Gettysburg Bullets make waves at home meet — Men’s swimming team sweeps Messiah and Susquehanna
By Michael Boncardo, Staff Writer
The Gettysburg men’s swimming team faced off against Messiah College and Susquehanna University in a dual meet this past Saturday. What began as a close meet turned into a rout, with the Bullets winning five straight events and eventually taking first in eight of 14 events.
Standout performances of the day included first-year Jakob Hegna, sophomore Tyler Dougherty, and first-year Parker Sorenson, who each one won two events apiece to lead the Gettysburg College men’s swimming team to a sweep of Messiah College (163-95) and Susquehanna University (150-108) in a non-conference contest at home. Susquehanna also defeated Messiah 144-115.
The Bullets got off to a shaky start, and had their winning 200-medley relay disqualified in the first event. Two more unspectacular finishes led Gettysburg to trail 24-9 to Messiah and 23-10 to Susquehanna after two events. Sorenson and Hegna helped the Bullets to bounce back, winning the 200-freestyle with a time of 1:48.25 and 100-backstroke in 55.17, respectively. The Bullets swept first, second, and third in the 200, led by Sorenson and with seniors Jon Bevilacqua placing second with a time of 1:49.81 and Tyler Gould placing third in 1:50.14.
Bevilacqua says the meet was a great confidence booster for the team, especially early in the season. “There were good swims and there are areas we can improve, but I feel like Saturday was definitely a boost after our loss to Washington. We look forward to carrying on this momentum to our meet with McDaniel College on Wednesday,” said Bevilaqua.
Head coach Michael Rawleigh is also optimistic about the team’s potential this year, especially the Bullets’ young swimmers. “Both classes have a lot of talent and have performed very well thus far. All of them have the potential to have very successful careers as members of the swim team,” said coach Rawleigh.
Coach Rawleigh’s confidence in his underclassmen swimmers is well placed. First-year Parker Sorenson has already proven his ability in both sprint and distance events, and is shaping up to be a key performer in the freestyle. First-year Jakob Hegna is also showing huge potential in the backstroke.
“Our underclassmen have really stepped up and filled some of the gaps left by last year’s seniors,” Bevilacqua said.
Gettysburg embarked on its meet-winning run with a massive 1-4 finish in the 50-freestyle. Dougherty finished first with a time of 21.48, followed by senior Zack Milko with a time of 22.24, first-year Francisco Nieves in 22.52, and senior Zach Moser with a time of 22.53.
Gould also took first in the 100-freestyle with a time of 47.84, while Moser came second at 49.62. Victories by Hegna in the 200-backstroke (1:58.97), Dougherty in the 200-breaststroke (2:17.31), and Sorenson in the 500-freestyle (5:02.58) pushed the Bullets’ lead to 123-80 over Messiah and 118-85 over Susquehanna with only three events remaining.
The Bullets still finished strong, capturing both first and second in the 200-freestyle relay. The team of Dougherty, Sorenson, Nieves, and Moser took first, clocking in at 1:28.38. The second relay of Hegna, first-year Michael DeLuca, sophomore James Arps, and sophomore Ian Schrock finished in 1:31.61.
The Bullets continue their Centennial Conference bid on Wednesday, when they host McDaniel College at 7 p.m.