Women’s Swim & Dive capture Third in ECAC Championships

Cooper Mead, Staff Writer

The women’s swimming and diving team traveled to Annapolis, Md. to compete in the ECAC Championships. Finishing with 427.5 points, the team placed third overall behind Pittsburgh and Navy.

“In both meets, our ladies really stepped up,” Captain Melissa Besman ’14 said. “In my four years here I had never seen our team train harder in both the pool and weight room, and it really paid off. We earned a trophy at both meets! None of this could have been accomplished without the Bison pride that our ladies showed during their races and on the pool deck.”

The Bison women had a great first day led by Kelly Pontecorvo ’14, who helped propel the Bison to a fourth place standing after day one. Pontecorvo was an All-Patriot League selection and the first Bison to win an ECAC title in the 500 free (4:51.55). She was also the first Bison to win an ECAC title since 2009-2010. Pontecorvo was followed by Paige Daniel ’17 who placed 12th in the 500 free. In addition, Lauren Perry ’15 came in fourth in the 50 free and Emily Wright ’14 placed 11th. In the 200-IM Caroline Orem ’17 placed eighth while Jennifer Brennan ’14 came in 13th. The Bison 400-medley relay placed second (3:49.32) and the 200-free relay also placed fifth.

On day two of the competition, the Bison were led by Perry and placed fifthat the conclusion of the day. Perry is a three-time All-Patriot League selection and bested her own program record in the 200 free to give her a second-place finish. The Bison had another impressive showing in the 200 free, with Laureana Zrada ’17 placing seventh.

In the 400 IM, the Bison had three scorers led by Stephanie Koziol ’15 (seventh), Besman (ninth), and Orem (10th). Besman and Orem placed first and second in the consolation final of the 400 IM. Emma Levendoski ’16, who has been a four-time Patriot League backstroke champion, tied for seventh in the 100-back finals. Diana Hanson ’17 and Gina Gautieri ’15 finished ninth and 14th in the 100 breast stroke as well.

The day concluded with Brennan, Gautieri, Wright, and Hanson finishing sixth in the 200-medley relay, while Perry, Zrada, Pontecorvo, and Shroyer placed fourth in the 800-free relay.

Sunday was a productive day for the Bison, as they moved up two spots in the rankings to be behind only Pittsburgh and a dominant Navy team. Once again, Perry had a great performance in the 100 free as she came in second (51.65). Other scorers in the event included Wright (ninth) and Daniel (11th). Perry was also instrumental in the third place finish of the 400-free relay team composed of Wright, Shroyer, and Hanson.

In the 200 back, Levendoski placed fourth and was trailed by Orem (eighth), Shroyer (10th), Koziol (13th), and Rachel Brekovsky ’16 (16th). Emily Gwynn ’16 and Gautieri had impressive finishes in the 200 breast, coming in seventh and ninth, respectively. Her first-place finish in the consolation final with a time of 2:22.83 placed her at ninth on the ledger. Leanne Archer ’16 and Zrada both scored in the 1650 free with seventh and ninth place finishes.

“At our championship meets, every point mattered,” Besman said. “We didn’t have an undefeated dual meet record in the Patriot League, finish second at patriots, and third at ECACs because of a few good swimmers and divers. It took every lady Bison on our squad. A true team–everyone contributed to our successes.”

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