Lehigh Mountain Hawks senior Payton Miles during a meet against Loyola on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, at Jacobs Pool. The women's team has won all 5 of their meets so far this season, while the men's team has won 4. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Swimming and diving teams prepare to face rival Lafayette

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The Lehigh men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have produced successful seasons so far and will look to continue their momentum against rival Lafayette on Nov. 22, in their third Patriot League competition of the fall. 

The women’s team currently sits undefeated at 5-0, while the men’s team sits at 4-1 after it lost to Rider University Oct. 19. In addition to stellar team performances, both teams have seen multiple individual victories from various contributors. 

Senior Payton Miles, the captain of the women’s team, said the combination of the team’s rigorous training schedule over the summer, coupled with its strong group of freshmen swimmers, has contributed to the team’s early success this season. 

Assistant coach Eric Bugby said the staff anticipated a strong start to the season, despite several injuries and illnesses. He said the team’s ability to overcome moments of adversity and execute in the pool has been incredibly exciting. 

“We are where we wanted to be at this point during the season for sure,” Bugby said of both the men’s and women’s teams. 

Both teams opened the year with a huge win against Patriot League rival Boston University. For the men’s team, the victory over the Terriers marked the first-ever win against Boston in program history.

Senior Walker Wilson, the captain of the men’s team, said he felt the team’s intense triumph over Boston would give everyone the energy and momentum they needed heading into the rest of the season. 

The men’s team recorded a dramatic win last week against Loyola, winning the meet by a single point (147.50-146.50) — a rarity for swimming and diving.

“That’s probably the most exciting moment I have had since I have been at Lehigh,” Wilson said. “The meet was so close, and it came down to the last three events.”

Wilson, who contributed three individual wins and was a member of the first place relay that helped clinch the team’s victory, was named Men’s Patriot League Swimmer of the Week. 

Miles also received league recognition as Women’s Patriot League Swimmer of the Week. Miles contributed three first place finishes — two individual and one relay — to the women’s dominant victory over the Greyhounds. 

Miles said maintaining a “leave-it-all-in-the-pool” mentality and pushing herself to her limits has helped her find success so far this season. 

With three weeks to prepare for the Lafayette meet, athletes from both teams have ample opportunity to rest their bodies and prepare for what will be a competitive meet against Lehigh’s rival. 

Bugby said the team will continue to work hard in the pool and in the weight room to get stronger and faster during the break. He said aside from the physical components, the teams will also continue to improve their techniques by fine-tuning specific details.

The Lehigh men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will compete against rival Lafayette at home on Nov. 22nd at 6 p.m.

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