By Melissa Baracato Staff writer
Susquehanna’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams showed off their talents this past weekend at the Landmark Conference Championships held in Germantown, Maryland, where the men placed third overall and the women took home the championship for the seventh consecutive year.
Men’s swimming finished in third with 569.5 points and the women topped all scoring with 842 points.
“I was really pleased with our overall results,” Head Coach Jerry Foley said. “[The teams] were extremely enthusiastic and really came together as a collective program. The men and women supported each other which was really nice to see.”
On the men’s side, Catholic came away as the winner with 809 points and Scranton edged out the River Hawks with 584.5. Following Susquehanna was Drew with 423, Marrywood with 301, Elizabethtown with 282 and Goucher with 246.
Key races in men’s meet were the 200-yard breaststroke in which freshman Shane Sullivan took first with a time of 2:08.88. Teammates sophomore Ryan Prater and freshman Jake Mount also took 13th and 14th in the event.
Alongside Sullivan’s first-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke, Susquehanna also came in first in the 4×100 freestyle relay with the team of seniors Eric Lawrence and David Miller, sophomore James Orzolek and freshman David Grove with a time of 3:11.20.
Orzolek made up time for the River Hawks during his 100-yard section of the relay, and pulled away for the first-place finish.
Senior Bill Crumrine took second in the 1,650-yard free, with sophomore Ryan Nathan placing in eighth.
Freshman Owen Madden took second in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:57.32, and freshman Bryan Colby finished in 10th in the same event.
Orzolek and Grove also took second and third in the 100- yard freestyle, respectively, and Lawrence cruised to third in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:58.69. Sophomore Ryan Rizzuto and junior Henry Chang also took seventh and 13th in the event, respectively.
As for the women’s team, the River Hawks won in a landslide, scoring 842 overall points on the weekend. Scranton finished second with a score of 578.5 points and was followed by Catholic with 559.5, Drew with 485, Marywood with 351, Goucher with 229, Elizabethtown with 201 and Juniata with 127.
Senior Ashlee Weingarten took first in the 200-yard butterfly with the time of 2:06.68, along with senior Lizzie Richart and freshman Erin Wetmore placing sixth and eighth, respectively.
Weingarten was also part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team that set a new school record with a time of 3:35.49, along with juniors Jessica Jozefiak and Joanna Butkus and sophomore Katie Willis.
Butkus also took first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:25.08, just narrowly beating out teammate sophomore Megan Duck who took a close second.
Senior Paige Wagner placed fourth in the event and senior Caroline Henderson placed tenth.
Senior Erin McElwee placed third in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:10.22, followed by freshmen Megan Shaffer in fifth and Colleen Walsh in eighth.
Freshman Caitlin Kelly took third in the 1,650-yard freestyle with 18:09.93 followed by freshman Hannah Finton in fourth, junior Lindsey Vankirk in fifth, Erin Wetmore in sixth and senior Morgan Sattler in eighth.
Willis also finished fourth in 100-yard freestyle with Jozefiak and sophomore Margaux Palaski in seventh and eighth place, respectively.
This will be the seventh straight year that the women have taken home the Landmark Conference Championship.
“I never set it as a team goal for us to win in a given year. We just try to get better and improve as a group, but it’s certainly satisfying when you can win and it feels good to win,” Foley said.
This championship concludes a successful season for Susquehanna swimming for both the men’s and women’s teams.
“It was just enjoyable all the way around. I think in particular our leaders in the senior class did a really good job of keeping the team together and helping them to perform their best at conferences. It takes experience to perform well,” Foley said.
Foley and his staff also took home the Landmark Conference Swimming and Diving Coaching Staff of the Year award. This is the third consecutive win for the staff and fourth overall.