Oct. 29, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The last weekend of October was a busy one for Patriot League swimming and diving teams, and many will rest this upcoming weekend as the calendar turns to November.
Lafayette and Lehigh opened their seasons last weekend and will square off in a few short weeks for their annual meet the night before their football programs square off for the 149th time. Army was swept at Connecticut despite first-place swims from sophomore Chris Szekely and rookie Ariana Bullard and a pair of top-two dives from Josh Urnezis. Navy faced off against six-time ACC champions Virginia, while the women also added a meet loss against Yale. Bucknell took on another ACC foe in Pittsburgh.
This weekend Loyola Maryland welcomes three teams to its Thomas Murphy Invitational, Colgate visits Lehigh in the Raiders' season opener while the Mountain Hawk men also take on NJIT, and Boston University returns to the pool for a dual with Fordham. The following week's schedule consists of one meet, but it's a big one. Bucknell will welcome American, Lafayette and Navy to Lewisburg, Pa., for a quad.
Patriot League Notebook
THE LAST TO OPEN
With Lafayette and Lehigh diving into the pool for the first time last weekend, Colgate remains the only League school without a competition under its belt. But that changes this weekend when the Raiders head a few hours south to visit Lehigh on Saturday for a 1 p.m. start.
LOYOLA HONORS FORMER COACH
QUICK OFF THE BLOCKS
This weekend Loyola Maryland will hold its annual two-day Thomas Murphy Invitational, named in honor of the program's former long-time coach who was diagnosed with cancer. Murphy passed away in 1999, but his memory lives on in several forms. Before the final session of the meet, one Greyhound student-athlete will be announced as the recipient of the Thomas J. Murphy Scholarship, awarded based on academic performance and financial need. Loyola will host Johns Hopkins, Marywood and Saint Francis (Pa.) during the two-day meet that begins Friday. The Hounds will look to build off the momentum started last weekend after the women swept a quad meet against Lafayette, Drexel and Seton Hall.
The Lehigh women began their season with a 3-0 burst last weekend, their best start in over a decade in Bethlehem, Pa. The Mountain Hawks logged a pair of season-opening wins on Friday at West Chester, beating the hosts 128.5-97.5 and adding a 159-55 victory over Bloomsburg. On Saturday went to Rider and collected a 193-103 win. Kaitlyn Ruffing led the Lehigh charge with four individual wins and seven total including relays.
ALL OF A SUDDEN...
For several years there had not been any ties in the final score of a swim meet for a Patriot League school. As the old saying goes, "When it rains, it pours." That's because two meets last week ended in ties, including one that was the first meeting between two schools as League foes. After the Holy Cross women swam to a 147-all draw with Siena on Wednesday, the Lafayette and Loyola men finished in a 150-150 tie during Saturday's quad meet in Baltimore.
BACK TO LEJEUNE
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.
MORE TEAMS, ANOTHER DAY
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 collected two of his team's four first-place finishes in Saturday's 199-99 loss to visiting Pittsburgh. The senior won the 400 IM by 2.76 seconds (3:59.57) and won gold in the 200 fly by 39-hundredths of a second (1:50.13). His 200 fly time was the closest any Patriot Leaguer came to reaching an NCAA B cut time last week.
FEMALE SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
EMMA LEVENDOSKI, BUCKNELL So., Mandeville, La.
The 2013 Rookie of the Patriot League Championship Meet has shown no signs of a sophomore slump so far this fall. As the only Bison to win an event, she captured gold in both the 100 and 200 backs in Saturday's 209-90 loss to Pittsburgh. She took first in the 100 back by 1.18 seconds (57.03), and finished 2.03 seconds ahead of the field in the 200 back with a time of 2:02.02. She was also part of two top-three relay efforts for the Bison.
MALE DIVER OF THE WEEK
WIL MAYO, NAVY Sr., The Woodlands, Texas
Mayo was impressive against some of the best competition the Mids will see all season. Against reigning six-time ACC champion Virginia, Mayo took fourth off both boards with 287.40 in the three-meter competition and 271.90 in the one-meter in a 212-88 loss to the Cavaliers. He was the top placing Mid from the one-meter board and the second-highest finisher on the team from the three-meter.
FEMALE DIVER OF THE WEEK
KATIE HETHERINGTON, BUCKNELL Jr., Houston, Texas
Hetherington posted solid scores as Bucknell's top diver in Saturday's meet against Pittsburgh. Making her season debut, the junior took third from the three-meter board with 260.48 points and added a fourth-place showing in the one-meter competition with 241.65 points.
ARIANA BULLARD, ARMY Fr., Carmel, Ind.
Swept the 100 and 200 fly events in Army's 188-112 loss at Connecticut. Won the 100 fly in 55.90 and touched first in the 200 fly in 2:05.72.
JOSH URNEZIS, ARMY Jr., Kihei, Hawaii
Won the one-meter dive with 264.52 points and added silver in the three-meter (240.75) in Army's 192-107 defeat at Connecticut.
TYLER WENZEL, BUCKNELL So., Telford, Pa.
Posted two fourth-place showings against Pittsburgh, notching 282.08 points from the three-meter board and 252.45 in the one-meter competition.
KAITLYN RUFFING, LEHIGH Fr., Murrysville, Pa.
Won four individual races and was part of three victorious relay efforts as Lehigh opened its season 3-0, its best start in over a decade. Touched both times she swam the 50 and 100 frees, posting a weekend-best 23.87 in the 50 and 52.55 in the 100.
CAITLIN CRONIN, LOYOLA MARYLAND Sr., Kingston, Mass.
Took gold in the 100 free (52.56) and added runner-up finishes in the 50 free (24.43) and 200 IM (2:11.63) as the Greyhounds won a quad meet on Saturday over Lafayette, Drexel and Seton Hall.