By Lindsay Regruto
The Orange and Blue claimed their first-ever gold medal finish in diving when Tara Bolye ’15 earned first place on the one-meter at the Patriot League Championship last weekend in Annapolis, Md. The overall success of the women’s diving team earned diving coach Errol Carter the Patriot League Diving Coach of the Meet award. The women’s swimming and diving team ended the three-day meet in third place behind Colgate and Navy with a score of 593 points.
“Patriots was an amazing experience, the atmosphere on deck was unreal,” Boyle said. “The whole meet was so exciting, and it was great to see how everyone’s hard work paid off.”
Saturday’s conclusion saw a number of new program top-10 times and records set. Kelly Pontecorvo ’14 broke her own school record in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:39.13. Kaitlyn Sweeney ’12 also set a new eighth-place mark in program history in the 200 butterfly, touching the wall at 2:06.84, with teammate Stephanie Koziol ’15 finishing close behind (2:07.32) to set a new ninth-place mark. The women ended the meet with a close third-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay, just two seconds behind second-place Colgate.
“I think as a whole, Saturday night was the most exciting, especially the 400 freestyle relays,” Pontecorvo said. “Both our men’s and women’s teams pushed through until the very end and it was awesome to cheer on those relays right down to the very finish of the meet … When the goal is just to put it all on the line, it’s amazing to see what we can accomplish.”
By Friday the Orange and Blue had put themselves solidly in third place with a score of 363, 79 points ahead of fourth-place Army but 111 behind second-place Colgate. Sweeney came in eighth in the 100 fly to earn her team points. Lauren Perry ’15 (200 free), Emily Norton ’15 (100 breast), Kozial and Elizabeth Porcellio ’13 (400 IM) and Jennifer Brennan ’14 (100 back) all earned program top-five times.
“We saw some very fast swimming and spectacular diving on our women’s team, especially from our underclassmen,” Sweeney said. “As a veteran and captain, I was proud of the support the upperclassmen provided and how well the underclassmen prepared and performed … I think that we really stepped up to the challenge to put our best effort forward.”
Thursday was a strong start for the Orange and Blue. Katie Hetherington ’15 took second place in the three-meter dive while teammates Boyle and Tori Molchany ’15 followed with fifth and seventh respectively. Combined, the three earned 43 points for the Orange and Blue.
“It was cool to see how far the team had come this year because everyone has worked very hard,” Hetherington said. “I know from a diving standpoint that we all improved a lot this year and it’s going to be exciting to see how we do next year.”
The relays were also very successful on Thursday. The 200 free and 400 medley relay teams both swam for the sixth-best marks in program history in their respective events. In addition, Pontecorvo set the second-best time in school history in the 500 free (4:56.61). Seven athletes made it to the A finals of their events and three set new top-10 times.
“I was very pleased with the women’s swimming and diving team’s performance overall this past week at the Patriot League Championships,” head coach Dan Schinnerer said. “We definitely have made progress from last year both in scoring more points as a team and in closing the gap on the teams that placed in front of us … The women’s team is very young. We only had one senior on our championship squad and I think our future is very bright.”