Lehigh's Connor Styles became the second diver this year to qualify for NCAA Zones in March.
Nov. 16, 2011
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — As is usually the case with the swimming and diving schedule, one week is a feast of action and the other is a famine. After Navy hosted three League teams Nov. 5 and all of the other competition that was on the schedule that weekend, last week was a relative famine with Colgate and Lehigh the only two League squads in the pool.
Both the Raider men and women went 1-1 last weekend, losing Saturday at Buffalo but returning home Sunday to post a sweep over Niagara. Sophomore Megan Jex was named Female Swimmer of the Week after posting two individual wins against Purple Eagles, while junior Kim Pilka nabbed her first Female Diver of the Week award of the season after winning both diving events against the Purple Eagles. Senior Casey Powers paced the men with three first-place swims, including winning the 1,000 free in 10:14.2, over 45 seconds better than second place. Powers and Dan Sweeney were multiple winners against Niagara.
Lehigh competed at the Princeton Invitational, a non-scored meet, but the Mountain Hawks posted several impressive performances. Sophomore Demetri Karedis was named Male Swimmer of the Week after clocking a school-record 20.33 to win the 50 free. He’s Lehigh’s first Male Swimmer of the Week since Tyler Lareau in the early stages of the 2009-10 season and the fifth in school history.
Senior Connor Styles became the second League diver to qualify for NCAA Zones when he scored a 301.75 from the one-meter board. He joins Army’s Chris Nguyen, who qualified for Zones from the three-meter board last week. Styles is Lehigh’s first Male Diver of the Week since the 2007-08 campaign.
While last week was relatively quiet, the schedule explodes once again this weekend. Thursday ushers in a very busy four-day stretch where all eight schools will face some kind of competition. American returns to the pool for the first time since the Navy quad when it opens a three-day competition at the George Mason Invitational. Army begins the two-day Rutgers Diving Invitational on Thursday, wihle Navy opens three day’s worth of competition at the Nike Cup in Chapel Hill, N.C. The men and women from all three schools will be in action.
Bucknell will open the three-day Bucknell Invitational Friday in Lewisburg, Pa., at 10 a.m., with League rival Colgate also coming to town to participate. Holy Cross returns to action Friday for the Terrier Invitational at Boston University, which is scheduled for three days. American, Army and Navy will continue their competitions that began Thursday. In addition, the Army women will visit C.W. Post, while the annual Lehigh-Lafayette tilt is slated for Bethlehem, Pa. Both duals are set for 6 p.m.
The Army men visit Columbia for a 12 p.m. dual Saturday afternoon, while American, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross and Navy will remain engaged in their respective meets.
The weekend closes Sunday when the Bucknell and Terrier invitationals finish up.
Patriot League Weekly Awards
MALE SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
DEMETRI KAREDIS, LEHIGH So., Orefield, Pa.
Karedis captured a pair of individual wins as Lehigh competed in the Princeton Invitational Friday and Saturday in Princeton, N.J. He took the title in the 50-yard free, posting a school-record time of 20.33, which was just .04 seconds short of an NCAA B-cut qualification. He also won the 100 free in 45.91 and was part of Lehigh’s winning 200 free relay, in which we swam the first leg.
FEMALE SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
MEGAN JEX, COLGATE So., Carmel, Ind.
Jex captured her second and third victories of the season, helping the Raiders post a 170-70 victory against visiting Niagara Sunday at Lineberry Natatorium in Hamilton, N.Y. The sophomore from Carmel, Ind., took first in the 200 back with a 2:10.62 clocking and added a first-place showing in the 200 breast in 2:28.56. She won the 200 breast by over four seconds and took first in the 200 back by six ticks.
MALE DIVER OF THE WEEK
CONNOR STYLES, LEHIGH Sr., Chappaqua, N.Y.
Styles became the second Patriot League diver in as many weeks to qualify for NCAA Zones, posting a score of 301.75 from the one-meter board to take fourth at the Princeton Invitational. He also competed in the three-meter event with a 274.40 to take sixth.
FEMALE DIVER OF THE WEEK
KIM PILKA, COLGATE Jr., Great Falls, Va.
Pilka swept the one- and three-meter diving events Sunday for Colgate, helping give the Raiders a 170-70 victory over Niagara in their first home meet of the year. She collected 249.89 points in the one-meter competition and scored 246.23 from the three-meter board. It’s her second and third wins of the year, as she also won the one-meter dive in the season opener at Lehigh.
ALISSA LEUNG, LEHIGH Fr., Garden City, N.Y.
Leung competed in three individual events and four relays at the Princeton Invitational last weekend for the Mountain Hawks, where she took second in the 100 back for her highest finish.
Patriot League Notebook
LEHIGH’S STYLES JOINS ARMY’S NGUYEN
Army junior Chris Nguyen has begun the 2011-12 season performing as well as did at the end of last season, when he was named the Male Diver of the Meet by the head coaches at the Patriot League Championships. He scored a 351.22 from the three-meter board in a win over visiting Connecticut earlier this season, giving him a point total good enough to qualify for the NCAA Zone Diving Meet coming up in March. Nguyen moved over this week as Lehigh’s Connor Styles scored a 301.75 from the one-meter board to add his name to the list of Zones qualifiers.
Top times for the student-athletes in the Patriot League are available by going to the Patriot League Swimming and Diving homepage at http://www.patriotleague.org/sports/c-swim/patr-c-swim-body.html. There fans can find the Top Times link in the sidebar on the right side of the page underneath the standings. That will bring up CollegeSwimming.com. To find the League’s top times in all swimming events, make sure to change the conference setting to “PL.”
NAVY SEEKING SAME SHOWING AT NIKE CUP
Two Mids swimmers posted NCAA B-cut times last season at the Nike Cup, and they’re looking for a similar - if not better - result this time around. Mac Anthony clocked the first B-cut qualifiers of his junior season in Chapel Hill, N.C., a year ago, doing so in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles. In the latter, he reached his first B-cut standard in the trials and improved upon it in the finals by four seconds. Laura Gorinski, now a junior, posted her own trio of B-cut times and broke the Patriot League and Navy records in the 200 breast, marks she surpassed again just two weeks later.
NAVY AIMS FOR ANOTHER TROPHY
The Navy men extended their record run to eight consecutive Patriot League Championships last season when they captured the trophy at Bucknell. While the Mids have already secured the mark for most consecutive titles, they can focus on tying rival Army for the most men’s crowns in League history. The Black Knights dominated in the early years of the League, capturing nine championships in a 10-year span from 1992-2001, with 1999 the sole exception when Lehigh won the hardware. If the preseason poll is any indication, Navy will pull even with Army in most men’s championships at this season’s meet in Annapolis, Md. The men collected the maximum 98 points and 14 first-place votes, with Army (second, 83 points) and Bucknell (third, 73) splitting the remaining two. Lehigh was picked fourth with 59 points, followed by Colgate (56), Lafayette (33), American (32) and Holy Cross (14).
THREE OUT OF FOUR AND LOOKING FOR MORE
Colgate has won three of the last four League titles on the women’s side and led wire to wire at last year’s championship meet with first-year head coach Fernando Canales at the helm. The Raiders will look for their fourth crown when the championships return to Navy’s Lejeune Hall Feb. 16-18. Colgate finished first in the preseason poll with 95 points and 13 first-place votes, but the host Mids were right behind with 87 points and the last three first-place ballots. It was the Mids who snapped Colgate’s two-year championship run by winning the trophy in 2010, when the League meet was last held in Annapolis, Md. Bucknell took third in the women’s preseason voting with 74 points, while Army was fourth with 60. Rounding out the poll was Lehigh in fifth with 46 points, American in sixth with 45, followed by Lafayette (seventh, 27) and Holy Cross (eighth, 14).
YOUR HOST FOR THE EVENING
The 2012 Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships will return to Lejeune Hall on the campus of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., starting Feb. 16 and running through Feb. 18. Preliminary heats are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. with the finals starting at 6 p.m. Navy and Bucknell have alternated the hosting duties for the League championship meet for the last several years. The Mids swept both the men and women’s titles the last time Lejeune hosted the championships in 2010. The men captured their seventh straight championship, while the women secured their record 10th title and snapped Colgate’s two-year run with the trophy.
APR GRADE IS A-OK
Patriot League schools once again excelled when the NCAA released its most recent Academic Progress Rate in May. Ninety-seven percent of League teams came in at or above the national Division I four-year average score of 970. In addition, over 65 percent of League teams tallied a score of 990 or better. Eighty-two teams from full-member institutions and 73 League-sponsored squads were awarded NCAA Public Recognition Awards for scoring in the top 10 percent of their sport’s APR.