George Washington Takes Third, Sixth at Patriot Invite

The George Washington men’s swimming team closed the 13th annual Patriot Invitational with a sixth-place finish out of eight teams with a combined score of 352.5 points at George Mason’s Jim McKay Natatorium on Saturday.

UNC Wilmington took home top honors from the three-day event with a total of 844.5 points. Host George Mason finished second with 812 points and UMBC finished in third with 681.5 points. Seton Hall (fourth, 415 points) and District rival American (fifth, 407 points) finished just ahead of the Colonials, and NCAA Division II Shippensburg (seventh, 271.5 points) and Howard (eighth, 54 points) wrapped up the field.

Sophomore Garrett Cottingham posted one of GW’s top performances of the evening with a third-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:07.46. In the 200-yard butterfly freshman Oliver Keegan took home third place with a time of 1:51.90 and sophomore Sean Rhinehart followed in fifth in 1:54.66.

Senior Phillip Graeter earned fifth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:51.13, and junior Jake Mortensen won the consolation final in 1:52.61, besting his preliminary heat time by more than three seconds.

Finding itself in fourth place following two days of competition at the Patriot Invitational, the George Washington women’s swimming team tallied 146 points on the third and final day to take home third place at the 13th annual event held at George Mason’s Jim McKay Natatorium.

The Colonials’ finish came on the strength of a three-day total of 500 points. GW came up shy of first-place Ohio with 785.5 points and fellow Atlantic 10 member Richmond in second with 649 points, but defeated host George Mason (fourth, 493.5 points), UMBC (fifth, 430 points), Seton Hall (sixth, 395 points), UNC Wilmington (seventh, 383 points), NCAA Division II Shippensburg (eighth, 194 points), American (ninth, 33 points) and Howard (10th, 12 points).

Junior Caroline Myers and freshmen Riley LeBlanc and Madison Reinker set the pace for the Colonials in the opening event, the 1,650-yard freestyle. Myers earned second with a time of 17:06.53, 2.19 seconds behind Ohio’s top finisher, while LeBlanc took home fifth in 17:29.61 and Reinker finished in seventh in 17:30.98.

GW closed the evening in equally notable fashion with a come-from-behind second-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of junior Sydney Saunders, classmate Melissa Fernandez, freshman Kally Vanderbilt and junior Sloan Saunders touched the wall in 3:29.49.

Sloan Saunders also finished in eighth in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.10 seconds. Fernandez finished 11th, consolation heat, in 52.73 seconds and Vanderbilt finished 12th, fourth in the consolation heat, with a time of 52.84 seconds.

In the 200-yard breaststroke sophomore Janica Lee clocked in at 2:22.99 to take home fifth place and junior Rachel Johnston finished eighth in 2:25.86. Rookie Lauren Steagall finished second in the consolation heat, 10th overall, with a time of 2:25.0.

GW returns to the pool with a tri-meet against Old Dominion and Rutgers on Saturday, Dec. 1. Action in Norfolk, Va., is set for 2 p.m.