TROY, New York, December 6. THE Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men and the Union College women's swimming & diving teams came away with impressive victories at the 2008 Liberty League Swimming & Diving Championships, hosted by Rensselaer. The Red Hawks complied 839 points for the win while the Dutchwomen 904.5 points, nearly 230 points better than the second place finisher.
Sitting in third place after the first two completed sessions, RPI made a huge comeback, beginning with the 200-breaststroke. The Red Hawks took over first place as nine swimmers placed in the top 16 to pick up valuable points. Rensselaer occupied the top four spots at the race's end led by senior Steve Hall (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown), who won with a time of 2:15.53.
This is the third league title in the last five years for Rensselaer, which won back-to-back championships in 2004-05 & 2005-06.
The Union women dominated throughout the entire meet, finishing 227.5 points ahead of second place Rochester for their fourth straight title. In addition to four individual wins, the Dutchwomen captured victory in all four relays.
Swimmer of the Year honors went to Union's Kevin Kewin (Brockport, NY/Brockport) and Vassar's Emily Love (South Windsor, CT/South Windsor). Kewin won four individual races and helped the men's team to two relay victories while Love picked up four individual victories, breaking three Liberty League records and achieving three NCAA Provisional marks.
Diver of the Year honors on the men's side went to RPI's Matthew Culen (Pelham, NY/Pelham Memorial) and St. Lawrence's Jason Johnson (Newark, NY/Newark) while the Red Hawks' Kelsey Manley (Southbury, CT/Sacred Heart) was the women's Diver of the Year.
Wrapping up the awards were Rochester's Vince Ness (Hyattsville, MD/Gonzaga College HS) and Emily Scott (Lockport, NY/Lockport), who were the men's and women's Rookies of the Year, respectively. Coaching Staff of the Year honors went to Union's Scott Felix and his staff of Matt Kavanagh and Tara Campbell.
Special thanks to RPI for contributing this report.