Thankfully for the Binghamton swimming and diving teams’ opponents, the Bearcats only figuratively blew them out of the water on Saturday in the West Gym. On the men’s side, BU defeated Niagara, 171.5-128.5, while the women bested both Niagara, 206-88, and Siena, 190-108.Despite these large margins, the Bearcats did not take victories for granted heading into the meet.
“We knew we were capable, but in all honesty, I thought it would be a much closer contest than what it was,” said BU head coach Brad Smith. “On paper, and even from collegeswimming.com, we were projected to win by a small margin.”
Both squads got off to impressive starts, each taking first in the 200-yard medley relay, which requires four swimmers to swim 50 yards of the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. The men’s team, which consisted of freshmen Travis Blank and Matthew DeVito, senior captain Tommy Cummings and classmate Brian McKenna, recorded a time of 1:36.28, topping second-place Niagara by more than three-tenths of a second. On the women’s side, the Bearcats took both first and second place, the first relay team of seniors Claudia Coccaro and Selina Ng and sophomores Maria Trivino and Courtney Foley finishing in a time of 1:51.21.
According to Smith, Binghamton’s prowess in this event results from its significant skill sets in a variety of strokes.
“We have quite a bit of talent up front and we’ve just got to continue to develop that,” Smith said. “We certainly have some of the stronger butterfliers on both the men’s and women’s sides … We [also] have an unbelievable amount of depth in the backstroke.”
The Bearcat men were led by senior captain Andrew Duszynski, who won the 1000-yard freestyle (9:57.98), 100-yard backstroke (54.26) and 500-yard freestyle.
“[Duszynski] was definitely by far the most outstanding performance on the men’s side,” Smith said. “If there was an MVP of the meet, it was definitely Andrew for the guys.”
Also important to the Bearcats’ victory — which improves their record to 2-1 on the season — was Cummings, who took first in both the 100-yard (100:00.03) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:13.71). Other top finishers on the men’s side were freshman Max Willard, who took second behind Duszynski in the 100-yard freestyle (10:01.06); freshman Zachary Kaplan, who finished second after Duszynski in the 100-yard backstroke (54.45); and McKenna, who won the 50-yard freestyle (21:39). Freshman diver Cole Reagan recorded his second straight career win in one-meter diving, posting a score of 264.75.
The women’s squad was equally impressive, taking down Niagara and Siena to advance to 2-2 on the season. After winning the 200-yard medley relay, the Bearcat women continued their notable campaign. Sophomore Kristen Pozmanter dominated the freestyle events, winning the 100-yard event in 10:45.23 and the 500-yard variation in 5:19.90. Coccaro took first in the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.76) for her first collegiate victory. The BU women finished in the top four spots in the 200-yard fly, with freshman Brooke Pettis leading with a time of 2:09.93. Trivino had a particularly impressive performance, winning the 200-yard breaststroke (2:28.39) and the 400 IM (4:41.12).
Despite Saturday’s successful competition, Binghamton will continue to seek improvement to better the men’s fifth-place finish and the women’s fourth-place standing at last year’s America East Championships.
“We’ve got to continue to build upon this success,” Smith said. “We dropped a lot of time in this meet and there were some really strong swims all around, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
BU is set to return to action on Friday, November 6 at Cornell. The first race is scheduled for 3 p.m. from the Teagle Hall Pool in Ithaca, New York.