The Ithaca College men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both ended with tough losses at home to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Oct. 27.
The women’s team took second to RPI at the Liberty League Conference Championship last season. Unfortunately, they came up short again in an extremely close contest. The Engineers defeated the Bombers by only four points, with a score of 157–153.
The diving team had a strong showing, scoring a total of 29 points across the two boards. Senior Anna Belson claimed first in the 3–meter and 1–meter dives. She also qualified for the NCAA Regional Diving Championships in the 1–meter with her score of 260.70. Sophomore Jocelyn Pawcio took second in the 1–meter and third in the 3–meter.
The swimmers started the meet off on the wrong foot, taking second to RPI in the 200-yard medley relay. However, they quickly rebounded to sweep the 1000–yard freestyle. Sophomore Morgan Hoffman-Smith finished first by 46 seconds in a time of 10:52.58. She was followed by sophomore Katie Conte and junior Maura Beuttel.
Hoffman-Smith also claimed gold in the 200–yard free and the 500–yard free. Her time in the 200 of 1:58.22 was a collegiate personal best. Freshman Jesse Ford placed in both events as well, taking second in the 200–yard free and third in the 500–yard free.
The Bombers were swept in the 100 and 200–yard backstroke, as well as in the 200-yard individual medley. Junior Ashley Warren took third in the 100–yard breaststroke and senior Hannah Parbst took third in the 200–yard breaststroke.
Freshman Olivia Schlackman and junior Kaitlyn Scott finished second and third respectively in the 200–yard butterfly. In the 100–yard fly, senior Jackie Pecze won by nearly three seconds with a time of 59.53. Freshman Emilee Murray took second in 1:02.41.
The South Hill squad also performed well in the freestyle sprints. Senior Genny Tripler claimed silver in the 50–yard freestyle and third in the 100–yard freestyle. Pecze was second in the 100–yard free with a time of 55.37, beating Tripler’s time of 55.59 by just over two-tenths of a second. The Blue and Gold also won the 400–yard freestyle relay in 3:40.09, beating RPI’s squad by .87 seconds.
Head coach Paula Miller was pleased with her team’s performance against such a strong opponent.
“It was a fight the whole way through,” Miller said. “It was a close loss, but everyone stepped it up. They weren’t anxious, they didn’t let down and just kept plugging away.”
The men’s team was defeated by the Engineers 204–96. Their only swimming win of the day came in the 50–yard freestyle. Sophomore Stanley Zaneski claimed the top spot with a time of 21.63. Junior Dan Meyers was third in 22.46.
Sophomore diver Justin Moczynski notched two more first place finishes on both the 1–meter and 3–meter boards with scores of 229.5 and 261.9 respectively. He won the 1–meter by 20 points and the 3–meter by 47 points.
Despite the wide scoring margin, the Bombers were swept by RPI in only three events. The Engineers claimed all of the top 3 spots in the 200–yard individual medley and the 100 and 200–yard breaststrokes.
Junior Nate Bartalo had a strong showing, taking second in the 200–yard freestyle, 100–yard freestyle and the 100–yard butterfly. Freshman Spencer Brownewell also brought home places in multiple events. He took second in the 100 and 200–yard backstrokes.
Senior Jake Hewitt came through for the Blue and Gold in the distance events. He claimed second in the 1000–yard freestyle and third in the 500–yard freestyle. Hewitt also took third place in the 200–yard butterfly.
In the relays, the Bombers took second to the Engineers in the 200–yard medley and third in the 400–yard free.
Head coach Kevin Markwardt commended his team’s effort but knows what they need to improve on to succeed moving forward.
“Our guys competed really well,” Markwardt said. “They didn’t give up and fought all the way through. We got beat a lot by RPI though; they just touched us out in some close races and we need to do a little better with that.”