PURCHASE – N.Y. – The first positive signs of the Purchase College winter sports season made a splash in the pool Friday when the Panthers men’s and women’s teams dominated The College of Mt. St. Vincent with double victory in the Skyline Conference opener.
The Panthers, who lost both of their first two meets of the 2011-12 season on the road, returned home and swam a 97-74 win on the women's side and a 99-72 victory on the men's side.
“Everyone did a spectacular job,” Panthers head coach Peter Nestel said. “I'm very proud of their performance. Things are shaping up nicely.”
The women grabbed a quick 15-2 lead by taking the 200-yard medley relay with the foursome of Alexandria Bodick (New Canaan, Conn.), Bianca Covello (Woodstock, N.Y.), Kamara Lewis (Jamaica, N.Y.) and Christina Muller (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) taking first in a time of 2:10.07.
The men were equally impressive in the 200 Medley relay thanks to August Cook (Syracuse, N.Y.), Adam Alkilany (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Seth Feingersh (Bayside, N.Y.) and Mike Zeffiro (Brant, N.Y.).
Purchase received contributions from Allison Panzironi (Pine Island, N.Y.), who won the 200 free (2:26.19), Covello led the field in the 50 free (28.59), Zeffiro garnered a first-place finish in the 50 free (26.20), Bodick added a win in the women’s 200 IM (2:36.67), Muller bested the competition in the 100 free (1:03.52) and Alkilany gave the Panthers a comfortable lead with a victory in the 100 free (1:00.03).
Lewis, a standout sophomore returner, produced a 1:17.12 in the 100 back for a first-place finish, while newcomer Samir Mekrami (Brooklyn, N.Y.) out-swam his two competitors in the 100 back for a first-place finish of his own.
On the men's side, Joshua Nielson (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) set the tone early following the 200 MR by winning the 1,000-yard freestyle (12:26.33).
The Panthers next face top rival Mount Saint Mary next week on the road.