Women’s swimming breaks records, steals 2nd Place in PL Championships

Lauren Whelan, Assistant Sports Editor

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For the third consecutive year, the women’s swimming and diving team captured second place in the Patriot League Championships. Starting on Feb. 18, the team began its strong overall showing by breaking the school record for the 200-medley relay. Teammates Emma Levendoski ’16, Ashley Henderson ’16, Julianna Foss ’18, and Maddi Marcheskie ’18 finished the race with a time of 1:42.61. Levendoski also finished first in both backstroke events for the third consecutive year and Diana Hanson ’17 had a first place finish in the 100 breast to help the Bison to their second place victory overall.

The championships started with a bang when the 200 medley relay placed second with a school record in the first event of the meet. The second event that occurred on the opening night was the 800 free relay, which also saw a strong showing from the Bison. Finishing fifth in the race, the team of Lauren Perry ’15, Rachel McGoff ’17, Stephanie Koziol ’15, and Dani Potis ’18 set a new top-ten time in the event, finishing for second place in program history.

The Orange and Blue continued to find success on the second day of competition, finishing the day in second place. Important contributions came from Amber McDonnell ’17, Caroline Orem ’17, McGoff, Hanson, and Henderson in the 200 IM. Combined with 65 points from divers Tori Molchany ’15, Katie Hetherington ’15, Tally Ford ’18, Lara Curtis ’16, and Tara Boyle ’15, the Bison finished the day just one spot below Navy, the reigning Patriot League champions.

Friday’s competition featured big wins from Levendoski and Hanson, who each placed first in their respective events. Levendoski took the title for the 100 back and Hanson had her first career title in the 100 breast. Hanson’s finishing time broke her own school record, placing the new bar at 1:03.33. Another school record was replaced after the 400-medley relay of Levendoski, Hanson, Foss, and McGoff placed second with a time of 3:44.88. The conclusion of Friday’s competition advanced every Bison swimmer to the finals, and the Orange and Blue held on to their second-place slot going into the final day of the championships.

Saturday saw the completion of Levendoski’s backstroke sweep.

“My favorite moment of the meet was finishing the 200 back, looking up at the scoreboard and seeing that Ashley Henderson had finished in second place right behind me with a best time ahead of the Navy girl in third place. We always say how it would be awesome to go 1, 2 in that event so it was nice for it to actually happen this year,” Levendoski said.

Other successes featured top ten finishes from the divers included Boyle, Hetherington, and Ford, who placed third, sixth, and ninth respectively in the three-meter. Gina Gautieri ’15 placed seventh in the 200 breast, Perry placed ninth in the 100 free, and the 400 medley relay team placed sixth to round out the top-ten scores for the day.

The Bison rounded out the championships with an impressive second-place finish behind Navy, who won the meet for the fourth consecutive year. Up next is the ECAC Championships for the Orange and Blue, and they look to continue their success next weekend in Pittsburgh from Feb. 27 to March 1.

“I’m looking forward to giving it all I’ve got for the last championship meet of the season and am hoping to carve out some best times!” Levendoski said.

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