Lions take on D-I schools

The College competed against a crop of Division I programs at the Princeton University Invitational, showing why the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are elite national programs. Although the match was not a scored event, the men and women held their own, having several swimmers place.

The women's team placed high (Tom O'Dell / Photo Editor)

“I think swimming good competition brings out the best in our team, and going against teams like Princeton, Georgetown and Lehigh exposes us to the type of competition that we will see at the national championships,” said men’s coach Brian Bishop.

The most impressive finish of the day for the men was by senior Ryan Clark, who placed third out of 59 swimmers in the 50-yard freestyle event with a time of 21:01. Sophomore Stephen Tarnowski also saw himself among the top finishers, placing ninth out of 43 swimmers in the 200 individual medley and eighth in the 400-IM.

“We have been in a really demanding training phase, and the fact that we swam well shows great promise for the future,” Bishop said. “Our focus is on our conference championships and the national championships in the spring. The success we have during the season will better prepare us for the end of the year.”

The women were equally impressive, also showcasing their talents in the pool. The swimmers took a ton of positives out of the exhibition, using each as a personal barometer.

“I told the girls that this was our reality-check weekend, and I think some were nervous going in to the meet. I wasn’t concerned about times,” said women’s coach Jennifer Harnett. “Our main focus was just to have some good races and hold our technique, which we did.”

Senior Laura Pierce once again demonstrated why she is one of the best swimmers in the country. Competing against Division I teams, Pierce placed first in all of her events, winning the 50-yard freestyle, 100-butterfly and the 100-freestyle.

Junior Kayleigh Shangle also had an exceptional weekend, taking second place in the 100-breast and third in the 50-free. Junior Danica Roskos also continued her impressive diving season, winning the 3-meter event with a score of 299.25.

“I thought there were a lot of positives coming out of the Princeton Invitational,” said Harnett. “We just came off a really tough weekend last week with three meets in a row and had a hard week of training, so to be as competitive as we were shows the drive that this team has.”

Without a doubt, this was another successful meet for both the men’s and women’s programs. This meet should only propel the two programs toward even more success in the future, serving as a confidence booster. The Lions are back in the pool this weekend against New York University on Nov. 19.