Lehigh swimmers race through the pool during their practice on Dec. 5. The Hawks are preparing for their Patriot League meet at Army on Jan. 9. (Chester Toye/B&W photo)

Lehigh swimmers dive into Nationals


Lehigh’s swim team had the opportunity to swim with representatives from a variety of different schools, including some of the most prolific programs in the country, when the team traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina, to compete in the 2014 AT&T Winter National Championships on Wednesday.

A total of six Lehigh swimmers attended the competition.

“Going to nationals is pretty cool,” said sophomore Jamal Willis, who competed in the 50-yard free and finished with a time of 20.40. “The meet is filled with some of the top college swimmers and professionals.”

Willis explained how he was excited and nervous before leaving for nationals.

“I’ve never seen so many Olympians just casually walking around everywhere,” he said.

Sophomore Jacob Moyar finished with a time of 1:49.65 in the men’s 200-yard butterfly, C final. He was ranked fourth out of eight in his heat. Moyar also competed in the 400 IM and the 500-yard free. He finished with a time of 3:59.23 in the IM and 4:36.43 in the 500 free.

Sophomore Kevin Huntley also represented Lehigh at nationals with a time of 2:03.97 in the men’s 200-yard breaststroke, which placed him at 50th.

Three Lehigh swimmers on the women’s team also competed at nationals: sophomore Cora Summerfield, senior Alissa Leung and junior Courtney Patterson. Summerfield swam the 200-yard butterfly in 2:04.22. The first-place finisher, Kelsi Worrell, of the University of Louisville, swam the event with a time of 1:54.75.

Leung was ranked 73rd out of 125 swimmers in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 56.60. She also swam in the 200-yard backstroke and finished in 2:02.78.

“There are a lot of other teams at nationals, including other college teams and club teams from across the country,” said Patterson, who competed in the women’s 400 IM and finished with a time of 4:27.79. “Nationals is not an NCAA event, which is why it’s in the middle of our season. Since it is not an NCAA event, the meet has non-collegiate swimmers, as well, such as high school club teams, so the timing of the meet is not built around the NCAA swim season.”

Patterson also explained how she was very excited to swim at nationals.

“It was my first time going to a meet at this level,” she said. “It was a great opportunity to not only get a chance to race, but to also watch some really great swimmers. There were Olympians, as well as other US national team members that competed. The six of us were very happy to be there.”

Many schools were represented here, including the University of Michigan and University of California, Los Angeles. U.S. Olympian Nathan Adrian also attended the event. He competed in the 50-yard free and finished first out of 101 swimmers with a time of 19.18. He holds the record for the fastest time in the 50 free with a time of 18.66 in 2012.

“Overall, the season is going well, with a couple wins under our belt,” Willis said. Lehigh’s swimming and diving is currently 3-3, with its three victories over Holy Cross, Colgate and Lafayette.

The Mountain Hawks will take on Army at Jacobs Pool on Jan. 9 at 5 p.m.

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