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Swmming and diving teams perform well at Patriot Invitational

The men's and women's swimming and diving teams go into the winter break on a high note after both teams put on stellar individual and overall performances at the Patriot Invitational.

The Patriot Invitational is a three-day event held in Fairfax, Va., and is the final competition of the fall. Many of the swimmers and divers use this event as a measuring stick to see how far they have come with their skills and events during the fall season.

Day one saw the Pirates' men's team display to the rest of the Big East that they are one of the top squads in the conference. Seton Hall won top honors for two of the six events held. Sophomore Tim Bosse led the way grabbing the top seed because of his performance in the 500-free consolation final. He clocked in with a time of 4:45.48, which gave him 14th-place points and the #1 spot.

A strong showing in the 200-free relay gave the Hall valuable points led by Zach DeLillo, James Logan and Jack Poupore. This secured fourth place with an impressive time of 1:25.16, which was only accomplished once in conference earlier this season by Xavier.

On the women's side, Seton Hall turned in times that ranked in the top two in the conference for the fall season in every one of the five swimming events. Senior Kerrie Kolackovsky finished on top overall for the Pirates on Thursday and Melody Bush was a finalist in the 200-yard individual medley along with Kolackovsky.

The men's team on day two had seven swimming events and led the Big East conference with the best times in four of those events. DeLillo was at it again and made the 100-yard butterfly final with a great effort.

Overall, the men had a great second day with 16 different Pirates conquering the preliminary competition and 18 made appearances in finals.

The women had an exciting day two as well as Gabby Signorelli was victorious in the one meter dive and Melody Bush set a new school record in the 100-yard backstroke, which set the tone for a successful day two for the women's team.

Day three for the men's team saw Logan lead the way for the Pirates as he made it to the championship final spot. He was the top swimmer for the team for the last day of the Invitational. Logan was also instrumental in the Hall finishing with 329 points as a team, which was good enough for a fifth place finish at the event.

The women's team faired extremely well on day three too, and made some history in the process. Two school records were eclipsed. The first by Bush, who set a new 200-backstroke mark with a time of 2:03.19, which broke the old school record held by Andrea Shuba of 2:04.06.

Two other pirates finished in the top-20 for the 200-backstroke including Kelsey Buonaiuto and Leah Mayer who finished 14th and 20th respectively. Cora Meehan won the consolation with a time of 2:06.11 and also recorded top-10 finishes across the three championship heats.

The next competition for both Pirates swimming and diving teams will be Jan. 25, 2014 when they face Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.,for a dual meet. During the time off, the teams with both be traveling for Ponce, Puerto Rico for a week of training from Jan. 1-8.

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Sean Saint Jacques can be reached


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