COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's and women's swimming & diving teams returned to action for the first time in nearly two months by sweeping the State University of New York at Potsdam on Saturday in the Ross Sports Center. The women remained undefeated this winter, while the men defeated SUNY Potsdam for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
The Purple Knight women continued their best start in 21 years by moving to 5-0, claiming their eighth consecutive dual meet dating back to last season, with a 132-91 win over the 1-3 Bears, their sixth straight series victory. The Saint Michael's men improved to 2-2 with a 128-97 triumph against the 0-4 visitors, snapping a seven-meet losing streak to SUNY Potsdam while remaining perfect at home this season. For both teams, it was their first action since competing on Nov. 18-19 at SUNY Potsdam's North Country Invitational, which the women won.
Junior Spencer Ralston (Hebron, Conn./Cushing Academy), sophomore Pat Thornton (Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrence) and first-year Connor Hopkins (Windham, N.H./Windham) all won three events to pace the men, who won handily despite yielding all 32 points during diving events to the Bears. Thornton claimed the 200-yard (1:53.29) and 500-yard (5:09.40) freestyle races, and Hopkins was victorious in the 50 (22.69) and 100 (50.79) free events. The duo joined Ralston and sophomore Seamus Butler (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) on the top 400-yard medley relay quartet, which clocked in at 3:51.80.
Ralston won the 1,000 free (10:58.34) and joined Butler and seniors Stephen Andersen (Concord, N.H./Concord) and Ryan Butler (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) to top the 200 free relay field (1:37.45). During Ralston's 50 free segment, the second leg of the race, he rallied his team from a deficit and into the lead for good.
First-year Aidan Mulderrig (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side) won the 100-yard butterfly (59.31) by 0.29 seconds while placing second in both the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley. Andersen was second in the 50 free, Ryan Butler was the 100 free runner-up, and Seamus Butler claimed second in the 100-yard breaststroke. Junior Jake Fox (Cranston, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) was second in the 1,000 free.
Senior Lindsay McNall (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) and sophomore Patty Kohn (Weston, Conn./Greenwich) both won three times for the women, with McNall increasing her career total to 94 event triumphs. McNall won the 100 back (1:00.21) while swimming for the top 200 free (1:47.45) and 400 medley (4:19.94) foursomes. She joined Kohn, sophomore Meg Flanagan (Middletown, R.I./The Prout School/Boston College) and first-year Lauren Giampietro (Watertown, Conn./Watertown) in the 400 medley, with Flanagan anchoring the relay to pick up her first collegiate victory in her first race since transferring from Boston College.
McNall sided with senior Katrina Wiesner (Bow, N.H./Bow), junior Ally Fischang (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) and sophomore Tess Grimaldi (Higganum, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) in the 200 free. Kohn nabbed individual victories in the 200 (2:04.83) and 500 (5:37.02) free races, and junior Genevieve Gigandet (Groveland, Mass./Central Catholic) won her first one-meter diving event (165.50) before taking second place in the second, losing by just 3.3 points to see her dual-meet winning streak snapped at 14 events.
Giampietro won the 100 breast (1:14.56) and took second in the 200 IM at 2:23.70, just 0.01 seconds short of the winner. Wiesner won the 100 fly (1:04.52) and was second in the 50 free, while Fischang claimed the runner-up position during the 100 free. First-years Reiley Adelson (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) and Megan Reid (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) were second in the 200 and 1,000 free races, respectively.
The Purple Knights conclude a three-meet homestand next weekend, first hosting Bentley University on Saturday at 1 p.m. for Senior Day.