The Springfield College men’s and women’s swimming and diving team wrapped up their last competition before the first semester’s closing at the Bomber Invitational at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.
The two teams faced tough competition, being challenged by nationally-ranked teams, such as Division I Cornell University. The teams still placed high, with the women placing second out of 12 teams and the men placing fifth out of 11.
For the women, the Pride scored 977 points, dropping second to Cornell University, which scored 983. With Cornell being a top Division I team, diving coach Pete Avdoulos and swimming coach John Taffe saw some standout performances in the Invitational.
In the pool, senior Kellie Pennington led the Pride with a second-place finish in the 100-free. Pennington swam to an NCAA “B” cut time of 50.60 in that event, while also competing in three other events during the weekend.
Along with Pennington, freshmen Emily Medeiros and Christiana Greco also swam in national cutoff times, Medeiros in the 100 breast stroke, and Greco winning the 100 butterfly. Another standout swimmer of the weekend was sophomore Ashleigh Monroe, who placed sixth in the 1650 free, with an 18:02.27 time.
The women divers faced adversity this past weekend, with All-American senior Jennifer Thompson not competing in the invitational.
“The underclassmen and senior Kyra Breightweiser had to step up,” said Avdoulos. “They did a great job.”
Freshman Morgan Kitzmiller took second place in the three-meter event, just below Cornell University. In the same event, Breightweiser took 10th with a score of 385.20. Sophomore Melanie Avdoulos took second in the one-meter event, also below Cornell.
“It’s always nice, as a Division III team, to go and show that you can stand up to Division I teams,” said Avdoulos.
“All in all, it was a pretty good performance for the women,” said Taffe.
On the men’s side, there was a lot of improvement across the roster.
Sophomore Michael Normoyle was a top competitor this past weekend, placing sixth in the 200 breast. In the same event, junior Brad Mills placed two spots under Normoyle at eighth with a 2:12.39 time.
The 400 free relay team, consisting of Normoyle, along with junior Hayden Cassidy, senior Jay Scotto and sophomore Dan Fay, finished with a combined score of 3:13.61.
On the diving board, junior Jack Lewis competed in both the one- and three-meter events, placing second in the one-meter and third in the three-meter. He hit national qualifying scores in his event along with his female teammates Avdoulos and Kitzmiller.
Another standout diver was senior Pat Smith, who placed ninth in the one-meter, and eighth in the three.
“We knew what we were up against, and we knew we could do well,” said Pete Avdoulos. “We prepared all semester for this meet.”
This was the last competition of the first semester, and the team expects to start practicing shortly after the holidays.