A Great Weekend to Be a Bomber

By Patrick Bohn ’05, March 2, 2020
IC teams capture four conference titles and a regional championship over the weekend.

UPDATE: 3/3/20 

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving made quite a splash at the NCAA Diving Regionals this past weekend at the college’s Kelsey Partridge Bird Natatorium. On the women’s side, Ava Lowell ’21 finished second on the three-meter, Karalyn Pawcio ’23 finished eighth overall while Eliana Wallock ’23 finished ninth overall. As a result of this performance, Lowell and Wallock qualified for the NCAA Championships, while Pawcio was named an alternate.

On the men’s side, Justin Moczynski ’21 qualified for the NCAAs on the basis of a third-place finish on the one-meter board and a third place finish on the three-meter board.

Ithaca College’s athletic teams are known for excelling year-round — that’s one of the reasons the college has finished in the top 30 in the Director’s Cup standings every year.

But even by that standard, this past weekend was exceptional for the Bombers. IC captured conference titles in men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s track and field, while the wrestling team finished tied for first at the NCAA Mideast Regionals, qualifying six individuals for the NCAA Championships.

The weekend began with the track and field teams competing in the Liberty League championships at RIT. The men’s team was in second place after the first day, thanks to first-place showings from the distance medley relay team of Patrick Robertson ’20, Zachary Wachs ’22, Timothy Cook ’21 , and Alex Whatley ’23, and pole vaulter Dom Mikula ’22.

But they vaulted into the top spot on the second day with a dominating performance. Daniel Monchek ’22 won the 60-meter hurdles, while Kasim Cisse ’22 won the high jump, Andy Frank ’22 topped the competition in the 200-meter dash, and Luke Tobia ’22 took home first in the weight throw with a school-record throw of 17.83 meters.

That was enough to propel the Bombers to their third straight indoor title, by 38.5 points, over runner-up RPI.

The women’s championship required no such comeback, as the top-ranked team in Division III made quick work of the competition. On the first day, the Bombers distance medley relay team of Parley Hannan ’20, Rachel Rose ’23, Katharine Downey ’23, and Julia Tomanovich ’23 won their race by an astounding 30 seconds. Hannan also won the mile race in a school-record time of 4:53.38.

Other champions from day one were Katelyn Hutchison ’22, who won the 400-meter dash, and Meghan Matheny ’22 who won the pole vault.

It was more of the same on the second day of competition. Hannan took home the 3,000-meter title, while Sarah Rudge ’20 won the 800-meter run. Meanwhile, Tia Jones ’23 won the 200-yard dash, Samara Herzog ’23 took the top spot in the 60-meter hurdles, and Kendall Wellauer ’20 won the weight throw.

The Bombers 299.5 points more than doubled second-place University of Rochester’s 143, and secured the squad’s 13th consecutive conference title.

Over on the hardwood, the men’s and women’s basketball teams both punched their tickets to the NCAA Tournament with dramatic victories in their respective conference tournaments.

The men’s team secured their first tournament appearance since the 2012-13 season by upsetting top-seeded RPI in overtime, 80-69. Sebastian Aldrete’ 20 tied the game in the final seconds of regulation with a layup. The Bombers had defeated Hobart College 80-72 the day before, following a 64-54 victory over St. Lawrence in the quarterfinals earlier in the week.

The Bombers will take on Babson College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 6 at 5 p.m.

The women’s team won in electrifying fashion, as Grace Cannon ’21 sank a jump shot with 0.3 seconds on the clock giving Ithaca a 71-69 victory over Vassar College. The top-seeded Bombers had knocked off RPI in overtime the night before by a score of 74-66.

It was the second straight conference title for the women’s team, which has qualified for the NCAA Tournament in seven of the last eight seasons.

The Bombers are hosting New England College in their first-round game.

The roar from Ben Light Gymnasium as Cannon’s jumper went through could probably be heard over at the Athletics and Events Center, where the college’s wrestling team was putting on a show at the Mideast Regionals.

The squad won individual titles at the 133-pound and 184-pound weight classes, and saw four other wrestlers earn a trip to the NCAA Championships.

Travis Jones ’23 won the 133-pound bracket by earning a fall in the championship match, while at 184 pounds, Eze Chukwuezi ’22 won his bracket with a fall in the final match.

At 141 pounds, Ben Brisman ’20 took home second-place honors and secured his third trip to the NCAAs. Also finishing in second place were Sam Schneider ’20 at 157 pounds, and Austin Whitney ’21. Logan Ninos secured his berth at the national championships with a third-place finish at 125 pounds