Swim and Dive Returns from Bucknell Invitational


Fordham Swimming and Diving closed out its calendar year with the annual Bucknell Invitational. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Everyone knows this time of the year: A fresh season brings us another Bucknell Invitational. This annual tournament, which Fordham has participated in for the past nine years, brought mixed results for the Rams. The women placed in second with 1,436 points, matching their best finish at the event, only behind Towson’s score of 1,751 points. The men finished in fifth with 947 points, where Davidson claimed first with 1,261.5 points.

The women’s team was able to maintain the success it has had all season, replicating their production as it traveled to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Senior Amelia Bullock was one of many standout Rams at the invitational. Bullock, from Westport, Connecticut, filled the stat sheet over the weekend. She finished third in the 200 breaststroke in a school-record and NCAA “B” qualifying time of 2:15.50.  This record was previously held by Nele Albers, with a time of 2:18.08 in 2017. However, Bullock wasn’t finished, she then took third place in the 200 butterfly event in 2:01.75.

The rest of the team’s strength was fully put on display in the 1650 freestyle event on day three. The Rams had four swimmers in the top 10, led by junior Kate Magill who grabbed second overall in the event at 16:50.56. Juniors Caitlin McNary (17:01.31) and Bayley Frierson (17:09.82) finished in fourth and sixth, respectively, followed by senior Chloe Mitchell in 10th (17:54.05).

The men’s team finished in fifth place, only ahead of Bucknell, the host of the tournament. Junior Patrick Wilson touched first in the 100 breaststroke on Saturday and fourth in the 200 breaststroke on Sunday in a time of 2:04.69. He also contributed in the 400 freestyle relay, where he joined sophomore Spencer Clarke, senior Kevin Berry and sophomore Josh Stegen to take fourth in 3:04.09.

In the 200 backstroke, sophomore Connor Wright won the “B” final for ninth overall in 1:51.67, and junior Scott Stern was 16th in 1:54.68.

The men may not have placed first, however, there were positive takeaways from this tournament. Josh Stegen, the transfer from Indian River State College, remarked on the strong bond his squad shared in his first time competing in Bucknell.

“It was an experience going to Pennsylvania,” he said. “Just spending time together has really been something I’ve enjoyed.” Stegen, born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, elaborated on the tight-knit element of the team when asked about its cohesiveness. “To me, that’s what stands out about this team. I’ve been on numerous other teams, and this has been by far the most family-oriented” Stegen said. “Everyone seems to know where their responsibility lies.”

Fordham now receives some much-needed rest following its three-day tournament. Both the men’s and women’s teams are back in action on Jan. 17 at 4 p.m. as they host the Boston College Eagles at the Col. Francis B. Messmore Aquatic Center.