor said.

On day one of the competition, senior Lee Swanson won the three-meter dive championship with a score of 434.10. Senior Jennifer Robinson scored a 226.0 to earn sixth place and freshman Jessica Lynch finished seventh with a score of 218.0.

Freshman Stephanie Seto continued placing by earning a third-place finish in the 500-meter freestyle with a time of 5:15.18.

In men’s action, sophomore Mike Malloy shattered the College’s record in the 500-meter freestyle by finishing the race in 4:37.48, breaking the previous record of 4:39.79. Molloy took home second place in the race.

The men’s 400-meter medley relay team scooped up first place with contributions from junior Kevin Oliver, O’Connor, junior Josh Forsman and senior Kyle King. The team finished with a time of 3:25.57. King placed second in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 21.45.

O’Connor’s success continued when he helped the 200-meter freestyle team take home second place in 1:25.40. O’Connor was joined by junior Liam Gallagher, Forsman and sophomore Thomas Nawrot.

“I was very happy with my performance over the weekend,” O’Connor said. “But I was really glad that we could win that relay and qualify for the NCAA championships.”

Gallagher also earned a second place finish in the 200-meter individual medleys finishing in 1:55.33 while sophomore Mike Heaney was right behind him earning third place in 1:55.74.

In day two of competition, the men continued holding first place by only 150 points. Following the Lions were the Profs of Rowan University. The women’s team was holding on to third place but was the top Division III team. The women were behind Southern Connecticut State University and CW Post campus of Long Island University.

The men’s 200-meter medley relay team came out proving it was No. 1 by capturing first place in 1:33.48. Oliver, O’Connor, Forsman and King contributed to the win.

“We watched some tape of the 1993-1994 undefeated championship team when we were still Trenton State and that really motivated us to perform,” O’Connor said.

Forsman continued the winning streak by capturing first place in the 100-meter butterfly finishing in 50.07, knocking out a school record of 50.17 held by Nick Steffanci.

Nawrot also earned the 100-meter backstroke title finishing in 52.00 and Oliver followed close behind in second with a time of 53.07.

Molloy earned second place in the 200-meter freestyle race in 1:43.93 and sophomore Heaney captured third in 1:43.48.

The 400-meter individual medleys proved to be a task that the Lions would come out on top. Gallagher earned second with an NCAA provisional time of 4:07.06 and junior Josh Schoenfeld won fourth place in 4:18.67.

Lloyd stood in second place in the three-meter diving event with a score of 295.70.

In women’s action, the 200-meter medley team won third place with an NCAA provisional time of 1:49.62. The efforts of senior senior Catherine Benigno, junior Lauren Pfeifer, junior Ava Kiss and senior Julie Nami erased a school record of 1:49.91, which was in the record book since 2002.

“We had a great weekend,” women’s head coach Jennifer Harnett said. “A lot of people questioned our ability with our record and the team came forth and did great.”

In the 100-meter breaststroke, Pfiefer earned the first place title finishing in 1:07.32, and Reichard took second in the event in 1:07.36. Reichard broke another school record held by her. Reichard posted a time of 1:07.25 in the trials, erasing her old time of 1:07.76.

Kiss earned herself a second place finish in the 100-meter butterfly in 57.24 and third place in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:57.00. Seto took second in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:56.34.

“Ava had a great meet,” Harnett said. “But it was a collective part on the whole team.”

Swanson earned a score of 201.8 in the one-meter dive giving her a second-place standing.

The Lions came out roaring in the final day of competition; the men captured first place and the women second.

Molloy finished in second place in the 1,650-meter freestyle with a NCAA provisional time of 16:21.72.

King finished second place in the 100-meter freestyle in 46.60.

In the 200-meter backstroke Gallagher clinched first place with a time of 1:54.35 and Heaney followed in second in 1:54.59.

Freshman James VanBiervliet earned fourth in 1:56.89.

O’Connor continued the role of Rookie of the Year as he finished the 200-meter breaststroke with an NCAA provisional time of 2:07.80 earning second place while sophomore Ted Yoa followed in third in 2:13.17. Sophomore Donato Santangelo finished fourth in 2:13.29.

The 400-meter freestyle relay team also had an NCAA provisional time of 3:05.71 with the help of Forsman, Gallagher, Nawrot and King. Forsman clinched first in the 200-meter butterfly in 1:53.90 and senior George Savulich took third in 1:55.35.

Lloyd finished in fifth place in the three meter diving event with a score of 471.25.

In the women’s final day, Benigno, Pfeifer, Kiss and senior Kerry Genese broke their own school record they set the day before.

The 200-meter medley team finished the race with a NCAA provisional trial time of 1:48.42.

Kiss also posted another NCAA provisional time in the 100-meter freestyle finishing in 53.04, earning her second place. Reichard finished third in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:27.52.

“Emily doing great was a big thing in itself,” Harnett said. “She has been battling injuries this season.”

Swanson completed the one-meter dive with a score of 361.15 finishing the competition in second place.

“On Friday, the relay team was disqualified because of an early start,” Harnett said. “The team rallied together to perform better and came out on top.”

The 400-meter freestyle team concluded the three-day meet earning fourth place with a time of 3:36.80. Seto, Benigno, Genese and Kiss were all members of the team.

Next for the Lions are the NCAA Division III Championships hosted by the University of Houston from March 8-10.