Swimming and diving hosts West Virginia, Bison Invite

Scott Goldstein, Staff Writer

The Bison men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted West Virginia University on Jan. 27 for the first time in team history, in addition to American University, Lafayette College, Seton Hall University, Navy, and Shippensburg University at the Bison Invite on Jan. 28. Despite strong performances from Louis Behnen ’17 and Chris Devlin ’18, the men’s team fell to West Virginia University 83-156 in the historic first meeting.

Behnen had two first-place finishes in the 400-yard IM, setting a personal season best time of 4:02.43, and the 500-yard freestyle by over six seconds. Devlin won his 14th consecutive 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:50.17, inching out teammate Jack Robinson ’17, who finished second. Charlie McFarland ’19 and Chadd Cummings ’19 also enjoyed second place finishes in the 50-yard freestyle and 200-yard breaststroke, respectively. In addition, the Orange and Blue 400-yard freestyle relay team, composed of Robinson, Matt McGoey ’20, Behnen, and McFarland, finished second place as well.

The women’s team shared a similar result, falling to West Virginia University 81-158 despite having six runner-up finishes. Three Bison finished 2-3-4 in two events. In the 100-yard freestyle, Brittany Bishop ’19, Caroline Edelman ’18, and Rachel Perry ’17 finished second, third, and fourth, respectively. In the 200-yard breaststroke, Mary Weinstein ’19, Leah Bloodgood ’18, and Brooke Collins ’20 finished 2-3-4, respectively. Collins additionally enjoyed a second place finish in the 400-yard IM, followed by Abby Merriman ’20.

On Jan. 28, the men’s and women’s teams each finished first in three events during the Bison Invite. For the men’s team, wins came from McFarland, Kyle Bloom ’18, and Sam Rutan ’18 in the 200-yard freestyle, 50-yard freestyle, and 200-yard backstroke, respectively. McGoey finished second place in 400-yard IM, losing by three one-hundredths of a second, and a third place finish in the 200-yard butterfly. Devlin finished second in the 500-yard freestyle, posting the third fastest time on the team this season.

For the women’s team, Bishop beat out 46 swimmers in the 200-yard IM in a first-place finish, followed by Paige Daniel ’17, Emma Hadley ’20, and Merriman, finishing 2-3-4 respectively. Caroline Orem ’17 won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.65, followed by teammate Megan Barpoulis ’19. Julianna Foss ’18 won the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:28.62, finishing just over one second away from cracking the top 10 school records.

“I’m really proud of our team. Everyone swam their hardest and I look forward to our chances during the Patriot League Championships,” Mitch Buccalo ’19 said.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will compete in the Patriot League Championships starting Feb. 15.

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