Posted: 11/18/2011 | Last updated: November 18, 2011 at 09:58 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Behind an impressive, total team performance on both sides, the Lehigh swimming and diving teams swept rival Lafayette for the fourth straight year as both the Lehigh men and women picked up wins Friday at Jacobs Pool. The men won 14 of 16 events to win by a convincing 223-77 margin while the women won nine events in a 169-131 triumph.
The win is Lehigh’s 21st straight over Lafayette on the men’s side as the Brown and White remain undefeated in dual competition this season at 5-0. Lehigh received three wins from senior Kevin Shoemaker and a pool record-setting performance from Lehigh’s 200 free relay team.
“I liked everything about tonight’s effort,” said Lehigh head coach Rob Herb. “I liked the extra effort people were giving. That’s what you’re supposed to do for Lehigh-Lafayette. There were races won by fingertips on both sides, but our team came out and dominated. Both the men and women made a point to put the meet away early.”
On a night with many strong performances, Shoemaker led the way winning the 200 yard butterfly, 100 yard butterfly and 200 yard individual medley. Shoemaker won the 200 fly by a whopping six seconds over the next-highest finisher with a 1:54.02 and added a win in 51.69 seconds. He also led a sweep in the 200 IM in 1:57.61 with junior Alex Aboud and freshman Michael Wheaton taking the next two spots.
There were four additional double-event winners for Lehigh. Freshman Danny Bennett continued his strong work in the distance events, winning the 1000 in 10:00.53 and the 500 free in 4:48.34. Freshman Jake Greene took second to Bennett in the 1000. Another freshman, Sean Brant took the 100 and 200 backstroke events. Brant led a sweep in the 100 with a time of 54.87 with classmates Henry Cohen and Martin Kendig taking the next two spots. Brant and Cohen also went 1-2 in the 200 back with Brant posting a winning time of 1:57.07.
Lehigh continued to excel in the sprint events, with junior Frank Cuzzola leading a sweep in the 200 free and pacing a top-two finish in the 100 free. Cuzzola posted a time of 1:45.85 with junior Dave Pennenga and sophomore Matt Chrzanowski finishing second and third. In the 100, Cuzzola edged out sophomore Demetri Karedis with a time of 47.50. Karedis also won an event, taking the 50 free in 21 seconds flat with sophomore Chris Hoke and freshman Christoph Schillig finishing the top three sweep.
On the diving boards, senior Connor Styles won the one and three meter events, scoring 289.71 in the one meter and 309.00 in the three meter. Sophomore Mike Harshman took second to Styles in the three meter.
In the relays, Brant, Aboud, Shoemaker and Karedis won the 400 medley in 3:30.55, but the 200 free relay team ended the meet with a bang as Karedis, Cuzzola, Schillig and Hoke set a new Jacobs Pool record with a time of 1:23.58.
“We’ve always done well against Lafayette but what always seems to happen is that Lafayette always seems to beat us in that last relay,” Herb said. The point is in six years we haven’t won that last relay but tonight we won it in record fashion. I’m very proud of their accomplishment.”
Freshman Alissa Leung won three individual events and the Mountain Hawks posted top-three sweeps in the 200 butterfly and the 200 breast to lead the Lehigh women, who improved to 3-2 overall on the season.
Leung continued her torrid start to the season winning the 100 and 200 yard backstroke events as well as the 200 individual medley. The Long Island native posted a time of 58.08 in the 100 with junior Brooke Smalley placing second in the event. She won the 200 back in 2:04.16 and took the 200 IM in 2:12.68 with freshman Kim Weyand finishing right behind her.
Another freshman, Mary Samuels led the sweep in the 200 fly with a time of 2:10.84 with senior Alyssa Siano and sophomore Meredith Bayer capturing the second and third spots. In the 200 breast, junior Emily DiDonato won with a time of 2:28.75 with Danielle Caruso placing second and Weyand taking third.
Other winners for the Mountain Hawks included sophomore Giovanna Patafio, who won the 1000 free with 10:42.82 with Caruso placing second and senior Priscilla Barletta who captured the 200 free in 1:57.65.
Lehigh also captured the meet-opening 400 medley relay with Leung, DiDonato, Samuels and senior Paola Simon taking top honors in 4:00.89.
“Overall it was every character that we’ve talked about came through tonight,” Herb said. “We don’t have one superstar. We have a great group and they’re all doing their part to make us better.”
The Mountain Hawks will return to the pool at the US Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia, beginning December 1.