Bucknell Men Place Nine on All-Patriot League Swimming & Diving Team
March 9, 2009
LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell men’s swimming and diving team boasted nine All-Patriot League honorees, based on performances at the 2009 Patriot League Championships that were held in Kinney Natatorium last month. The nine all-conference selections were the second-most in the league, behind only champion Navy with 19.
The Bison men, who finished second behind Navy at the championships, were headed by first-team picks Mark Kawczenski (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Hanover Area) and Luke Trafton (Bath, Maine/Morse). Thomas Brown (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield), Daniel Fletcher (Cedar Grove, N.J./Cedar Grove), Nathaniel Frye (Franklin, Pa./Franklin Area), Eric Sokolosky (Branford, Conn./Branford), Jonathan Podniesinski (Melville, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East), Brendan Smith (New Hartford, N.Y./New Hartford Senior) and Gonzalo DeLeon (Ringwood, N.J./Lakeland Regional) all made the second team.
Of those nine selections, only Kawczenski is a senior, while the remainder is comprised of two juniors (Trafton, Fletcher), one sophomore (DeLeon) and five freshmen (Brown, Frye, Sokolosky, Podniesinski, Smith).
Each of the All-Patriot League teams is comprised of 18 student-athletes. First-team status is automatically awarded to competitors who earn a first-place finish at the championship meet. The remaining first-team slots are filled by student-athletes with the highest remaining individual point totals from the meet. Second-team status is automatically given to all second-place finishers who do not otherwise have enough points to move up to the first team. The remaining second-team slots are then filled by competitors with the highest remaining point totals.
Kawczenski locked up first-team honors after winning the gold medal in the 50-yard freestyle. It was his first career conference title in that event to go along with his two wins in the 100 backstroke earlier in his career. Kawczenski was runner-up in the 100 back this year and also placed sixth in the 100 free. He is now a four-time All-Patriot League honoree, including first-team citations in each of the last three years.
Trafton earned his third consecutive first-team honor after finishing second in the 1,650 free, fifth in the 400 individual medley and sixth in the 500 free. Trafton had been the two-time defending champion in the 1,650 and was the 2008 gold medalist in the 500.
Brown posted a runner-up finish in the 200 backstroke to lead Bucknell’s second-team contingent. Fletcher was third in the 200 back and sixth in the 200 free to earn his second straight all-conference honor. Frye placed fourth in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events and 12th in the 200 IM. Sokolosky placed fifth in the 50 free, seventh in the 100 free and 10th in the 100 fly. Podniesinski took fifth in the 200 breast, eighth in the 400 IM and 10th in the 500 free. Smith was seventh in both the 500 free and 1,650 free and 10th in the 400 IM. And DeLeon, a first-team honoree in 2008, scored with a fourth-place finish in the 100 back, a sixth-place finish in the 200 back and a 15th in the 400 IM.
Along with the strong place finishes, Bucknell launched an assault on the school record board at the 2009 Patriot League Championships. Among the notable times:
Luke Trafton: Broke school records in all three individual events, the 500 free (4:23.37), the 1,650 free (15:20.54) and the 400 IM (3:56.81).
Thomas Brown: Broke the school record in the 200 back (1:49.13). Gonzalo DeLeon eclipsed Brown’s mark a week later at the ECAC Championships with a 1:49.07 in a second-place finish. Teammates DeLeon, Brown, Daniel Fletcher and junior David Iselin (Potomac, Md./Churchill) now have the top four times in school history in the 200 back.
Mark Kawczenski: Broke the school record in the 100 back (49.15) and is the only sub-:50 swimmer in school history in that event. His winning time in the 50 free (20.26) was just .09 off the 21-year-old school record set by All-American Jim Harvey.
Relays: Bucknell smashed school records in all five relays this year.
Bucknell’s men and women combined for 17 All-Patriot League selections, the second-most in the league behind Navy’s 29. Colgate was next with 15.