ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Bucknell sophomore Emma Levendoski completed the sweep of the backstroke events at the Patriot League Championships for a second consecutive year as she won the 200 back in a school-record time of 1:56.56 Saturday evening at Navy’s Lejeune Hall. She was one of 13 different Bison to score in individual events on the final day of the four-day meet as Bucknell finished in second place behind only the host Mids.
By finishing in second place for the second straight year, the Bison have now finished in the top three at the Patriot League Championships in 14 consecutive years. Bucknell has placed second 10 times.
“We are pleased with our second-place finish after being picked third in the preseason,” said Bucknell eighth-year head coach Dan Schinnerer. “We beat Navy in a dual meet, but this championship meet was a different story. We are going to keep trying to improve and working to cut into Navy’s lead.”
One standout performer throughout the meet that was not in action Saturday was junior diver Tara Boyle. She won the one-meter diving competition for the third straight year and placed a career-best second off the three-meter. Thanks to those outstanding performances she became the second straight Bison to earn Diver of the Meet honors, following classmate Katie Hetherington.
Thanks to her victories the last two nights, Levendoski has now won four Patriot League titles in just two years. After winning the 100 back Friday by nearly three-quarters of a second, she claimed the 200 back on Saturday by a whopping 1.74 seconds and knocked .24 seconds off her own school record in the event. Levendoski is the first Bison with four career Patriot League crowns since Lectie Altman won five from 2003 to 2006.
“Emma had a great race and just missed the Patriot League record,” noted Dan Schinnerer. “It will give her something to shoot for next year. With the four-day format this year Emma was a little tired tonight, but dug deep and had an outstanding performance.”
Freshman Rachel Perry finished 10th in the 200 back, while Alanna Nawrocki was 15th, giving Bucknell three scorers in the event. Perry’s time ranks seventh in program history, while Nawrocki’s places her 11th.
Senior Kelly Pontecorvo claimed the 1,650 free title a year ago and she was looking to repeat, but finished third on Saturday. She was behind two swimmers from league newcomer Boston University with a time of 16:31.42. Stephanie Koziol (9th) and Melissa Besman (12th) also earned points in the event for the Bison.
“Kelly has been a great leader for us,” commented Schinnerer. “She swam great tonight and has done a lot over her career to raise the level of our program. She has tremendous dedication, work ethic and commitment to this sport.”
Freshman Amber McDonnell had Bucknell’s next-best finish on the night, touching the wall fifth in the 200 fly. Her prelim time of 2:02.04 broke her own school record in the event by nearly 1.5 seconds. She finished a banner week that also featured a second-place finish in the 200 IM and a third-place showing in the 400 IM.
Kristen Purdy joined McDonnell as a scorer in the 200 fly, finishing 15th.
Like Pontecorvo, Lauren Perry was defending a Patriot League title on Saturday. The 2013 champion in the 100 and 200 free, Perry placed sixth in the 100 free to top all Bison. Rachel McGoff was 14th, marking her third top-16 finish this week.
Bucknell had three of the top nine finishers in the 200 breast, making it the squad’s best overall event on Saturday. Ashley Henderson led the way with a sixth-place finish with Gina Gautieri not far behind in seventh. Meg Lattimer was ninth, but her finals time was faster than two swimmers in the “A” final.
The meet concluded with the Bison 400 free relay team of Lauren Perry, McGoff, Lyndsey Marcheskie and Kaitlyn Utkewicz posting the No. 2 time (3:27.29) in program history en route to a seventh-place finish.
Bucknell’s season will continue when it heads back to Annapolis Feb. 28-March 2 for the ECAC Championships.
1. Navy - 778
2. Bucknell – 580
3. Boston U. – 533.5
4. Army – 495
5. Lehigh – 356
6. Colgate – 322.5
7. Loyola – 243
8. American – 151
9. Lafayette – 107
10. Holy Cross - 74
New Top-10 Marks
1,650 free (6. Stephanie Koziol – 17:12.49)
200 back (1. Emma Levendoski – 1:56.56; 7. Rachel Perry – 2:02.34)
100 free (8. Rachel McGoff – 51.69)
200 breast (6. Ashley Henderson – 2:20.25; 7. Meg Lattimer – 2:21.29; 8. Gina Gautieri – 2:21.30)
200 fly prelims (1. Amber McDonnell – 2:02.04)
400 free relay (2. L. Perry, McGoff, Marcheskie, Utkewicz – 3:27.29)
1,650 free finals – 12th, 17:25.14
200 back prelims – 20th, 2:06.57
200 fly prelims – 18th, 2:10.19
200 breast prelims – 7th, 2:21.30
200 breast finals – 2:22.27
200 breast prelims – 5th, 2:20.25
200 breast finals – 6th, 2:20.94
1,650 free finals – 9th, 17:12.49
200 breast prelims – 9th, 2:21.70
200 breast finals – 9th, 2:21.29
200 back prelims – 1st, 1:56.90
200 back finals – 1st, 1:56.56
100 free prelims – 19th, 52.47
200 fly prelims – 5th, 2:02.04
200 fly finals – 5th, 2:02.18
100 free prelims – 14th, 51.69
100 free finals – 14th, 51.81
200 back prelims – t-15th, 2:03.93
200 back finals – 15th, 2:03.78
100 free prelims – 7th, 51.29
100 free finals – 6th, 51.15
200 back prelims – 9th, 2:02.37
200 back finals – 10th, 2:02.34
100 free prelims – 30th, 54.03
1,650 free finals – 3rd, 16:31.42
200 fly prelims – 15th, 2:09.03
200 fly finals – 15th, 2:09.63
100 free prelims – 20th, 52.55
400 free relay
L. Perry, McGoff, Marcheskie, Utkewicz – 3:27.29