College crowned champions – Swimmers dominate at METS

Tom Medvecky led his team in the pool during the METS. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Tom Medvecky led his team in the pool during the METS. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The College saw several school records fall this weekend as the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams swam their way to another Metropolitan (MET) Conference Championship.

After being crowned as New Jersey Athletic Conference Champions (NJAC) three weeks ago, the Lions came back even stronger during the three-day MET competition. The men’s team won their fourth straight Metropolitan Conference title, while the women’s team won its third straight.

The Lions finished with a total amount of 1,528 points to beat out the 1,121.5 points posted by the US Merchant Marine Academy University.

“Four straight METs is definitely something I am proud to be a part of,” said senior Myles O’Connor.

The Lions were led by O’Connor who finished the 200-yard breast stroke with a time of 2:02.07 on Sunday. That score was good enough to qualify O’Connor for the NCAA championships.

O’Connor also contributed to the Lions efforts by contributing in two relay victories on Friday. O’Connor, freshman Adam Schneider, sophomore Ryan Clark and senior Shawn Kircher combined to win the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:23.07.

O’Connor’s second relay victory came in the 400-medley relay where the team of O’Connor, senior James VanBiervliet, junior Tom Medvecky, and sophomore

Mike Vernoia finished with a time of 3:22.61.

O’Connor did not stop there though as he continued his hot streak on Saturday when he paired with VanBiervliet, Schneider and Kircher to place first in the 200-medlay relay with a time of 1:31.95.

“Coach Bishop has had us focusing on this all season and it feels good to come through for him,” O’Connor said.

Medvecky finished up his weekend by surpassing his 2009 school record in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:50.84 — an NCAA qualifying time. Medvecky also qualified for the NCAA championships by recording a time of 50.79 in the 100-yard butterfly.

Sophomore TJ Burns was yet again the Lions best diver this weekend as he placed second in both the one-meter and three-meter diving events.

The women’s team kept pace with their male counterparts as junior Margaret Molloy broke five schools records on her way to guiding the Lions to a three-peat.

The Lions finished the weekend atop the Metropolitan Conference with 1,390.5 points while The University of Bridgeport placed second with 1,009 points.

Margaret Molloy broke two individual school records and one relay record over the weekend. (Photo courtsey of the Sports Information Desk)
Margaret Molloy broke two individual school records and one relay record over the weekend. (Photo courtsey of the Sports Information Desk)

Molloy began the weekend by recording a school record and a NCAA-qualifying time of 4:59.75 in the 500-yard freestyle.

Molloy’s record-breaking weekend continued Saturday as she broke her own record, which she shared with head coach Jen Harnett, in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:52.76 to qualify a second time for the NCAA championships.

The junior also teamed up with sophomore Laura Pierce and the freshman duo of Kayleigh Shangle and Kristyn Wikoff to set a school record in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:53.94.

When the final day of the Metropolitan Championships was over, Molloy had claimed two more school records.

Molloy’s time of 17:14.13 in the 1650 freestyle — yet another NCAA qualifying time — shattered her previous school record that she set in 2009.

Molloy also chipped in to record time of 3:30.17 in the 400 freestyle relay. Molloy was accompanied in the water by Pierce, Shangle and sophomore Melissa Hessler as the relay team broke the 2003 record.

Junior diver Amanda Obst did the best of the Lions divers with a fourth place finish in the one-meter diving event.

Lions swimmers who posted qualifying times will compete in the NCAA Division III Championships beginning March 17 at the University of Minneapolis.