After all 40 events concluded on Sunday afternoon, both Binghamton swimming and diving teams took home hardware at the 2022 Rhode Island Invitational. The men’s side put up 1068.5 points in a first-place effort while the women notched 497.5, placing fourth out of seven teams.
“I thought it was a good weekend,” said Binghamton head coach Jerry Cummiskey. “I think we went into the invite with a goal of trying to compete well and, more than anything, just learn some things and find out who we are and how we can get better looking toward the second half of our season.”
During the first two days of the meet, the men took home wins in nine different individual events. Leading the way for the Bearcats were junior Liam Murphy and sophomore Eli Lanfear, who won three individual events each. Murphy took 200 free, 500 free and 1,650 free, earning pool records in the 500 and 1,650 with times of 4:28.12 and 15:40.82, respectively. The junior has been named America East (AE) Swimmer of the Week. Lanfear took gold in the 50 free, 100 free and a pool record time of 47.42 in the 100 fly.
“[The men] are a talented group,” Cummiskey said. “They work hard. I don’t think pool records was ever a goal for the weekend. It’s certainly a cool thing, you get your name up there … but that was just something that happened, and it was definitely cool to see.”
Junior Henry Shemet won two events and set two pool records in the 200 IM and the 400 IM, junior Eric Kroon captured the 100 breast and the 200 breast and junior Jake Vecchio took the 200 fly. Rounding out the individual winners, senior Ryan Cohn swept the diving events, scoring 293.70 in the one-meter and 304.70 in the three-meter, a performance that earned him a fifth AE Diver of the Week award.
“[Cohn’s] had a strong season so far,” Cummiskey said. “I think he’s had five Diver of the Week’s in the conference and has been really consistent as our top diver. He’s doing a really good job and he just has to keep that going through the end year.”
Additionally, the men’s side swept all five relay races. Lanfear and Shemet were major contributors, participating in four of the five relay victories in the 200 free, 400 free, 200 medley and 400 medley. Senior Justin Meyn swam in the 200 free, 400 free and 800 free while Murphy raced in the 400 free and 800 free as well. Vecchio was on the 400 medley and 800 free teams. Kroon, senior Ryan Maierle, junior George Kipshidze and freshman Liam Preston all swam in one relay each.
In the relays, the men earned three pool records in the 200 free (1:20.48), the 400 medley (3:18.61) and the 200 medley (1:29.14). Their other wins clocked in at 6:42.70 in the 800 free relay and 3:00.65 in the 400 free relay.
“Certainly happy with some of the success we had on both sides,” Cummiskey said. “It’s a little bit easier to quantify it on the men’s side, winning 18 out of 20 events, but I thought our women did well and we had some really good swims on both sides, and [I’m] just encouraged [with] where we are at our midpoint this season.”
Despite finishing in fourth place, the women’s side had their fair share of success throughout the weekend. Freshman Celia Webster was the highest scorer, placing second in the 200 IM and 200 back while earning third in the 100 fly.
“Our women did a good job of making some adjustments race to race,” Cummiskey said. “Working on some things we were really trying and focused on achieving that aren’t necessarily time or place based, more process driven goals. I was happy with the way they competed and kind of progressed throughout the weekend … which is great to see.”
Other runner-up finishers included junior Courtney Moane and sophomore Lauren Kuzma, in the 100 and 200 breast, respectively. Webster and junior Maddie Hoover were both on the 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay teams that came in second.
“I think some of our biggest takeaways are some things that we really need to improve on and can use to get better,” Cummiskey said. “It’s crazy to come out of meet like that with as much success as we had and being more focused on what we can fix, but that was the whole goal of why we were there. I think we’ve got work to do and we’ll have those conversations when we get back from break … what we can do better individually and as a team to make that happen.”
BU will return to the pool on Saturday, Dec. 3 against UMass. The meet is set to begin at 1 p.m. at the Joseph R. Rogers, Jr. Pool in Amherst, Massachusetts.