CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - A busy weekend is on tap for Patriot League swimming and diving teams as the calendar drives towards the Thanksgiving holiday next week.
American and Navy are the first ones in competition, as both are in the pool Thursday. Navy is taking part in the Nike Cup in Chapel Hill, N.C., while the Eagles take the short drive to Fairfax, Va., to compete in the George Mason Invitational.
Seven of the League's eight teams will face some kind of competition during the weekend, most of it in the invitational variety. But there will be some dual meets on the schedule, including the annual Lafayette-Lehigh battle that takes place the night before the schools duke it out on the football field. This season the Leopards welcome the Mountain Hawks to Easton, Pa., for Friday's matchup. The swimming portion of the meet is slated for 6 p.m., while diving will begin earlier in the day.
The one school not scheduled to compete is Colgate. The Raiders are coming off a busy stretch of their own, after both squads had back-to-back dual meets last weekend. The women came out with a 2-1 record, finishing with victories over Siena and Niagara in Saturday's tri-meet.
Last weekend also featured a League meet in Lewisburg, Pa., when Lafayette visited Bucknell. The Leopards were originally scheduled to host a quad meet with League foes American, Bucknell and Navy visiting Easton Nov. 3, but power issues in the wake of Hurricane Sandy made that impossible. The Bison picked up two wins over Lafayette, but it gave the Leopards a crucial opportunity to get back into the pool leading up to Friday's meet with rival Lehigh.
Patriot League Notebook - Quick Hits and More
Katie Hetherington won the one- and three-meter dives in Bucknell's win over Lafayette last week. She led a Bison sweep of the top five slots from both boards against the Leopards.
Colgate's Emma Santoro won three events last week, taking the 200 breast and 400 IM wins against Buffalo and hitting the wall first in the 200 free in the tri-meet with Niagara and Siena.
Bucknell's Mike Nicholson won three events in Bucknell's 186-112 win over Lafayette. His victories came in the 1,00 free, 100 breast and 200 back.
Army has a busy weekend coming up, including three days at the Galbraith Diving Invitational at Rutgers, plus dual meets Saturday against Columbia (men) and C.W. Post (women).
Holy Cross returns to the pool for the first time in three weeks beginning Friday at the Terrier Invitational at Boston University.
After three days at the Nike Cup, Navy will gear up for the annual rivalry meet against Army, set for Dec. 6 in Philadelphia.
NGUYEN DOES IT AGAIN Army senior diver Chris Nguyen picked up another Patriot League weekly honor Monday after eclipsing the NCAA zone qualifying marks in both the one-meter and three-meter competitions. He scored 355.95 points from the three-meter board, surpassing the NCAA mark by almost 36 points, while tallying over 314 points in the one-meter competition. The NCAA qualifier from the one-meter board is 300 points. Nguyen garnered his third Male Diver of the Week nod this season and 13th of his career.
NAVY PICKED TO REPEAT BOTH TITLES Seven months after sweeping the 2012 championships, Navy has been selected the favorite in both men and women's swimming and diving in 2013, it was announced in September. The Mids topped the men's preseason poll with the maximum 98 points with 14 first-place votes, and garnered the No. 1 spot in the women's voting with 95 points and 11 first-place tallies. Colgate and Bucknell are expected to be Navy's top competition on the women's side, as the Raiders finished second and third, respectively, in the poll. Bucknell and Army sat second and third, respectively, in the men's voting.
Patriot League Weekly Awards
MALE SWIMMER OF THE WEEK AYMAN ANDREWS, ARMYSr., Sussex, N.J. Andrews posted two first place finishes as the Black Knights posted a XXX-XXX victory over Buffalo Saturday at West Point. The senior from Sussex, N.J. hit the wall first in the 100 fly in 49.02 and took first in the 200 fly with a time of 1:51.16. His third swim of the meet was part of the Black Knights' 400-yard medley relay that finished second.
FEMALE SWIMMER OF THE WEEK COURTNEY PATTERSON, LEHIGHFr., Cherry Hill, N.J. Patterson led Lehigh in four different events, including picking up the victory for the Mountain Hawks in the 200 free on the second day of the Big Al Open hosted by Princeton. It was her best event of the weekend, where she finished with a 1:51.92. She added a pair of top-three individual finishes, taking runner-up in the 1,650 free (17:34.38) and third in the 200 IM (2:06.46). Patterson also swam the leadoff leg of Lehigh's 800 free relay on Saturday.
MALE DIVER OF THE WEEK CHRIS NGUYEN, ARMYSr., Cheshire, Conn. Nguyen dominated the boards in Army's weekend victory over Buffalo. The senior scored 355.95 points from the three-meter board to take first by more than 65 points and eclipse the NCAA standard by over 30. Nguyen was also victorious in the one-meter competition with a winning score of 314.32, surpassing the NCAA standard again and clearing the field by over 30 points.
FEMALE DIVER OF THE WEEK KIM PILKA, COLGATESr., Great Falls, Va. Pilka grabs her second straight Female Diver of the Week nod after capturing three first-place finishes and one runner-up showing in four outings over the weekend. She scored 259.55 points to take first from the one-meter while adding a second-place effort with 262.90 points in Friday's dual meet against Buffalo. On day two of the Raiders' busy weekend, Pilka swept the two boards as Colgate posted two wins over Niagara and Siena. She scored 267.68 points from the one-meter board, and added a winning score of 267.38 in the three-meter competition.
HONORABLE MENTIONS NAT BEALE, ARMYFr., Baltimore, Md. Beale swept the 100 and 200 back events in 58.62 and 2:07.69, respectively, while taking second in the 200 IM (2:09.42) to pace Army in its loss to Buffalo.
KATIE HETHERINGTON, BUCKNELLSo., Houston, Texas Hetherington swept the boards in Bucknell's win over League rival Lafayette Saturday, scoring 248.25 points from the one-meter and 234.23 in the three-meter competition.
MIKE NICHOLSON, BUCKNELLJr., Chappaqua, N.Y. Nicholson accounted for three individual wins in the Bison's 186-112 win over Lafayette. He won the 1,000 free, 100 breast and 200 back races.
EMMA SANTORO, COLGATESr., Fall River, Mass. Santoro took first in the 400 IM (4:29.82) and 200 breast (2:21.87) against Buffalo and in the 200 free (1:55.88) in the tri-meet against Niagara and Siena over the weekend.
DEMETRI KAREDIS, LEHIGHJr., Orefield, Pa. Karedis defended his title in the 50 free at the Big Al Open at Princeton, winning in 20.94.