Lions show strength at Big Al despite D-1 competition

By Cory Weeks

Correspondent

The College’s swimming and diving teams took part in the Big Al Open hosted by Princeton University over the weekend of Friday, Nov. 11.

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Vitabile helps lead the Lions to a third-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. (Courtesy of Sports Information Desk)

Both the College’s men’s and women’s team were one of five schools that competed, including Princeton University, Fordham University, University of Connecticut and Lehigh University. While the College was the only Division III school invited to the event, the other four competed in the NCAA Division I category.

The tournament kicked off with the women’s and men’s 200-yard freestyle relays on Friday and wrapped up with 1- and 3-meter diving.

The 3-0 men’s team, which is ranked ninth in the nation for NCAA Division III, had a strong showing lead by seniors Andrew Nesbitt and Scott Vitabile.

The men finished third in both the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-freestyle relay. The medley relay team consisted of sophomore Alex Skoog, Nesbitt, Vitabile and junior Adam Coppola. They finished in an impressive third place and posted a time of 1:35.87.

The freestyle relay was led by Coppola, Vitabile, junior Philip Bianco and anchored by workhorse Nesbitt, who placed third in their event and finished with a time of 1:24.56 against a talented field.

Freshman Harrison Yi continued to turn heads this weekend when he finished eighth in the men’s 200-yard freestyle and posted a time of 1:43.16.

It was not the greatest weekend for the College’s men’s diving team. Senior David Adlai-Gail and freshman Matthew Bendik posted scores of 161.30 and 115.60, respectively.

Junior Hannah Raymond accumulated 221.20 points in the women’s 1-meter dive, finishing 10th in a close event.

The women’s swim team looked to use its momentum from a two-meet win streak — the College defeated Ramapo College this past week. Junior Marta Lawler finished with a 1:11.12 in the 100-yard breaststroke and junior Cassidy Bergeron posted a solid 57.58 in the 100-yard freestyle.

The 200 medley relay team of sophomore Hailey Thayer, and juniors Marta Lawler, Allison Huber and Emily Rothstein posted a 1:57.09 early the morning of Saturday, Nov. 12.

The Princeton men’s and women’s teams were feeling the home field advantage this weekend, as they dominated many events in the invitational.

The men’s and women’s teams look to build on their performances as focus shifts to New York University, which will face the Lions at the Aquatic Center on Saturday, Nov. 19. Every meet is important as more conference matchups are in store after Thanksgiving Break.