The Stevens men’s and women’s swimming teams both won Empire 8 titles for the 2012-2013 season during a four-day event Ithaca, N.Y.
For the women, it was the team’s first Empire 8 title for the first time in program history. The Ducks finished with a team score of 1,447 points, 113.5 better than second place Ithaca College.
After the Ducks and Bombers was Hartwick College in third with 1,026 points and Nazareth College in fourth with a team total of 845.
The Ducks had placed second at the UNYSCSA/Empire 8 meet the last three years, finally breaking through at the 2013 Championships.
Freshman Jennifer Rutledge, sophomore April Lawson, sophomore Nicole Miller and senior Allison Henning all finished in the top-eight in the 100-yard freestyle prelims to start the Day 4 action (52.94, 52.97, 53.17, 53.59).
Senior Marissa Douglas clocked a B-cut in the 200-yard backstroke prelims and took third, while junior Megan Lisbon (Woodbridge, Va.) and sophomore Sharon Rooker were sixth and eighth with times of 2:08.15 and 2:10.49.
Sophomore Brittany Geyer notched a B-cut with a 2:21.55 in the 200-yard breaststroke, while freshman teammate Elena Piper was eighth (2:29.22).
In the final event of the morning session, Douglas, Miller, Rutledge and junior Louise Moores turned in a 3:31.67 in the 400-yard freestyle relay to take the top spot and earn a B-cut.
Freshman Elizabeth Heinbach broke an 18-year old championship record in the 1,650-yard freestyle by more than seven seconds and the previous Stevens record by almost 12 seconds, winning the mile swim and earning 32 team points as well as an NCAA B-cut. Senior Victoria Baldwin took home 25 team points with her fifth-place finish and time of 17:52.87.
Rutledge recorded a B-cut in the finals of the 100-free with a 52.12, taking second place to pocket 28 points. Lawson was third, Miller placed sixth and Henning was eighth as the four Duck swimmers in the A finals tallied 101 points.
Douglas and Lisbon went three-four in the 200-yard backstroke with B-cut finishes of 2:06.52 and 2:06.80, while Rooker was eighth with a 2:10.23. The trio accounted for 75 points.
Geyer notched an NCAA A-cut with a 2:16.71 in placing second in the 200-yard breaststroke, and Piper finished fifth with a 2:27.63. The duo earned 53 points.
In the final event, with the title all but wrapped up, the team of Douglas, Lawson, Rutledge and Moores carded a 3:28.70 to win the 400-yard freestyle relay and pocket the final NCAA B-cut of a remarkably impressive title run.
On the final day of competition, Stevens tallied one NCAA A-cut, eight NCAA B-cuts, one new school-record and one championship-best. In total, the Ducks had 20 B-cuts, two A-cuts and broke four championship records.
For the men, this was the team’s second UNYSCSA/Empire 8 title in the program’s history. The Ducks finished with a team total of 1,586 points.
Behind Stevens was Ithaca College with 1,356 points and Hartwick College with 1,111 points. The Ducks had previously won the 2009-10 conference title back on March 1, 2010 and had finished the last two years in second place.
Senior John Hu was named the Swimmer of the Meet, while Head Coach Brad Thornton earned Coach of the Meet accolades.
Freshman Tommy Wolinski broke the school-record in the 100-yard freestyle with a 46.36 which was good for third place to start the Day 4 prelims. Freshman Byron Held and junior Tyler Hessler went fifth and eighth with times of 46.46 and 46.82.
Freshman Craig O’Dell notched an NCAA B-cut time of 1:51.03 to lead a group of five Stevens swimmers that placed in the top-eight of the 200-yard backstroke. Joining O’Dell were freshman Ravi Sun in second (1:51.16), junior Shawn Hanak in fourth (1:53.51), freshman Taylor Nichols in seventh (1:54.34) and senior Greg Charriez in eighth (1:54.37).
Junior Simas Jarasunas broke a 27-year old championship-record with a 2:02.43 in the 200-yard breaststroke, placing first and also breaking the Stevens school-record in the process, while junior Joe Huyett, Wolinski, Held and Hessler clocked a 3:06.57 and took the top spot in the 400-yard freestyle relay to close the morning session.
Sophomore Wesley Elford took first place in the mile swim, earning 32 team points and a B-cut with a 15:50.50, while junior Conor Arcuri brought home 24 points with his sixth-place finish (16:28.95).
Held led the Ducks in the 100-free finals with a 46.11, breaking the school-record Wolinski set in the prelims. Hessler finished sixth (46.47) and Wolinski was seventh (46.51) as the trio combined for 74 team points. Sun broke the school-record and got an NCAA B-cut with a 1:50.44 in winning the 200-yard backstroke. O’Dell and Hanak followed in second and third with B-cuts (1:51.14, 1:51.41), while Nichols and Charriez were sixth and eighth (1:54.36, 1:56.72). The group totaled 143 points.
Jarasunas continued a remarkable run at the championships with the fastest time in NCAA Division III this year in the 200-yard breaststroke. The junior clocked a 2:01.55, re-breaking the record he set in the prelims and notching his second NCAA A-cut of the championships.
To close the meet and add emphasis to the already-clinched title, Wolinski, Hessler, Held and Hanak turned in a 3:02.52 to win the 400-yard freestyle relay. The time was good for a new championship-record, an NCAA B-cut and new school-record.
On Day 4, the Ducks tallied two NCAA A-cuts, six B-cuts and a pair of championship-records. In the four-day event, Stevens had three A-cuts, 32 B-cuts and four championship-records.