The record books were rewritten over the weekend when the Binghamton men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed in the Brown Invitational, finishing third and fifth, respectively, to cap off the fall season. In the process of clocking in team placements of third for the men and fifth for the women, five school records and an America East (AE) conference record were shattered by the Bearcats.
“Definitely some of the strongest competition we see all year between Brown, Georgetown, Colgate and [New Hampshire],” said Binghamton head coach Jerry Cummiskey. “But we competed well, top to bottom throughout the event. A lot of great swims that overall we’re very happy with.”
While no Bearcats earned a first-place finish on day one of competition, when the timesheets were finalized on Friday three school records and an America East (AE) conference record had been broken. Beating his old 200 IM record by just over a second was senior Henry Shemet, who clocked in a time of 1:46.85 to take silver in the event. A pair of relay squads also took new records Friday. Shemet led off a 200 free relay squad also composed of junior Elijah Lanfear, senior Sandon Karinsky and sophomore Liam Preston, whose second place time of 1:19.60 broke not just a school record but an AE record as well. Lastly, the 400 medley relay quartet of sophomore Olivia Philbrick, senior Courtney Moane, freshman Haley Nowak and senior Maddie Hoover took a school record of their own with their time of 3:44.71 to place second in the event.
“The [women’s] relays were really, really good,” Cummiskey said. “They’ve been good all year, so we were not necessarily expecting, but hoping, to see that. So it was great to break a record by almost two seconds that we set last year.”
The first top placements of the event for BU were claimed on the men’s side of the action on Saturday. Lanfear brought home the gold in the 100-back event, clocking in a time of 47.83 — good enough for his second individual school record on the weekend. Also taking a first-place result was Preston, who finished with a time of 1:37.54 for the top placement in the 200 free. Meanwhile, Lanfear, Shemet, Preston and senior Liam Murphy netted an 800 free relay off the back of a time of 6:32.53. On the women’s side, Moane captured the lone individual podium finish for the Bearcat women on the weekend with a bronze medal placement in the 100 breast, registering a time of 1:03.33.
“We swam faster than we’ve ever swam midseason on both sides,” Cummiskey said. “Some individual records, some real fast swims that will stack up on the conference level. An awesome weekend all around.”
Senior Jake Vecchio captured BU’s final gold medal of the meet with a timecard of 1:48:46 in the 200-fly event. Lanfear also captured another second-place finish, with a time of 44.14 in the 100 free. The final broken school record of the weekend, however, belonged to the Bearcat women, as Moane punched in a time of 2:17.38 to take sixth place in the 200 breast and top the nine-year-old record.
“It was a good environment,” Cummiskey said. “The guys and girls just fed off each other … the energy and vibe was good, and everyone was just excited to see what they could do.”
Binghamton will have a nearly two-month break before hosting their final home meet of the year against Wagner on Saturday, Jan. 20. First swim is set for 1 p.m. at the Patricia A. Saunders Aquatic Center in Vestal, New York. In the meantime, Cummiskey says the team will focus on honing individual performances ahead of the AE conference championships.
“It’s trying to get the work in but also focusing on some of the details and cleaning things up to be able to execute once we get to February,” Cummiskey said. “This is our best mid-season in the five years since I’ve been here, and we’ve always fought much better as a team at the end. So we’re excited to see where we’ll be.”