Mountain Hawks return to Jacobs Pool Saturday against Marist
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – After more than a month away from competition, the Lehigh swimming and diving teams return to the pool on Saturday as the Mountain Hawks host the Red Foxes of Marist at Jacobs Pool. The Mountain Hawks enjoyed a strong opening semester on both the men’s and women’s sides and will look to continue that into that success into the New Year as the team works towards the Patriot League Championships in mid-February.
It has been an especially good start to the season for the Lehigh men’s team, which brings a 6-0 record into Saturday’s meet. Lehigh’s last full-squad meet was a commanding 223-77 win over Lafayette on November 18, the Mountain Hawks’ 21st straight against their rivals. Since then, senior Kevin Shoemaker, and sophomores Demetri Karedis and Chris Hoke competed at the U.S. Winter Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia, while many of the younger Lehigh swimmers gained experience in a 138-24 win over NJIT.
Shoemaker posted three event wins against Lafayette in November, while four others won two events apiece. Frank Cuzzola won the 100 and 200 free, while freshmen Danny Bennett and Sean Brant won two events in the distance freestyle and backstroke events respectively. On the diving boards, senior Connor Styles swept the one and three meter events to help pad Lehigh’s advantage.
On the women’s side, Lehigh hasn’t competed since defeating Lafayette 169-131 on November 18 for its fourth straight win in the series. The Mountain Hawks are 3-2 in dual meets. Freshman Alissa Leung has been a revelation for the Mountain Hawks with her dominance in the backstroke and individual medley events. Leung won three individual events to key Lehigh’s win over Lafayette.
Against Lafayette a strong overall team effort was paced by sweeps in the 200 yard butterfly and 200 yard breaststroke. Freshman Mary Samuels carried Lehigh’s effort in the 200 fly, while junior Emily DiDonato led the Mountain Hawks in the 200 breast. Sophomore Giovanna Patafio and senior Priscilla Barletta were also individual event winners for the Brown and White.
Both Marist teams last competed at the H2ounds Invitational, hosted by Loyola in Baltimore, Md. December 2-3. The Marist men are 4-4 overall and 2-3 against MAAC opponents as the Red Foxes defeated Iona and St. Peter’s but fell to the host Greyhounds.
On the women’s side Marist is off to a 7-1 start. The Red Foxes are the defending MAAC women’s champions and defeated all three opponents at the H2ounds Invitational.
The last two meetings between Mountain Hawks and Red Foxes have seen the Lehigh men and Marist women post victories.
Saturday’s meet begins with diving at 10 a.m. from Jacobs Pool, with swimming events to follow at 1 p.m.
The remainder of Lehigh’s 2012 schedule includes a road meet at Army on Friday January 13, the home finale against Bucknell on January 21 and road meets at Drexel (1/28), the Navy Invitational (1/28) and Penn State (2/4) before the Patriot League Championships, February 16-18 at Navy.