On Saturday afternoon, the Binghamton men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams swept Iona at their home pool in Vestal, tallying 18 individual victories at the meet. The men beat the Gaels 196-92 and the women won 179-115, further extending both teams’ win streaks to three meets.
“Our goal today was to keep improving but walk away with two wins,” said Binghamton head coach Jerry Cummiskey. “Two years ago we went to Iona and they beat us pretty good, so we definitely had that on our minds.”
The last time the Bearcats went up against Iona, both the men’s and women’s teams lost. This season, however, both teams managed to take the lead over the Gaels and started to run away with the victory midway into the matchup.
“Early on, for both sides, we won a few events: the [200-yard freestyle], the [1000-yard freestyle], both backstrokes, so it probably wasn’t until the 100-yard breaststroke that we really put a dent in it and pulled away a little bit,” Cummiskey said.
The men’s team immediately grabbed 11 points after winning the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:33.45. The Bearcats subsequently dropped the next three events but broke the dry run with a victory by senior Ryan Board in the 100-yard breaststroke (57.90). BU gained further traction in the 50-yard freestyle after junior Justin Meyn won the event with a time of 21.33. Senior Chris Egan added another 18 points after sweeping the one-meter and three-meter diving events with scores of 293.70 and 276.00, respectively.
To further put BU’s lead out of reach, freshman Eli Lanfear won the 100-yard freestyle (46.70) and 100-yard butterfly (50.75). Also, sophomore Lewis Lin earned 16 individual points for Binghamton by winning the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:05.23 finishing under his seed time and coming second in the 100-yard breaststroke (58.81). The sophomore finished third in the 200-yard IM to add another three points.
Binghamton administered its final blow to the Gaels in the 400-yard freestyle relay, beating Iona with a time of 3:06.14.
“The last relay was good, we knew that we had a good group there,” Cummiskey said. “We had a couple of times there where they were right on the pool record and right on where they were at champs last year, so a great swim and we’re happy with where we’re at.”
The women’s side kicked off the meet similar to the men, dropping a few of its early events despite picking up a win in the first relay. Board’s 100-yard breaststroke counterpart sophomore Courtney Moane won the same event in a time of 1:06.83 to earn nine points for BU. Then, sophomore Molly Greeley picked up a victory for the Bearcats in the 50-yard freestyle (25.16) and later doubled her individual total with a first-place finish in the 200-yard IM (2:11.97). Greeley added another four points by placing second in the 100-yard freestyle.
As with the men’s team, the Bearcat women began to pull away completely come the later events. Eighteen points came from diving alone, in which senior Amanda McGraw scored 275.03 points in the one-meter event and freshman Jade Liguori earned 249.08 in the three-meter, both coming away in gold medal positions. Additionally, freshman Lauren Kuzma won the 200-yard breaststroke (2:26.77) and tied for first in the 100-yard butterfly (1:00.44) with fellow Bearcat senior Belen Marriaga, splitting the points 6.50 apiece. The BU lead grew too large for Iona to overcome, despite the away side winning the final relay.
Binghamton is set to cap off its fall season at the Rhode Island Invitational. Cummiskey said the invitational serves as a test run for the conference championships in 2022 and will use it to benchmark the team’s fitness level.
“Our expectations are that we really figure out who we are,” Cummiskey said. “Improve, we swim fast, and we utilize it to figure out how we can become better come February. We use it as a dress rehearsal for championships.”
The invitational is scheduled as a three-day event from Friday, Nov. 19 to Sunday, Nov. 21. The meet is set to start at 8 a.m. at Tootell Aquatic Center in Kingston, Rhode Island.