Swimming Makes a Splash at Princeton Invitational


Senior Megan Polaha had a productive meet in Princeton, finishing 10th in the 200m IM. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

By Andrea Garcia 

Senior Megan Polaha had a productive meet in Princeton, finishing 10th in the 200m IM. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)
Senior Megan Polaha had a productive meet in Princeton, finishing 10th in the 200m IM. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving dove into competition this past week, traveling to the Big Al Open/Princeton Invitational in Princeton, New Jersey after a two-week hiatus. In the invitational format, the Rams were competing on an individual level against other athletes from Princeton, Lehigh, UConn and TCNJ.

In women’s freestyle competition, sophomore Tara Brunner posted the fifth-best time of the day in the 50m free. She clocked in a new season best of 24.14 seconds. In the 100m free, Brunner moved up in the ranks to a fourth-place finish at 52.85, a new personal best. Junior Erin McBride held up Fordham’s fastest time in both the 500m and 1650m free, with 17:51.12 in the 1650m and a season best of 5:07.49 in the 500m free. Sophomore Travis Monahan swam a season best of 21.49 in the 50m free, finishing in 13th place. The men also took 13th place in the 100m free, thanks to freshman Joseph Vizza’s time of 47.42. Vizza also performed well in the 500m free, placing fifth overall with a season best of 4:40.09. Out of 10 entries in the 1650m free, freshman Christopher Sluetjes swam into fourth place in 16:24.52.

Freshman Amelia Bullock flew into a second place finish in the 100m fly, putting up a time of 56.44 seconds, just behind Gianna Garcia’s winning time of 56.02 seconds. Then, Bullock passed Garcia to take first place in the 200m fly, celebrating a season best of 2:01.53. On the men’s side, junior Tommy Christensen came in 10th place in the 100m fly to offer the Rams’ best time of 52.43. Junior Christopher Viera posted a season best of 1:54.89 to finish second in the 200m fly.

Princeton dominated in the 100m breaststroke, closing out the top six times of the race. Sophomore Gabrielle Celia followed in ninth place, with a time of 1:08.48. Princeton also proved its strength in the 200m race, but junior Nele Albers still managed a season best of 2:27.30. Monahan showed fourth-place speed in the men’s 100m and 200m breast, clocking in 58.87 and 2:08.71.

Six Princeton women claimed the top times of the 200m IM, but senior Megan Polaha held her ground to secure a 10th place finish with a time of 2:08.57. Fordham remained competitive in the 400m IM, and Polaha put up the third-best time of 4:31.22. Freshman Cat Alabanza came in sixth at 4:35.03. Sophomore Isiah Magsino, touching the wall at 1:54.88, took the fifth place standing in the men’s 200m IM. He also finished seventh in the 400m IM with a time of 4:12.08.

Magsino also found success in the 100m backstroke, placing fourth with a time of 52.48 seconds. In the 200m back, senior Miguel Mattox surpassed Isiah to finish in seventh place with a time of 1:56.52. Senior Morgan Fairclough swam her season best in the women’s 100m back, putting her in sixth place behind only Princeton and UConn swimmers. Alabanza followed three spots behind her in ninth, with her time of 59.23 seconds, but marked a personal best of 2:03.48 to place third in the 200m backstroke.

In women’s relay action, Fordham took a fifth-place finish in the 200m free, posting a time of 1:38.28, less than half a second behind Connecticut A. Fordham’s 400m free relay team finished fourth with a time of 3:34.95, behind Princeton A, Lehigh A and Princeton B. The Rams, in 7:51.30, also took fifth place in the 800m free relay. Fordham brought home a third-place finish in the 200m medley relay with a time of 1:47.49. The fastest 400m medley team secured its spot in fifth place, clocking in at 3:55.68.

The men’s fastest relay time of 1:25.97 also landed the Rams a fifth-place finish in the 200m free relay, followed by the B team in a sixth place finish at 1:28.14. In the 400m free relay, they posted a another sixth place standing with a 3:11.80 finish. This placing held in the 800m free relay event, which the Rams clocked in at 7:03.87. In times of 1:36.39 and 3:33.25, the men brought home fourth and sixth place finishes in the 200m and 400m medley.

The divers also had great performances at Princeton. In the 1m dive, junior Wendy Espina-Esquivel scored 245.6 points to land in eighth place. She rose up to a fifth-place ranking in the 3m competition with 272.55 points. On the men’s side, sophomore Christopher Craig fell into 11th place behind Princeton and UConn divers with a score of 202.40 in the 1m dive. Sophomore Colin Esterine-Reid posted Fordham’s highest score of 178.15 in the 3m dive, placing twelfth.

The Rams will continue to train hard through the Thanksgiving break until their next competition in the first weekend of December. They are looking ahead to their next stop, the Bucknell Invitational in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.