Lions work by NYU, continue undefeated streak

In a meet that came down to the wire for both teams, the College’s men’s and women’s swimming teams picked up huge victories over New York University by securing their wins in the final event.

The men's and women's meets had some close finishes, but both beat NYU. (Lauren Del Turco / Staff Photographer)

The men won by a score of 151.5-142.5 while the women squeaked by with a score of 143-138, both incredibly close contests. The win put both teams at 5-0 this season.

For the men, the two sides were tied at 138.5 with just the 400-yard freestyle relay left. The Lions pulled through, grabbing first and third in the event while the Violets got second and fourth in what was a wild finish. The winning team of the race consisted of senior Ryan Clark, sophomore Philip Hawley, junior Adam Schneider and senior Jesse Taylor, who had a time of 3:10.83, just over two seconds faster than NYU’s 3:12.90 time.

“Everyone knew what was at stake, and we had a quick team meeting right before and everybody got fired up and ready to race,” sophomore Stephen Tarnowski said. “Our guys really brought it home and sealed the win for us.”

The Lions got off to a fast start, getting first and second in the first race, the 200-medley relay. Freshman Aleksander Burzynksi, sophomore Michael Oliva, Schneider and Clark were on the winning side of the race with a time of 1:36.79. Hawley, sophomore William Kasper, Tarnowski, and Taylor finished right behind them, posting a solid time of 1:38.09.

Tarnowski had a particularly stellar day, winning three individual events: the 100-breaststroke at 1:01.29, 200-backstroke at 1:57.18 and 200-individual medley at 1:56.61.

“We knew coming in that NYU had really game up this year, so one thing we talked about is swimming with energy,” Tarnowski said. “I was able to bring some energy to my races and swim well.”

Other top performers for the Lions included Taylor in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:45.82, Burzynski in the 100-back with 54.35, Schneider in the 50-free with a time of 21.59, and junior Michael Caputo, who won the 1,000-free at 10:01.14.

The women’s team had an exciting ending as well. They needed to place at least second in the 400-yard freestyle relay, the meet’s final event, to secure the victory. They did just that with the relay team of senior Melissa Hessler, freshman Summer Thomas, sophomore Ashley Conroy and junior Kayleigh Shangle, who finished in 3:42.69 and got the second place that clinched the victory.

“It was a really exciting meet and it was the most challenging team we went against so far in the season,” sophomore Maria Ciaralli said. “Everyone was swimming great times.”

This win marked the 17th consecutive dual meet victory for the Lions that started the last time they beat NYU, back in January.

The College was led heavily by senior Laura Pierce, who won the 200-yard freestyle at 1:56.19, the 100-free at 53.42 and the 100-buterfly at 59.01. She also teamed up with Conroy, Shangle and senior Danielle Morrone to win the 200-medley relay with a time of 1:52.75.

The Lions instrumental in getting points were Shangle, winning the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at 1:08.06 and 2:27.43, respectively, Hessler winning the 500-free at 5:20.41 and Brennah Ross getting the victory in the 200-yard fly with a time of 2:14.47.

The success for both teams showed that the Lions continue to dominate the NJAC.

“The team has been training really hard so the close win against NYU was definitely a great way to start off the season,” said Ciaralli.

The Lions return to action on Dec. 2 when they host the three-day TCNJ Invitational at the College’s Aquatic Center.