BETHLEHEM, Pa. – In its final home meet of the season the Lehigh swimming and diving teams battled down to the wire against Army on Senior Night at Jacobs Pool. In a dual meet that featured a number of close races, the Mountain Hawk women edged the Black Knights 158-142, while Lehigh’s men suffered their first dual meet loss of the season, falling 194-106.
“Our women held on to win in the closest of duals,” said Lehigh head coach Rob Herb. “Our women’s never say die attitude prevailed. They were marvelous. A lot of credit goes to the seniors and team leaders for keeping the wave moving forward.
Herb continued, “The men suffered their first loss but they’re certainly not out. Races were coming down to the final inches. We had good hard swims across the board.”
Lehigh’s women moved to 4-3 on the season with the win despite winning just 6-of-16 events. The Mountain Hawks swept the top three positions in the 200 fly and the 200 breast and managed to score points with second-third-fourth place finishes in events that the Black Knights prevailed in.
Freshman Meredith Bayer won two individual events and led the sweep in the 200 fly, winning with a time of 2:11.66. Junior Alyssa Siano and freshman Katie Hommes finished second and third. Bayer also won the 400 individual medley in 4:42.73 with sophomore Danielle Caruso finishing second.
In the 200 breast, sophomore Emily DiDonato won in a time of 2:31.04, with Caruso finishing second and freshman Stephanie Yaszemski finishing third.
Early in the meet, Lehigh’s women set the tone by winning the opening 400 medley relay as Yaszemski and Bayer teamed with junior Alena Polliitt and senior Kristen Keenan to produce a winning time of 4:04.94.
Junior Priscilla Barletta took top honors in the 200 free with a time of 2:00.06, edging sophomore Katie Haycraft for the win. In the next event Pollitt captured the 100 back in 1:01.02 with sophomore Brooke Smalley finishing second.
In the ten events won by the Black Knights, Lehigh battled to capture at least second and third place in seven of them.
The Lehigh men had several solid individual performances, but in the end suffered their first dual loss of the season as they fall to 8-1. Last year the Black Knights dealt the Mountain Hawks their first and only dual loss following Lehigh’s 8-0 start.
Junior Chris Toth and sophomore Tyler Lareau each won two events to pace the Brown and White. Toth continued his strong performances in the distance events, winning the 1000 free in 9:43.81 and the 500 free in 4:43.65.
Lareau picked up wins in the 100 back in 51.93 seconds and the 100 free in 48 seconds flat, just .04 better than the second place finisher from Army. It was that kind of meet for both the men and women, with most races coming down to the final touch of the wall.
Lehigh’s fifth and final win came from junior Kevin Shoemaker, who took the 200 fly in 1:54.74.
Friday’s meet was the final home meet for Lehigh’s seven seniors: Keenan, Taylor Foxworth, Allison Montanye, Matt Alford, Andrew DiPietro, Billy Dunne and Jon Gorka.
The Mountain Hawks will return to action on Saturday January 22 when they travel to Bucknell to face the Bison at 1 p.m.