Bucknell Hosts Columbia Men, Rutgers Women In Three-School Dual

LEWISBURG, Pennsylvania, January 4. THE Rutgers women’s swimming and diving team topped Bucknell, 184.5-110, while the Columbia men topped Bucknell, 172-127, in a three-school dual meet in Lewisburg, Penn. this afternoon. Rutgers won 13 of 16 events in the women’s meet while Columbia earned victories in 11 of the 16 men’s events on the day. Rutgers’ Joanna Wu and Mary Moser and Columbia’s Mike Nicholson each won three individual events to lead their respective schools.

Rutgers Press Release

The Rutgers swimming and diving team opened the 2014 calendar year with an impressive 184.5-110 road win over Bucknell University Saturday afternoon. RU secured 13 first place finishes of the day’s 16 events. Sophomore Joanna Wu (Kent, Wash.) and senior Mary Moser (Wyomissing, Pa.) each won three individual events and added a fourth first-place finish as members of the 200 yard medley relay to lead the Scarlet Knights,

“This was a good way to start off the second half of the season,” said head coach Phil Spiniello. “I am happy with the results in both swimming and diving and look forward to continuing to work towards our goals at the American Athletic Conference Championship meet in February.”

Rutgers started off the day with a one-two finish in the 200 yard medley relay, as the squad of Wu, junior Greta Leberfinger (Chatham, N.J.), senior Brittany Guinee (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) and Moser teamed up to finish in a first-place time of 1:46.76. Coming in a close second was the foursome of sophomore Morgan Pfaff (Red Lion, Pa.), freshman Rachel Stoddard (Hillsborough, N.J.), sophomore Sophie Newton (Leesburg, Va.) and senior Chelsea Rolin (Saint-Lazare, QC, Canada), who clocked in at 1:49.32.

In the 200 freestyle, Rutgers also went one-two, with Moser claiming first place, followed by Pfaff in second. Moser added two additional first-place finishes in the 50 free (24.17) and 100 butterfly (56.66).

Wu wrapped up her day by finishing first in the 100 backstroke (56.62), the 200 backstroke (2:02.59) and the 500 freestyle (5:02.38).

Leberfinger, Perrotti and Stoddard would capture the top three spots in both the 100 breaststroke and the 200 breaststroke. In the 100 breast, Leberfinger’s time of 1:04.50 led the way, followed by Perroti and Stoddard at 1:06.14 and 1:07.57, respectively. In the 200, Leberfinger again led the troops at 2:21.50, while Stoddard finished second (2:24.22) and Perrotti captured third (2:24.58).

Also posting first-place finishes on the day were Guinee in the 200 butterfly (1:53.59) and Pfaff in the 200 yard I.M. (2:05.55). Junior Brogan Lee (Lindstrom, Minn.) added a second-place performance in the 1000 free with a mark of 10:35.92.

The Scarlet Knights closed out the swimming events with its second relay win of the day in the 400 yard freestyle relay. Stoddard, freshman Meghan Kiely (Mountain Lakes, N.J.), Coyne and Newton combined for a time of 3:36.52.

On the boards, senior Nicole Scott (Toronto, Canada) finished first in the 3-meter dive with a score of 286.35. Scott also finished second on the 1-meter board with 254.20 points.

Rutgers returns to action on Friday, Jan. 10 at Illinois.

Bucknell Women’s Press Release

Katie Hetherington, Kelly Pontecorvo and Kaitlyn Utkewicz posted victories, but the Bucknell women’s swimming and diving team returned from a nearly month-long layoff without a meet with a 184.5-110 loss to Rutgers Saturday afternoon at Kinney Natatorium. The Bison fell to 5-2 on the season, while the Scarlet Knights improved to 5-1.

Bucknell recorded nine runner-up finishes during the meet, but Hetherington, Pontecorvo and Utkewicz stood out with wins. Hetherington won the one-meter diving event with a season-high score of 257.75. She also finished second off the three-meter board with a season-high 277.25, a mark that is better than any other diver in program history. Hetherington has finished in the top three off the three-meter board five times in six meets this year.

Pontecorvo’s win came in the 1,000 free, marking her fourth victory in that event this season. She was one of four Bison in the top five in the 1,000 free as Melissa Besman, Paige Daniel and Leanne Archer touched the wall third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Pontecorvo was also Bucknell’s top finisher in the 500 free, placing second overall. She was just .49 seconds behind the winner with a time of 5:02.87. No one else in the race finished in less than 5:11.00.

Utkewicz recorded her first win of the season by finishing first in the 100 free. She was the top Bison finisher in the 50 free as well, touching the wall second. Utkewicz was also part of Bucknell’s top finishing groups in both the 200 medley relay (third) and 400 free relay (second). Utkewicz swam the final leg of the medley relay and the second leg of the free relay.

Emma Levendoski swam the leadoff leg of both relays and also posted a pair of second-place showings in the 100 and 200 backstroke. She was nearly 2.5 seconds ahead of the next-best finisher in the 100 back and 1.2 seconds ahead of third place in the 200 back.

Amber McDonnell matched Levendoski with a pair of second-place showings. She was second in the 200 fly and 200 IM. She was one spot ahead of Kristen Purdy in the 200 IM. Purdy also placed second in the 100 fly, one spot ahead of McDonnell, to round out the list of top-two finishing Bison on Saturday.

Diver Lara Curtis placed seventh out of 11 off the three-meter board, but her score of 206.00 was a career-best mark and improved her 10th-place standing in Bucknell’s all-time record book.

Columbia also had a handful of student-athletes compete Saturday and totaled 27.5 points.

Bucknell will return to action next Saturday, Jan. 11, when it travels to Army for a 1 p.m. meet. The Bison will then host Binghamton the next day (Jan. 12) at 1 p.m.

Bucknell Men’s Press Release

Mike Nicholson won three events and was one-tenth of a second shy of matching his own school record in the 200 fly to lead the Bucknell men’s swimming and diving team during a 172-127 loss to Columbia Saturday afternoon at Kinney Natatorium. The Bison fell to 5-2 on the season, while the Lions improved to 3-2.

Nicholson collected three of Bucknell’s five victories in the meet as he won the 200 fly, 200 breast and 200 IM. His three wins came by a combined 5.70 seconds as he won the 200 fly by .40, the 200 breast by 1.60 and the 200 IM by 3.70. Nicholson’s time of 1:48.18 in the 200 fly was just .10 away from his own school record.

The 200 breast featured Nicholson and teammate Ben Seketa finishing well ahead of the rest of the field. Nicholson touched the wall in 2:05.95 and Seketa in 2:07.55. The third-place swimmer from Columbia was 7.37 seconds behind Seketa.

Nicholson, who has 22 individual victories this season, was also part of the second-place 200 medley relay team with Matt Hadley, Seketa and Steve Grune.

Brian Phillips registered the other individual victory for the Bison as he won the 500 free in 4:43.59. The Bison swept the top three spots in the race as Denver Freeman and Collin Greene were second and third, respectively. Phillips was also the top Bucknell finished in the 1,000 free, finishing second.

The 400 free relay of Erik Heinemann, Hadley, Grune and Trevor Reitz concluded the meet with a Bison win. Reitz touched the wall at 3:08.10, .08 ahead of Columbia.

In addition to his medley relay performance and second-place showing in the 200 breast, Seketa was the top Bison in the 100 breast, finishing second. He was also third in the 200 IM behind only teammates Nicholson and Will Rappaport.

Hadley was involved in both relays, but was still able to be the top Bucknell finisher in both the 100 free (second) and 200 free (fourth).

Jack Robinson was the top Bison finisher in the 200 back (second) and 100 back (fourth), while Grune was third in the 50 free and Heinemann third in the 100 fly to lead all Bucknell swimmers in those events.

Tyler Wenzel was the runner-up finisher off both diving boards. He posted his second-highest score (243.50) of the year off the one-meter board, while his score of 283.75 off the three-meter marked a career best. He entered the day ranked fourth in program history (282.08) and remained there, but closed the gap on third-place Jeffrey Manning (298.35).

Jon Jones was also solid in the diving competition, finishing third off the one-meter and fourth off the three-meter. His score of 240.20 off the one-meter was just 1.10 off his career best.

Bucknell will return to action next Saturday, Jan. 11, when it travels to Army for a 1 p.m. meet. The Bison will then host Binghamton the next day (Jan. 12) at 1 p.m.

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