SCRANTON, Pa. – Entering the final relay on the last day of the Landmark Conference Championships, the Susquehanna women's and swimming diving team held a slim, three-point lead and held on to win by nine points. The Crusaders have now won back-to-back titles after winning their first-ever conference title one year ago.
SU, which won the final relay (400 free) by 0.2 seconds, took home the title with 696 points, edging out Scranton, which finished with 687 points. Junior Devin Lessard (Chestertown, Md./Queen Anne's County) was named the Female Swimmer of the Year while Lexi Cole (Danville, Pa./Danville) was tabbed the Rookie of the Year.
In the one mile swim, Lessard took first with a Landmark record and NCAA B cut time of 17:24.82, a five-second PR and 24 seconds ahead of the runner-up from Catholic. Teammate Dana Pontecorvo (New Providence, N.J./Mount St. Mary Academy) picked up 16 points by placing third (18:05.24), a PR for the freshman.
Lessard reached another B cut, this time with her winning mark of 2:08.32 in the 200 butterfly, also good for a first-place finish in the event. Earlier in the day, Lessard set a NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 200 butterfly prelims (2:07.96)
Cole won the 200 backstroke with her time of 2:08.40, easily setting a PR in process. Michelle Delgado (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) was fifth (2:13.86), good for 14 points.
Freshman Kyle Seaman (Moreland Hills, Ohio/Orange) was SU's top finisher in the 100 free, taking home fourth with a career-best time of 54.54.
The meet then came down to the final event, the 400 free, which SU won in 3:38.77 with swims from Avanti Banks (East Stroudsburg, Pa./Stroudsburg), Cole, Lessard and Seaman. They were 0.2 seconds ahead of Scranton's team (3:38.97), thus clinching the conference crown.