The 2023 Liberty League swimming and diving championships are in the books and both the Ithaca College men’s and women’s teams made some waves once again.
The women’s team capped off a successful meet, winning their fourth-straight Liberty League title with a score of 1,619 points. The men’s team scored 1,538.50 points, finishing second behind the defending champions from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
The highlight of the meet for both teams was the number of program and conference records that were broken this weekend. On the women’s team, senior freestyle, backstroke and butterfly swimmer Jane Pfeufer set the Liberty League record in the women’s 50-yard freestyle, swimming a time of 23.42 seconds. Pfeufer was followed by her teammate, senior freestyle and butterfly swimmer Emily Vandersleen, who was inches behind, swimming a time of 23.48.
First-year student freestyle, backstroke and butterfly swimmer Sonia Mlakar added to her impressive rookie season, setting a new team record in the women’s 100-yard butterfly, finishing first and swimming a time of 55.89 seconds. Mlakar also achieved an NCAA B-cut for the National Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina from March 15–18.
Sophomore diver Leah Levin broke the conference record in the women’s 1-meter diving event, scoring a total of 506.35 points and finishing in first for the team.
For the men’s team, junior captain and freestyle swimmer James Collishaw broke the team record in the men’s 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.21 seconds to finish second by a hair to RIT junior Mike Atanasoff, who swam a time of 20.13 seconds.
The 200-yard medley relay team of Collishaw, sophomore Matthew Johnston, junior Michael Paulos and sophomore Ben Young broke both the team and conference records, winning the event in a time of 1:29.38. The 400-yard medley relay team of Johnston, Paulos, Young and sophomore Santiago Ludwig broke the team record with a time of 3:21.05, while also finishing second.
There were several more notable podium finishers for the Bombers. Senior distance swimmer Erin Kiley finished second in the women’s 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 17:47.29. Sophomore freestyle swimmer Matthew Stevens finished second on the men’s side with a time of 16:16.62, earning an NCAA B-cut in the process.
Collishaw provided an exciting finish in the men’s 100-yard backstroke, finishing first in a time of 50.01 seconds, ahead of the second–place time of 50.17. The men’s 800-yard freestyle relay team of Ludwig, Johnston, sophomore freestyle swimmer Ryan Pillion and first-year student freestyle and butterfly swimmer Ryan Cooke finished first with a time of 6:49.6, defending last season’s title.
The women’s 200-yard medley relay team — Mlakar, Pfeufer, Vandersleen and sophomore freestyle and individual medley swimmer Abigail Ignagni — won with a time of 1:34.15. The same four swimmers took home second place in the 400-yard medley relay with a combined time of 3:50.86, also earning an NCAA B-cut.
The women’s 3-meter diving event was the highest–scoring event for the Bombers. Senior Karalyn Pawcio finished first with a score of 489.55 followed by her teammates graduate student Abby Marraccino, sophomore Jenell Slesser, senior Rachel Lange and first–year Eliza Salus to sweep the top five.
Up next for the Bombers, the team will host the NCAA Diving Regionals on Feb. 24–25.