Coming off a loss against Bucknell last month, the Binghamton men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams swept Canisius on Saturday at the Patricia A. Saunders Aquatic Center in Vestal, New York. The women took down the Golden Griffins 207-93, while the men were victorious with a 167-131 win. Many of the individual performances led Binghamton to a decisive win, but the overall team contribution helped propel the team ahead.
“We swam well on the women’s side, we got off to a great start and just kind of rolled all the way through,” said Binghamton head coach Jerry Cummiskey. “On the men’s side, we lost the first five races, which is pretty unique, not winning either relay and los[ing] five races, but we had a full team effort all the way through that helped us make up the ground.”
At the start of the meet, the women’s team (3-1) crushed the Golden Griffins (2-4), taking first and second in both the 400 medley relay and the 1,000 free. The 1,000 free was won by junior Kaitlyn Smolar, clocking in at a time of 10:49.77, over 12 seconds ahead of the next finisher, junior Kaitlyn McCarthy. Following the first two events, freshman Manuela Matkovic took nine points, finishing first in the 200 free with a time of 1:59.76. This was followed by a win from freshman Audrey Pesek in the 100 backstroke (59.58) and the 200 backstroke (2:10.25).
Additional first-place finishes from freshman Meadow Perez in the 100 and 200 butterfly (1:00.52 and 2:12.49), senior Sydney Atendido in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.07), senior Olivia Santos in the 100 freestyle (54.61), senior Rebecca Nelson in the 100 individual medley (1:01.83), sophomore Kelli O’Shea in the 200 breaststroke (2:27.83) and the 400 medley relay team further widened the gap in favor of the Bearcats. In five of the women’s swimming events, all top-three spots were taken by Binghamton swimmers.
“It’s not just those that are winning the events that make a difference, but the athletes that are coming in second, third and fourth,” Cummiskey said.
The women’s diving team was unable to repeat its sweeping performance against Bucknell back in October, as Canisius took both the 1- and 3-meter events. Sophomore Amanda McGraw salvaged seven total points from both events, but the results from the Canisius divers did not make up the ground lost in the swimming events.
The Binghamton men’s swim team (2-1) didn’t have an easy go of it at first, struggling right out of the gate. The Canisius 400 medley relay team took 11 points in the opening event, finishing above the Bearcats, who managed second- and third-place finishes. Binghamton lost the next four events, with the streak being broken by senior Ross Bernstein in the 200 butterfly. Bernstein clocked in at 1:55.31 with the men’s first win of the meet.
Freshman Justin Meyn won three events on the day, earning crucial points to make up ground against the Golden Griffins (4-2). He took the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.82, 100 freestyle in 47.72 and the 100 individual medley in 53.53 for his fifth first-place finish of the season.
“It’s really about the team,” Meyn said. “We always push each other and we go up to each other before all of the different events, and the guys who are seeded lower we keep pushing to get them higher and higher … And that’s where our depth really comes into play.”
To add to the score, sophomore Brian Harding led a 16-point sweep in the 200 backstroke, finishing with a time of 2:00.18 and followed by two other Binghamton swimmers taking second and third. The men’s diving team managed to deliver a comfortable result, with sophomore Chris Egan winning both the 1- and 3-meter dives with scores of 257.70 and 283.57, respectively.
“I think we’re in a good place, I like where we are,” Cummiskey said. “It’s November swimming so we’re beaten up, but we raced hard and we got a good group.”
Binghamton will next head to New Rochelle, New York to go up against Iona College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16.