Several Empire 8 Records Tumble on Night 1

Photo Courtesy: Empire 8

The first day of the Empire 8 Swimming and Diving championships is in the books and the Ithaca Bombers won two of four events while Alfred University claimed one event and Stevens Institute of Technology claimed the other.

For the eighth straight time, a Stevens athlete earns the title in the 500 freestyle. Junior Danielle Caruso won the event for the third straight year with a B-Cut time of 5:00.46, missing the E8 meet record of 4:59.63 by less than a second. She beat out Nazareth junior Cameron Hess (5:04.01) and Hartwick junior Rachel Bellis (5:07.85).

Ithaca junior Grace Ayer won her third consecutive title in the 200 Individual Medley. Her time of 2:06.10 was a slim .78 seconds faster than Hartwick’s Imma Rutligliano (2:06.88). Both time met the NCAA B-cut. Stevens sophomore Sarah Jurczyk placed third in 2:09.66.

In the finals of the 50 freestyle just .23 seconds separated the top three Empire 8 athletes. Alfred senior Kelsey McRill touched the wall first to claim the victory in 24.39. It’s the second straight year and second time ever an Alfred athlete as won the event. Ithaca senior Megan Zart and Stevens Jenn Rutledge tied for second (24.62).

Ithaca claimed the title in the 200 Medley Relay to cap off the evening. Ayer, Sam Reilly, Zart and Lauren Cox (1:46.13) were almost three full seconds faster than Stevens quartet of Clair Hendershot, Laurie Prinz, Jurczyk and Rutledge (1:49.02). Hartwick was third (1:50.21).

Competition continues tomorrow at Ithaca’s Athletics & Events Center Aquatics Pavilion with prelims at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

The first day of the Empire 8 Conference Championship being held in Ithaca, NY is in the books and there was one new E8 meet record and two B-cut times on the night.

Hartwick’s Matt Plunkett got the men’s finals started with a time of 4:35.81 to claim the conference title in the 500 freestyle. His win is the second straight and fourth time in the last five years a Hartwick swimmer has won the event. Stevens’ Connor Harrigan took second (4:36.45) and Hartwick’s Ben Detar completed the top three (4:39.69).

In the 200 Individual Medley, Stevens second Joshua Lefeber claimed top honors for the third straight year with a B-cut and E8 meet record time of 1:51.37. Teammate Ravi Sun was a close second (1:52.95) and Nazareth sophomore Alex Lapoint finished third (1:53.37).

The men’s 50 freestyle appeared as if it would be a two-horse race with Stevens’ Tommy Wolinski and Ithaca’s Addison Hebert as the only two swimmers in the Empire 8 to crack 21 seconds in the prelims. Wolinski would secure the top spot, ending the race in the finals in 20.94, edging out Hebert by .09 seconds. Hartwick’s Joseph Mulvehill touched just behind Hebert in third at 21.25.

For the fifth straight year an Ithaca diver won the 3-meter event. Freshman freshman Scott Hillen won with a score of 510.05. Less than 10 points behind with a score of 494.75 was Alfred sophomore Chris Deaver.

Wrapping up the night session was the 200 Medley Relay event. The Stevens team of Ravi Sun, Dan Pilcher, Vinny Tavoletti and Ethan Gehenio grabbed the title in a B-cut time of 1:31.93. Hartwick placed second in 1:34.87, edging out third placed Ithaca 1:35.01.

Competition continues tomorrow at Ithaca’s Athletics & Events Center Aquatics Pavilion with prelims at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

Empire 8 contributed this report.

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