By Christine Houghton
The Lions’ swimming and diving teams hosted an invitational meet from Friday, Nov. 30 to Sunday, Dec. 2 in Packer Hall. Competing against several other schools, the men and women finished the first day with over 250 points and both teams placed first as a unit after the day’s events.
To start off the meet for the women, freshman Zoe Chan placed first in the 200-meter individual medley finals with a time of 2:10. Sophomore Melanie Fosko took fourth in the same race, clocking in at 2:14.
Fosko also took third in the finals of the 500-meter freestyle with a time of 5:18. In the same event, junior Annie Menninger took fifth at 5:19 and senior Gabi Denicola placed sixth with a time of 5:20.
Two Lion relay teams also placed in Friday’s finals. The 200-yard freestyle team of Fosko, senior Maddie Hynoski, junior Kazia Moore and sophomore Elise Fraser placed third with a time of 1:40. Also, the 400-meter medley relay team of senior Hailey Thayer, Menninger, Chan and Moore took third, clocking in at 4:01.
For the men’s team, junior Harrison Yi was able to win the 500-meter freestyle with a time of 4:40. In the same race, sophomore James Keane placed fifth with a time of 4:47.64 and was followed closely by senior Sam Maquet, who swam a time of 4:47.74 for sixth place.
In the 200-meter individual medley, sophomore Griffin Morgan placed third with a time of 1:56 and sophomore Andrew Thompson finished sixth at 1:58. Finishing third in the 50-meter freestyle, sophomore Patrick Bakey put up a time of 21.81.
The men’s team also placed two relay teams in the day’s finals. The 400-meter medley relay team of Morgan, Thompson, freshman Joe Om and sophomore Andrew Duff took second with a time of 3:32. The 200-meter freestyle relay team of Morgan, Yi, junior Eli O’Connor and sophomore Nolan Kuscan also placed second with a time of 1:26.
On the second day of competition, both teams maintained their first place stances with well over 650 points each.
Chan won again for the women, this time taking the top spot in the 100-meter butterfly at 57.56, while freshman Kori Jelinek took fourth with a time of 1:00. In the 100-meter breaststroke, Menninger took second place at 1:07 and sophomore Chiara Mennonna followed close behind, clocking in at 1:08.
Taking first in the 200-meter freestyle, Fosko clocked in at 1:57. In the 400-meter intermediate medley, junior Samantha Askin placed third with a time of 4:54.40, Denicola took fourth at 4:54.80 and sophomore Nicole Meskin placed fifth at 4:57.
For the 200-meter medley, the women had one relay team place first on the day with a time of 1:49. The team consisted of Thayer, Menninger, Chan and Fraser.
The men’s team also had an eventful day, which began with Yi taking first in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:41. Senior Brendan Pilaar took third in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 53.30.
Duff added to the wins with a victory in the 100-meter breaststroke, clocking in at 58.46. In the 100-meter individual medley, Morgan placed third at 4:10 and Maquet followed close in fourth place at 4:13.
The men also placed three relay teams during the second day. The 800-meter freestyle relay team of Morgan, Yi, freshman DJ DeSomma and sophomore Kai Michaud swam to victory with a time of 6:58.
Junior Derek Kneisel, Duff, Pilaar and Yi manned the team to place second in the 200-yard medley relay, clocking in at 1:35. Following close behind for third place in the same race was the team of Om, Thompson, Kuscan and senior Angelo Stefani with a time of 1:36.
Rounding out the weekend and securing the first place victory, both the men’s and women’s teams posted over a thousand and over 900 points, respectively.
For the women, Fosko took fourth in the 200-meter backstroke at 2:30 and Mennonna followed in sixth place with a time of 2:31. In the 200-meter breaststroke, Menninger swam a time of 2:28 to grab third place and Fosko took fourth with a time of 2:30.
In the 100-meter butterfly, Chan took first place again with a time of 2:08, freshman Kori Jelinek placed third with at 2:14 and Askin took fourth, swimming a time of 2:16. In the 1650-meter freestyle, Menninger took third at 18:17 and Denicola took sixth at 18:41.
The 400-meter freestyle relay team of Fosko, Moore, Menninger and Fraser placed third with a time of 3:39.
For the men’s team, sophomore diver Jay Soukup put up a score of 423 in the one-meter dive to take fourth place. In the 200-meter butterfly, Maquet placed first at 1:53.
Yi took first place in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 47.83. Kuscan came in third with a time of 48.18 in the 100-meter freestyle. Kneisel took second at 1:55 in the 200-meter backstroke and Thompson took fourth at 1:57.
In the 200-meter butterfly, Morgan placed third at 1:56, while sophomore Joshua Oh placed fourth at 1:59. Morgan also took third in the 1650-meter freestyle clocking in at 16:34.60, while Yi followed closely in fourth place with a time of 16:34.83.
The 400-meter relay team of Morgan, Thompson, Yi and Kuscan took second with a time of 3:10.
Both teams will be back to compete after the break. They will be on the road on Jan. 18 to compete at Southern Connecticut State University.