LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell women's swimming and diving team (4-1, 3-0 Patriot League) opened up Patriot League competition with a quad meet at Kinney Natatorium on Saturday afternoon, earning wins over three different league foes to move to 4-1 on the season and 3-0 in conference action. The Bison captured nine first-place finishes in the meet, and senior Kelly Pontecorvo, junior Katie Hetherington and sophomore Emma Levendoski were each double-event winners.
Bucknell was joined by Lafayette, American and Navy in the afternoon competition, defeating the Leopards 248-52, the Eagles 252-48 and the Mids, the defending Patriot League champions, 159.50-140.50. The Navy women have been dominant in conference dual meets in recent history, winning 34 straight before Saturday’s defeat, with their last loss coming against Bucknell in the 2005-06 season.
The Bison opened the day with a second place finish in the 200 medley relay, as the team of Levendoski, sophomore Ashley Henderson, senior Kristen Purdy and senior Kaitlyn Utkewicz was narrowly edged out by the top squad from Navy, finishing in a time of 1:49.15. The 'B' squad also turned in a quick performance, finishing fifth and out-touching the top units from Lafayette and American.
Pontecorvo represented the female distance swimmers, earning her first win of the day with a time of 10:20.71 in the 1000 freestyle. Freshman Paige Daniel clocked in at 10:41.87 to finish third, while sophomore Leanne Archer snuck into the last scoring spot for the Bison.
Bucknell also claimed the top spot in the 200 freestyle, as freshman Rachel McGoff touched the wall first, clocking in at 1:54.77, while junior Lauren Perry grabbed fifth-place with a time of 1:57.15. Levendoski won the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.31, and freshman Rachel Perry added a fourth-place finish for the Bison.
Freshman Diana Hanson and Henderson turned in almost identical times in the 100 breaststroke to take second and third, with Hanson clocking in at 1:07.51 and Henderson touching the wall in 1:07.63. Freshman Amber McDonnell captured the 200 butterfly for Bucknell, clocking in at 2:06.90, while Purdy swam a 2:07.80 to finish in third place. In the 50 freestyle, the last event before the diving break, Utkewicz earned a second-place finish for the Bison, turning in a time of 24.57, just two one-hundredths behind the top swimmer from Navy
Action on the boards occurred throughout the meet, with the Bucknell women sweeping both events. Hetherington took the title on both the 1-meter and the 3-meter, turning in scores of 255.15 and 274.75, respectively, while juniors Tara Boyle and Tori Molchany rounded out the top three.
The 100 freestyle got things started in the pool again, as McGoff grabbed a second-place finish with a time of 53.16. Utkewicz finished in fourth-place, while senior Emily Wright grabbed the fifth spot. Levendoski earned her second win of the afternoon in the 200 backstroke, touching more than two seconds ahead of her closest competitor with a time of 2:03.00, while Perry and sophomore Alanna Nawrocki grabbed the last two scoring spots. The Bison were also brilliant in the 200 breaststroke, as Henderson (2:23.20), junior Meg Lattimer (2:26.52) and junior Gina Gautieri (2:26.60) grabbed the second, third and fourth spots.
As the meet wound down and the Bison continued to build on their lead, Pontecorvo snatched a victory in the 500 freestyle, touching the wall in 5:04.68, while junior Stephanie Koziol took third place for Bucknell. Purdy claimed the top spot in the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.97, and Hanson capped off the individual events with a fourth-place finish in the 200 IM, touching in a time of 2:10.99.
The Bison capped off a very impressive day of swimming with a second-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay, as the team of Levendoski, McGoff, Wright and Utkewicz swam to a time of 1:39.16.
Bucknell will take a bit of a hiatus from competition for the next two weeks before returning to the pool for the Bucknell Invitational. The multi-team, trials and finals competition will be held at Kinney Natatorium from Friday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 24.
Bucknell 252, American 48
Bucknell 248, Lafayette 52
Bucknell 159.5, Navy 140.5
American 155, Lafayette 143
Navy 235, American 63
Navy 243, Lafayette 55