Posted: November 21, 2008
EASTON, Pa. – For the first time in three years, Lehigh’s swimming and diving teams earned a sweep of archrival Lafayette. The Lehigh men entered Friday night’s meet as heavy favorites and delivered the goods, winning 12 of 16 events in a convincing 207-93 win, the Mountain Hawks 18th straight over the Leopards. It was the Mountain Hawk women who stole the show at Ruef Natatorium however, as despite winning just six events, Lehigh accumulated enough second and third place finishes to edge Lafayette 158-140.
“It was a terrific meet for our program,” said a jubilant Lehigh head coach Rob Herb. “The men were once again dominant and continued their streak of success, but much of the credit goes to the entire women’s team. It was really a total team effort as our women pulled off a shocking victory.”
The men had little difficult in continuing their dominance over the Leopards, and improving to 5-2 overall, 3-0 against Patriot League foes. The tone was set early as Mountain Hawk relay teams captured the top two spots in the opening 400 medley relay. Nine of Lehigh’s event wins on the men’s side featured a top-two or top-three sweep for the Brown and White.
Senior Dan Johnson asserted himself in the sprints, where he swept the 50, 100 and 200 yard events. Johnson swam a 1:44.21 in the 200, with sophomore Andrew DiPietro taking second. In the 50, Johnson touched the wall in 21.91, with juniors Jon Westfield and Ryan Guttormsen following to help capture the top three spots. Johnson and Guttormsen also teamed for a 1-2 finish in the 100.
Lehigh’s freshmen continued to shine as well, as Chris Toth captured the 1000 free and the 500 free, with sophomore Matt Alford taking second in both events. Angelo DiGiacinto won the 100 back in 54.09 and the 200 in 2:00.72 as well as the 100 fly in 52.20. Junior Kevin McGrath also won three events, the 100 and 200 breast and the 400 IM, while Ben Dearden won the 200 fly and took second in the 100.
On the women’s side Lehigh beat Lafayette for the first time since 2005 on the strength of sweeps and top-two finishes. The Mountain Hawks dropped the opening medley relay, but bounced back to sweep the 1000 free, with sophomore Lauren Kindrick winning with a time of 10:33.81. Junior Allison Rolish and freshman Jill Rann followed to take second and third. Kindrick and Rolish also combined for a 1-2 finish in the 500 free.
Late in the meet, the Mountain Hawks delivered another top-three sweep, this one in the 400 IM, with junior Liz Murray winning with a time of 4:44.41. Melanie and Allison Rolish delivered seven big extra points, by taking second and third respectively. Melanie Rolish continued to lead Lehigh in the breaststroke events, capturing the 100 and 200, and junior Stephanie Naylor added key bonus points by taking second in both events.
Lehigh’s final winner was freshman Priscilla Barletta, who took the 200 free in 1:56.82. Herb credited his entire team for packing on points, by earning second and third place finishes in events that the Mountain Hawks did not win. The Lehigh women are now 4-3 overall and 2-1 against league foes.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the pool on Sunday, December 7 when they travel to St. Peter’s for a meet that gets underway at 10 a.m.