Lions take on DII Owls

After impressive performances against Franklin and Marshall College last week, the swimming and diving teams took on Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) with more mixed results.

The Division II Owls, one of the Lions’ toughest competitors on the schedule, matched up against the College in the aquatic center on Saturday with both SCSU teams coming into the meet undefeated.

The Lions’ men’s team ended that short undefeated streak by grounding the Owls 163-124 while the women kept it close but eventually fell to SCSU 158-139.

Leading the Lions to victory on the men’s side were their relay teams. The College took first place in the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 1:37.72 behind the efforts of senior Kevin Oliver, sophomore Myles O’ Connor, senior Josh Forsman and senior Liam Gallagher.

The Lions also finished first in the 400-meter freestyle relay (3:16.46) behind the work of Forsman, freshman Tom Medvecky and juniors Mike Molloy and Thomas Nawrot.

Nawrot also outswam the competition in the 100-meter backstroke and the 50-meter freestyle, winning both events with times of 53.84 and 21.98, respectively.

Medvecky took first in the 500-meter freestyle with a time of 4:47.03 while O’ Connor came out victorious in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing in 1:00.64.

Other Lions’ winners included junior Ted Yoa, who took first in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:14.71), and Forsman, who finished the 100-meter butterfly in 51.92.

In diving, junior Greg Lloyd took first in both the one-meter (256.85) and the three-meter (277.10).

“I felt that my performance at the meet was good, considering it was my first three-meter meet of the season and my first meet doing more difficult dives,” Lloyd said. “However, I do think I could have performed better on some dives and scored a little higher.”

Although the women did not finish with a win, the Lions swam well overall and continue to improve. Coming into the meet, senior Ava Kiss said, “Although SCSU is a Division II team, we expect that the meet will be really close and we’re looking to have some great races.”

Kiss was correct as the Lions surprised the Owls with some fantastic races. Kiss led the Lions with a win in the 100-meter freestyle (54.62) and a second-place finish in the 100-meter butterfly (59.17). She was also a contributor to the 400-meter freestyle relay team, which finished first in 3:46.13.

Kiss was assisted by teammates senior Kristin Udicious and freshmen Margaret Molloy and Michele Wilson.

Adding to the Lions’ strong showing were senior Lauren Pfeifer, who took first in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:09.30), and junior Stacy Delehanty, who finished second in the 200-meter individual medley (2:17.94).

Other runner-up performances were given by freshman Katie Morgan in the 200-meter breaststroke, senior Christine Marino in the 200-meter backstroke and freshman Melissa Wallace in the 50-meter freestyle.

“Overall, I think the team has been doing a great job,” Wallace said. “Everyone works so hard in practice, and the fact that we are able to stay as close as we did to a Division II school is pretty great.”

“I think the team did a great job,” Lloyd added. “The swimmers had a fast meet, and since (SCSU) is one of our biggest competitors, I think the meet went very well overall.”

Despite the loss, women’s head coach Jennifer Harnett was happy with her team’s performance.

“The girls swam exceptionally well and they rose to the challenge,” Harnett said. “Each meet we are making leaps and bounds and doing more and more right.”

Upcoming meets for the College include the Bucknell University Invitational for divers and Bloomsburg College, both of which will take place on Saturday.