Women Thrive, Men Struggle as Swimming Competes at Bucknell Invitational


Both the men’s and women’s swimming teams competed at the Bucknell Invitational this past weekend (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram).

By Dominic Capone

Another year, another Bucknell Invitational in the books. The Fordham swimming and diving team competed in their eighth annual tournament in Lewisburg, PA. The women came away with second place matching their best finish at the event, while the men came in last place out of seven teams.

After a six-day break in between their last meet and the invitational, the men had some time off to prepare. Instead of resting up, Head Coach Steve Potsklan pushed his team for the upcoming event.

Junior swimmer Joseph Vizza commented on the days leading up to it, saying, “Considering we didn’t rest for this invitational and continued to train hard before the meet, I thought the team did very well.”

The team had notable top performers but were not able to secure the points needed for a higher finish. After the first day, the men were in last place, as they did not capture a top two finish. The group consisting of Vizza, Travis Monahan, Bryce Bollesen and Auston Ramsay had the best finish on the day as they placed third in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:23.12.

The women shined as they finished in second place, where they would remain for the following two days. Michelle Martin, Samantha McDonald, Tara Brunner and Caitlin McNary came away with first place in the 200 freestyle in a season-best time of 1:33.21.

Day two consisted of the same positions: neither the men nor women shifted in the standings. The women won three events including two wins by sophomore Michelle Martin. Martin finished in the top spot in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke with times of 54.47 and 55.09, respectively. Tara Brunner, Kysha Marie Altura, Caitlyn McNary and Paulina Watson won the 800 freestyle relay in 7:26.09.

Brunner tacked on a few more wins for the women on the final day. She took first in the 100 freestyle with a season-best time of 50.54, which was just 0.3 seconds slower than the school record. She was also a part of another season best time in the 400 freestyle, teaming up with Samantha McDonald, Michelle Martin and Caitlin McNary as they won with a time of 3:23.37.

The women continue to race well as they go into the meet against Manhattan 3-0 on the season. The men look to get back into the swing of things, as they are 1-2 on this year. Even though the men did not finish well in the standings, they still believe they are in good shape.

“I think the Thanksgiving break gave the team a chance to regroup after the draining invitational and we’re looking forward to swimming fast against Manhattan,” Vizza said when asked about the team’s next meet.

The Bucknell Invitational ended on Nov. 18, exactly 17 days before the swimming team’s next test against the aforementioned Manhattan Jaspers on Dec. 5 in the Bronx. With plenty of time between matches, both the men and the women look to come out victorious in the Battle of the Bronx.