LEWISBURG, Pa. – 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.