Swimming and Diving Competes at Bucknell Invitational

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The men’s and women’s team had a strong showing this past week. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Nicholas Raptis, Staff Writer

Last weekend, the Fordham Swimming and Diving team traveled to Pennsylvania to compete in the three-day Bucknell Invitational. The women’s team has been on a hot streak, entering the competition with an undefeated record. While the men’s team is not undefeated, their 3-1 record is also extremely impressive this season.

Day one of the competition ended well for the women’s team. At the end of the day, they scored a total of 316 points. This was enough to put them in second place out of eight, with only Bucknell sitting ahead of them. They were not far behind, though, as Bucknell scored only 400 points.

The 500 individual freestyle, 200 medley relay and 200 individual medley races were the strongest events of the day for the women. All these events had multiple Fordham athletes competing in the finals.
For the 500 freestyle, sophomore Emilie Krog had the best time for the Rams with 4:55.80. This time earned her third overall in the event. Senior Clare Culver came sixth overall with a time of 4:57.67. In the 200 freestyle event, sophomore Zoei Howard, sophomore Jessica Zebrowski, senior Alison Lin and graduate student Megan Morris combined to score sixth in the 200 relay with a time of 1:34.94. In the 200 individual medley, sophomore Leire Martin finished in fourth, while her sister Ainhoa Martin came in fifth place.

Fordham was also very competitive in the diving events, where graduate student Millie Haffety secured second place in the one-meter dive with a score of 271.55. Next was graduate student Lilia de Oliveira Pelaez, who came in fifth with a score of 239.60.

The women also placed second in the 400 medley relay behind the efforts of Martin, Zebrowski, Howard and sophomore Emma Shaughnessy. With this strong performance on day one, the women’s swimming and diving team set a solid tone for the rest of the tournament.

Over on the men’s side of the competition, Fordham scored 216 points after one day of action. This placed them in fourth place, right in the middle of the pack among eight teams in the tournament.
An astounding six different Rams scored in the 50 freestyle event, including freshman Christian Taylor, who took fifth place with a time of 20.47, and graduate student Taras Zherebetskyy, who finished eighth with a time of 21.01.

The highlight of the night came during the 200 freestyle relay finals when the team set a new school record with their performance. Taylor, Zherebetskyy, Chao and junior Noah Altoff worked together to beat the previous record set in 2018. Their time of 1:20.87 was fast enough to beat the old record of 1:21.10.

The Rams also won the finals in two other events. In the 500 freestyle, freshman Ethan Newberry won the “C” final for Fordham with a time of 4:37.36. For the 200 individual medley, junior Alex Wilhem was able to win the “B” final with a time of 1:50.96 while Althoff won the “C” final with a time of 1:53.14.
After the second day of competition, the women’s team remained in second place behind Bucknell with an overall score of 726.5. The men were still ranked fourth among their competition, scoring 523 points overall.

Among the women’s team, five different athletes scored in the 400 individual medley, the Martin sisters both finished in the top three, with Leire Martin winning the event with an impressive time of 4:16.17 and Ainhoa Martin finishing third at 4:24.77.
The second day also saw positive results for the women in their relay events. The 200 medley relay team between Leire Martin, Shaughnessy, Zebrowski and Howard finished first overall with a fantastic time of 1:42.34.

While the men’s team overall did not make any progress in the standings, a new school record was set in the 100 butterfly event. With a time of 47.87, Raptis broke the old record of 47.98 that was set in 2018 by Joe Mercurio.

In the 200 free, Kanjanakaset grabbed ninth overall while also securing a victory in the “B” final. Two of his teammates joined him in scoring for the event. Wilhelm finished twelfth with a time of 1:42.31 and Newberry placed twenty-first after finishing in 1:44.40.
In the 200 medley, Raptis joined Taylor, Onu and Zherebetskyy to take home third after finishing the event with a time of 1:29.73.

The final day of the tournament did not see much movement in the standings, at least for Fordham. After the full three days of competition, the women’s team ended in second just as they had started with 1,151.5 points. Similarly, the men’s team ended in fourth just as they had after day one. Their final total was 726 points.

The women competed best in the 1650 freestyle and 100 freestyle events. Culver was the best female performer for Fordham with a time of 17:02.39, earning fourth place.

The 200 butterfly event was equally as strong, with four Rams scoring in the event. With a strong performance of 2:03.78, Zebrowski was able to finish second overall.

A highlight of the night for the team overall came when Ainhoa Martin competed in the 200 breaststroke event. With a spectacular time of 2:13.49, she secured first overall in the event. This was the only event that Fordham won on the third day at Bucknell.

The women’s team also had a strong showing in the diving events for the night. Seven different members of the team scored for the 3M diving event. Scoring best on the team was Haffety, who placed fourth overall with 250.80 points. Oliveira Peleaz was next, scoring 231.90 and coming in eighth overall.

The strongest event of day three for the men’s team was the 100 freestyle event in which six members of the team scored. Zherebetskyy took home seventh overall with a performance time of 45.18, and Kanjanakaset was next best in the event with ninth overall and a time of 45.53 seconds, also winning the “B” final in the process.

In the 200 butterfly, Raptis had another strong showing, placing third behind a time of 1:48.02. He was followed by sophomore Daniel Badawy and junior Ryan Davidoff. The pair finished in 1:54.07 and 1:58.73, respectively.

Similar to the women’s team, the last event that the men were scheduled to take place in was the 400 freestyle relay. However, a false start from one of the team members forced Fordham to be disqualified from the event. The Rams did not score in this event.

The Fordham Swimming and Diving team will get a much-needed rest after a long matchup against Bucknell. Their next event will be Saturday, Jan. 21, when La Salle University is scheduled to face off against the Fordham Rams in the Bronx.