Lions falter in Baltimore after dominating ECACs

After superior performances in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships to finish out 2007, the College’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams suffered two losses in Baltimore to start the new year.

On Jan. 18-19 the Lions participated in a tri-meet against the Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays and the Golden Rams of West Chester University, resulting in a pair of defeats for both Lions squads.

The men’s team was decisively defeated by Johns Hopkins 237-91 and by West Chester 225-105, ending a previously undefeated season and a seven-meet win streak. After falling to their highly-ranked opponents, the Lions have a 4-2 record.

Highlights of this weekend’s meet for the men’s team included a pair of first-place finishes from junior diver Greg Lloyd as he won the one-meter, scoring 252.94, and the three-meter, scoring 299.55. Senior Liam Gallagher finished in second place in both the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 1:59.83 and the 200-meter backstroke in 2:01.28.

Junior Mike Heaney finished third in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:02.63. Senior Josh Forsman finished fourth in the 100-meter butterfly, posting a time of 53.34.

“The Baltimore meet was an interesting meet because we put in six weeks of intense training, so we were all pretty broken down going in,” Forsman said.

Freshman Tom Medvecky said, “The whole team is exhausted (from the six-week training period) and the meet was a chance to see how we compete even when we have nothing left in us.”

The College’s women’s team did not fare much better against its two opponents, falling to Johns Hopkins and West Chester 222-93 and 219-94, respectively. The Lions now stand at 1-6 on the season.

Bright spots for the College were two new school records set by freshman Margaret Molloy as she broke the previous marks in the 1,000- and 1,650-meter freestyle. Her time of 17:56.58 in the 1,650 freestyle broke the eight-year-old record of 18:05.65 and her 1,000-meter freestyle time is the best in the College’s history. Molloy also took home first place in the 500-meter freestyle, winning in 5:11.23.

Adding another first-place finish was senior Lauren Pfeifer who bested her competition in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:10.51. Senior Ava Kiss, Pfeifer, junior Stacy Delehanty and freshman Michele Wilson contributed to the College’s second-place finish in the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 1:53.69.

“This tri-meet was especially difficult for us because it’s the first time we’ve raced in six weeks and we’ve had doubles for three weeks,” Kiss said. “There wasn’t much preparation except for the fact that we encouraged each other to stay positive.”

Coming into the meet, both teams were still riding the success of stellar finishes in the ECAC Division III Championships, where the men finished first and the women finished sixth out of 16 schools.

“Past successes are always motivating as it’s good to see what we’re capable of,” Kiss said, “but we are now more focused on our goal of winning (the Metropolitan Conference Championships).”