On Saturday, the Binghamton men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed in their final dual meet of 2022, making the trip to Amherst, Massachusetts to face off against UMass and Vermont. The men, whose only opponent was UMass, defeated the hosts 172.5-127.5, while the women lost both of their matchups against UMass and Vermont, 72-228 and 100-200, respectively.
“I felt the men competed well right from the beginning,” said Binghamton head coach Jerry Cummiskey. “UMass diving was very strong, so they started the day with a decent lead, and we were able to win just about every event except for the two backs. So I think our guys did well and we were a little short-handed with some guys out sick, but overall one of our best top to bottom dual meets in a long time, coming out with a win against UMass for the first time in program history.”
Leading the way for the men’s side against the Minutemen was sophomore Eli Lanfear, who won three individual events in the 100 back, 50 free and 100 fly, with times of 50.12, 20.92 and 48.69, respectively. Lanfear has now racked up 13 individual victories this season for the Bearcats.
“[Lanfear] has just been great, he’s been consistent,” Cummiskey said. “He does a bunch of different things for us. He helps us on relay, sprints, free, fly and snuck in a 100 backstroke win yesterday. He’s worked hard. He’s worked for it, and hopefully he’s got another step forward he can still take.”
Other individual winners for Binghamton included senior Justin Meyn, who secured the 100 breast with a time of 57.85 and the 100 free at 46.47, as well as freshman Liam Preston — who also won twice — coming out on top in the 1000 free with a time of 9:43.99 and the 500 free at 4:42.82. Juniors Liam Murphy, Lewis Lin and Jake Vecchio rounded out the individual winners, getting the gold in the 200 free, 200 breast and 200 fly, respectively. In the relays, the men also found plenty of success. Binghamton got first place in the 200 medley relay, as Lanfear, freshman Max Kaback, Lin and senior Ryan Maierle finished with a time of 1:32.22. The Bearcats also captured first in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:23.76, achieved by a team of Preston, Meyn, Murphy and Maierle.
“Meyn had probably his best meet in his four years, winning the 100 free and the 100 breaststroke in a really fast time for him, so he was great,” Cummiskey said. “Vecchio probably had his best two-fly … Preston was great, won the [1000 free],  free and was second in the  free.”
Despite the men’s success, the women could not find a win against a duo of opponents, UMass and Vermont. Junior Courtney Moane brought home silver for the Bearcats with a time of 1:06.69 and 2:26.84 in the 100 breast and 200 breast, respectively. Moane joined freshmen Olivia Philbrick and Maria Pignatelli, along with junior Molly Greeley, to grab another second-place finish in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:48.64.
“I thought the women swam well, competed well,” Cummiskey said. “The UMass women are very good, we know they’re a good team in our conference. Coming up against two very talented teams, I thought we were pretty good. We’ve still got some work to do. We’ve got to keep grinding to get some people where they need to be, but it’s December so we’ve got time to do that.”
This was Binghamton’s last dual meet of the year as the team heads into winter break before returning home for the final stretch of the season and a possible America East (AE) championship berth.
“It’s certainly a challenge,” Cummiskey said. “We don’t compete for another six weeks or so and three of those weeks our team is at home after exams before we come back for the new year. Our expectations are that they get the work in while they’re home and do what they’ve got to do to be in the right place coming back, and then you’ve got a five or six-week grind to finish off the season with hopes of swimming really well and competing well. We’ve got our championship meet, but that’s really determined by what we do in the next six weeks.”
The Bearcats will start the new year off against St. Bonaventure. First race is scheduled on Saturday, Jan. 21at 1 p.m. in the Patricia A. Saunders Aquatic Center in Vestal, New York.