Posted: January 6, 2007
IRVINE, Calif. – With the holiday break complete, Lehigh put its winter training to the test on Saturday afternoon, competing at the UC Irvine/Ayres Hotel & Suites Sprint Invitational at the Anteater Aquatics Complex. Facing tough competition from some quality western teams, the Lehigh men swam to a fifth place finish out of seven teams, while the women finished ninth out of 12 teams.
Among the Lehigh highlights on the men’s side was the two top-five finishes posted by sophomore Dan Johnson in the freestyle events. Johnson finished third in the 50 free, with a time of 21.73 seconds and took fifth in the 100 free in 47.86. Johnson also placed tenth in the 100 breast, with a time of 1:01.89.
Senior Tom Gilbert was impressive in the backstroke events, taking fifth in the 50 back in 25.38 and seventh in the 100 with a time of 54.72.
The Mountain Hawks placed four swimmers in the top 12 in the 50 breast, with senior Sean English leading the way with an eighth place finish. Freshman Kevin McGrath took tenth, sophomore Brian Curci eleventh and junior Gene Johnston 12th. McGrath also finished tenth in the 200 IM with a time of 2:02.96.
On the women’s side, senior Julie Mitchell cracked the top 20 in three backstroke events. Her best finish was in the 200, where she finished sixth with a time of 2:14.55. Mitchell also took 18th in the 50 back and 20th in the 100.
Sophomore Melanie Rolish posted three top-12 finishes, taking ninth in the 100 breast in 1:08.95 and 12th in the 50 breast in 32.37. She also took seventh in the 200 IM. Freshman Julie Sicherman was also impressive in the butterfly events, with a 10th place finish in the 50 and an 18th place finish in the 100.
In the team standings, the host Anteaters won the men’s title by over 200 points over Wyoming. Lehigh finished fifth with 135 points. Washington won the women’s title by 78 points over Wyoming, with Lehigh earning 46 points, good for ninth.
The event also features a Distance Invitational and Relay Invitational, which the Mountain Hawks will not take part in.
Lehigh will return to the pool on Saturday, January 20 when the Mountain Hawks welcome the Black Knights of Army to Jacobs Pool. Action gets underway with diving at 11:00 am, with the swimming portion to follow at 1:00 pm. For the first time, the swimming portion of the meet will be streamed online at lehighsports.com, with streaming video powered by Yahoo! Sports.