HAMILTON, N.Y. – Kelly Pontecorvo, Emma Levendoski and Kristen Purdy each won two swimming events, while Tara Boyle claimed first off the one-meter diving board and recorded the No. 2 mark in program history off the three-meter board to propel the Bucknell women’s swimming & diving team to a 176-121 victory over Patriot League rival Colgate Saturday afternoon at Lineberry Natatorium. It marked the first Bison win over the Raiders since the 2004-05 season and helped Bucknell improve to 5-1, 4-0 PL this year.
This was the second win this season for the Bison over a fellow perennial Patriot League contender as they defeated Navy last month for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign. Bucknell’s 5-1 start in dual competition is its best start to a season since 2009-10.
Levendoski’s two victories came in the 100 and 200 backstroke events as she swept them for the sixth time in six meets this season. She won the 100 back by .95 seconds and the 200 back by a wide 3.14 seconds. She now has 26 first-place finishes in 36 career backstroke competitions. Additionally, Levendoski was part of the winning 200 medley relay with Diana Hanson, Purdy and Kaitlyn Utkewicz and the second-place 400 free relay with Utkewicz, Emily Wright and Rachel McGoff.
Pontecorvo led a strong Bucknell distance contingent by winning the 500 and 1,000 free races. Bison finished 1 through 4 in the 500 free as Stephanie Koziol, Paige Daniel and Laureana Zrada touched the wall in order behind Pontecorvo. Bucknell swimmers took four of the top five spots in the 1,000 free with Melissa Besman, Leanne Archer and Daniel finishing third, fourth and fifth behind Pontecorvo.
Purdy swept the 100 and 200 fly races and placed third in the 400 IM. Like the 500 free, Bucknell took the first four spots in the 200 fly as Koziol, Amber McDonnell and Besman touched the wall behind Purdy.
Bucknell divers took the top three spots off both boards with Boyle winning the one-meter and finishing second to school record-holder Katie Hetherington off the three-meter. Boyle’s three-meter score of 261.00 moved her up from sixth to second on the program’s all-time list as she beat her previous best by 4.80 points. Tori Molchany placed third off both boards.
Koziol added a first-place finish in the 400 IM to go along with her runner-up showings in the 200 fly and 500 free, while Meg Lattimer won the 200 breast to round out the list of Bison winners on Saturday. Overall, Bucknell had 11 first-place showings in the 16 events contested and was able to swim the 400 free relay as an exhibition after building a commanding lead in the team score.
"It was an overall good meet for both the men and women," commented eighth-year head coach Dan Schinnerer, who moved into a tie for second on the program's all-time wins list (43). "The meet that follows our Thanksgiving break has typically been a little tricky for us. Coming off of our big Invitational and the break, we can potentially be out of rhythm and routine, but I thought we showed that wasn't the case today for the most part."
The Bison will be idle until Jan. 4 when they host Rutgers in Kinney Natatorium. Start time for that dual meet is 1 p.m.