ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Bucknell senior Chris Devlin became the Patriot League's first three-time champion in the 200-yard backstroke, and the Bucknell men's swimming and diving team fended off Boston University by a mere 4.5 points for third place, as the 2018 Patriot League Championship concluded Saturday evening at Navy's Lejeune Hall. The Bison pocketed 128 points on the final night of the meet for a total of 411, giving them their best finish since a third-place standing in 2013.
Devlin, who garnered the award for most career championship points among the Patriot League's Class of 2018, earned his sixth career individual gold medal. In addition to the three straight in the 200 back, he also won the 400 individual medley in 2015 and 2016, and the 100 back last season. Devlin joins Hall-of-Famer Jay Gross as the only Bison in the Patriot League era to win an event three straight times. Gross did it in both the 50 free and 100 butterfly from 1991-93.
Devlin also swam the anchor leg of the meet-concluding 400 free relay, joining Charlie McFarland, Vince Filippini and Matt McGoey for a time of 3:00.70 in a fourth-place finish. More importantly, the Bison foursome hung just one place behind Boston University, allowing them to hold off the Terriers for third place. Navy won its 15th straight Patriot League title with 990.5 points, with Army West Point second with 780.5.
Freshman Mitch Gavars got the night started on a strong note with a fourth-place finish in the 1,650 freestyle. Gavars covered the mile in 15:29.64, which makes him the third-fastest performer in school history in that event. He covered the first 1,000 yards in 9:23.92, which is also the third-fastest time in school history at that distance. Another rookie, Matt Rakovec, scored in the 1,650 with a time of 15:50.99, which ranks seventh all-time at Bucknell. Senior Sam Rutan placed 16th in 16:10.21.
Junior Chadd Cummings placed fifth in the 200 breaststroke in 2:00.25, just a fraction off his PR, which ranks him No. 2 in school history. Junior Tom Gannon also scored in the 200 breast. His time of 2:03.23 was good for 11th place and bumped him into the Bucknell all-time list in the No. 10 spot.
Junior Mitch Buccalo placed eighth in the 200 butterfly in 1:49.65. McGoey won the B final, giving him ninth-place points in a time of 1:49.38. That moves him into fourth place on Bucknell's all-time list, one spot behind Buccalo, who went 1:49.31 in the morning prelims.
Also scoring for the Bison on the final night of the meet were freshman Kevin Flynn, 11th in the 200 back (1:51.07); McFarland, who was 13th in the 100 free (45.51); and Filippini, who took 16th in the 100 free (45.78).
Next up for the Bison are the ECAC Championships Feb. 23-25 in New Brunswick, N.J.
Bison in the Finals
200 butterfly – 8th, 1:49.65
200 breaststroke – 5th, 2:00.25
200 backstroke – 1st, 1:43.93
100 free – 16th, 45.78
200 backstroke – 12th, 1:51.07
200 breaststroke – 11th, 2:03.23 (10th in school history)
1,650 freestyle – 4th, 15:29.64 (3rd in school history)
200 butterfly – 16th, 1:52.00
100 free – 13th, 45.51
200 butterfly – 9th, 1:49.38 (4th in school history)
1,650 freestyle – 20th, 16:37.90
1,650 freestyle – 8th, 15:50.99 (7th in school history)
1,650 freestyle – 16th, 16:10.21
Bison in the Preliminaries
100 freestyle – 32nd, 47.84
200 butterfly – 6th, 1:49.31 (3rd in school history)
200 breaststroke – 6th, 2:00.71
200 backstroke – 5th, 1:47.45
100 freestyle – 16th, 45.88
200 backstroke – 15th, 1:52.91
200 breaststroke – 12th, 2:04.00
200 breaststroke – DQ
200 butterfly – 16th, 1:52.10
100 freestyle – 10th, 45.34 (6th in school history)
200 butterfly – 14th, 1:50.85
200 breaststroke – 19th, 2:09.02
200 butterfly – 23rd, 1:54.98
100 freestyle – 17th, 46.00
Final Team Standings
1. Navy - 990.5
2. Army West Point - 780.5
3. Bucknell - 411
4. Boston University - 406.5
5. Loyola - 286.5
6. Lehigh - 282.5
7. Colgate - 167.5
8. American - 118
9. Lafayette - 114
10. Holy Cross - 108