Jan. 7, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Just Bucknell and the Navy men were in action over the weekend to ring in 2014 last weekend, but a much busier set of days is ahead as competition ramps up. Unbelievably, there are just six weeks until the start of the 2014 Patriot League Championships.
The Navy men were victorious 157-143 over Princeton on Saturday in Annapolis, Md., with Tom Duvall sweeping the distance freestyle events and Ben Freedman winning off one board while posting a pair of NCAA zone-qualifying scores. It was a strong performance and a solid win for the Mids, who beat a 4-0 Tigers squad that has won five straight Ivy League crowns.
Mike Nicholson was the only Bison to win three individual events as the Bucknell men dropped a 172-127 decision to visiting Columbia. Nicholson also made history on Monday. He was named Patriot League Male Swimmer of the Week for the fourth time this season, giving him a League-record 15 citations for his career. The Bucknell women fell 184.5-110 to Rutgers in Lewisburg, Pa. Kaitlyn Utkewicz led the way with her first career victory in any event when she took gold in the 100-yard free.
Competition resumes Tuesday as Boston University battles Harvard in diving only in Puerto Rico. Dual meets continue on Friday as Lehigh visits Army in a clash of League foes. It’s the first of two meets for the Black Knights, who will also host Bucknell on Saturday at West Point, N.Y. Bucknell also has a second meet scheduled as it returns home to host Binghamton on Sunday. Two other squads compete Saturday at Navy visits North Carolina and Colgate heads to Cornell.
Patriot League Notebook
BACK TO LEJEUNE
MORE TEAMS, ANOTHER DAY
Bucknell and Navy continue to trade off hosting duties for the Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships, with the Mids taking the honors in 2014. Lejeune Hall will serve as the site of the newly-expanded 10-team championship from Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 19-22 in Annapolis, Md.
The Patriot League's expansion to 10 schools with the additions of Boston University and Loyola Maryland means that the swimming and diving championships will grow also. What has traditionally been a three-day meet spanning Thursday to Saturday will expand to four starting with the 2014 edition hosted in Annapolis, Md. While the exact order of events has yet to be officially announced, the duration of the championship increases by one day with festivities beginning on Wednesday.
NAVY TOPS PRESEASON POLLS
Coming off its second straight sweep at the Patriot League Swimming and Diving championships, Navy was named the favorite in the 2013 preseason poll of the head coaches and sports information directors who could not cast ballots for their own teams.
Both Mid teams topped their respective voting with 160 points and 16 first-place votes. In the men's poll, League newcomer Boston University took second with 141 points and three first-place votes, while 2013 championship runner-up Army was third with 137 points and the last remaining first-place ballot.
Bucknell came in fourth with 110 points, with Lehigh close behind with 100 points to take fifth. The League's second newcomer, Loyola Maryland, finished sixth in the men's voting with 68 points, while American (seventh, 60 points), Colgate (eighth, 57), Lafayette (ninth, 49) and Holy Cross (10th, 18) rounded out the men's balloting.
Just as in the men's poll, the Terriers claimed second in the women's balloting with 140 points and four first-place votes. Third place went to Bucknell with 127 points, while Colgate claimed fourth with 113. Army eclipsed the century mark in points to claim fifth in the poll with 101. The rest of the poll featured Lehigh (sixth, 77 points), Loyola (seventh, 76), Lafayette (eighth, 49), American (ninth, 39) and Holy Cross (10th, 18).
Patriot League Swimming and Diving Weekly Awards
MALE SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
MIKE NICHOLSON, BUCKNELL Sr., Chappaqua, N.Y.
Nicholson upped his season total to 22 individual race victories in Bucknell's 172-127 loss to Columbia on Saturday in his team's first meet of 2014. The senior collected three of his team's five victories against the Lions, winning the 200 fly (1:48.18), 200 breast (2:05.95) and 200 IM (1:52.70) to pace the Bison. His biggest margin of victory came in the 200 IM, where he touched the wall first by 3.7 seconds. In the 200 fly, he was one-tenth of a second shy of his own school record. It's Nicholson's League-record 15th career weekly honor.
FEMALE SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
KAITLYN UTKEWICZ, BUCKNELL Sr., Montville, N.J.
Utkewicz logged her first career victory in any event when she touched the wall first in 53.98 to take first in the 100-yard free in Bucknell's 184.5-110 loss to visiting Rutgers on Saturday, and was one of just two Bison swimmers to capture individual races. She added a second-place showing in the 40 free (24.83) and was part of Bucknell's top finishing relays in the 200 medley (1:50.65) and 400 free (3:38.43).
MALE DIVER OF THE WEEK
BEN FREEDMAN, NAVY Sr., Kennewick, Wash.
Freedman helped Navy pick up a 157-143 victory over a previously-unbeaten Princeton squad on Saturday in Annapolis, Md., by winning the one-meter dive and adding a third-place showing from the three-meter board. Freedman scored 320.03 points to capture first from the one-meter board and netted 340.50 points in the three-meter dive, giving him a pair of NCAA zone-qualifying scores. He now has nine victories on the season, five in the one-meter event.
FEMALE DIVER OF THE WEEK
KATIE HETHERINGTON, BUCKNELL Jr., Houston, Texas
Hetherington posted a pair of season-high scores off the boards for Bucknell in its 184.5-110 loss to Rutgers on Saturday at Kinney Natatorium. The junior from Houston, Texas, won the one-meter dive with 257.75 points and added a second-place showing from the three-meter board with 277.25 points. Both totals were just shy of NCAA zone qualification. Hetherington now has four wins on the season and two from the one-meter board.
TYLER WENZEL, BUCKNELL So., Telford, Pa.
Finished second in both dives, notching a career-best 283.75 points from the three-meter board in Bucknell's loss to Columbia on Saturday. Scored 243.50 points from the one-meter board and was his team's top finisher in both events.
TOM DUVALL, NAVY So., Durham, N.H.
Won both distance freestyle events, taking the 500 in 4:35.37 and the 1,000 in 9:26.17 in Navy's 157-143 victory over Princeton on Saturday in Annapolis, Md. Duvall has now won 11 of his 15 races this season and improved to 8-2 in the distance freestyles.