BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s swimming and diving team set an early tone and rolled to its third straight win to open the season as the Mountain Hawks downed West Chester 190-110 Saturday at Jacobs Pool. The Mountain Hawks won 11-of-16 events, but also showcased their depth as Lehigh swimmers and divers gained critical points by placing second and third in every event Lehigh failed to win.
“From start to finish our swimmers and divers did not give an inch,” said Lehigh head coach Rob Herb.
The victory moves Lehigh to 3-0 on the young season. After building an early lead, Lehigh pulled away from the Golden Rams with by sweeping the top three places in three events in the back half of the meet.
Lehigh set the tone early in the 400 medley relay as sophomores Tyler Lareau and Alex Aboud, junior Angelo DiGiacinto and freshman Chris Hoke captured first place with a time of 3:29.21.
The Mountain Hawks kept rolling as junior Chris Toth led a 1-3-5 finish in the 1000 free with a time of 9:52.58. Toth later led a sweep of the 500 free, with a winning time of 4:49.56. Senior Andrew DiPietro enjoyed a busy but high-scoring day and placed second, while freshman Connor Cackovic took third.
“Our medley relay team slammed the gavel down to let the Rams know that they were in our house and that we were ready to race,” Herb explained. “Our 1-3-5 placement in the 1000 free shocked West Chester a bit and we kept it rolling. I expect our guys to always be ready to race, and I like what I see already from this group.”
Sophomore Frank Cuzzola picked up a pair of wins on the day taking the 200 free in 1:44.56 and the 100 free in 47.09, leading a sweep with Hoke and DiPietro taking second and third respectively. DiPietro also finished second to Cuzzola in the 200 free picking up more crucial points in the process.
Herb noted the key point in the meet was when junior Kevin Shoemaker and DiGiacinto took 2-3 in the 200 fly and Lareau and Hoke finished second and third in the 50 free.
“That was the turning point,” said Herb. “Not giving them anything. The second half of our meet belonged to us after that.”
Lareau was impressive in winning the 100 back in 52.78. Aboud joined Cuzzola and Toth as double event winners, as he took the 100 and 200 breaststroke.
DiGiacinto led a sweep in the 100 fly with a time of 52.35 with junior Kevin Shoemaker and sophomore Kyle Jennings rounding out the top three.
In the final event of the meet, Hoke, Cackovic, DiGiacinto and DiPietro teamed to win the 400 free relay in 3:12.50.
On the diving boards, junior Ryan Helfrich won the one meter, scoring 237.60 points, and he, junior Connor Styles and sophomore Mike Harshman placed 2-3-4 in the three meter.
“Today was a great day for our men,” Herb said. “We will use this to get ready for Colgate and Rider over the next two weeks.”
The Mountain Hawks will return to the pool next Saturday when they travel to Colgate to take on the Raiders at 1 p.m.