SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Saturday marked “Senior Day” at The Hall as the men’s swimming & diving program bid farewell to four seniors prior to their meet with Marist College.
After being honored for their numerous accomplishments and contributions as a Pirate, Austin Acheson (Olathe, Kan.), Ian Keyser (Petersburg, N.J.), Ryan O'Shaughnessy (Coral Springs, Fla.) and Brian Pauling (Sewell, N.J.) were instrumental in securing a victory in their home finale, helping lift SHU to a hard-fought 155-145 win over the Red Foxes.
With the win, Seton Hall evened its dual meet record to 4-4 in 2012-13.
Acheson picked up his fifth and sixth individual first-place finishes of the year, coming out on top in the 500 and 1,000 yard freestyles. On both occasions, he paced a field that yielded three top-four finishers for the home team.
Not to be outdone by his fellow elder statesmen, O’Shaughnessy added also two wins to his collection on Saturday, surpassing all competitors in the 100-breaststroke and 200-IM. In the 100-breast, his time of 59.27 led the way as James Logan (Wallingford, Pa.) and Ian DeLisio (Woodstock, N.Y.) followed in third and fourth respectively, finishing one second apart.
In the 200-IM, his final competitive individual race at Arthur E. Imperattore Natatorium, he edged Acheson for the top spot. The two seniors finished less than .5 seconds apart as they capped their home careers with a 1-2 finish.
Earlier in the 1,000, Acheson registered his fastest time of the season, clocking in at 9:50.17. Freshman Steve Hausmann (North Attleboro, Mass.) placed third with his best 1,000 time as a Pirate (10:02.04) and Keyser touched just over two seconds later in fourth.
In the 500, Acheson led a trio of his classmates in the top-four as Pauling took third and Keyser clocked another fourth-place effort.
Continuing what has been his strongest season at SHU, Pauling snatched a win of his own in the 200-yard freestyle. He established a new personal record with a time of 1:45.39 and set a new season-high in victories in the process. Freshman Tim Bosse (New Windsor, N.Y.) followed Pauling to the wall in second and sophomore Richard Lessard (Wethersfield, Conn.) took fifth, his fourth top-five finish of the year.
The taste of victory was not limited to the team’s veterans however; as two first-year team members powered their way to wins as well.
An emerging force in the freestyle for SHU, Bosse went on to finish atop the 100-free field with a 48.58 mark. Junior Joey Lacus (Wethersfield, Conn.) placed third in the event after combining with Bosse to post a pair of top-four times in the 50-yard freestyle.
Hausmann was the fifth Pirate to come away with first-place points in a swimming event, leading an all-Seton Hall top-three in the 200-breaststroke. He produced a personal-best time of 2:12.34 and was rewarded with his first career win. Logan again finished strong placing second (2:13.24), just ahead of DeLisio (2:13.70) for the second time on the day.
From the board, sophomore Ben Mitchell (Milford, Pa.) continued to affirm his status as one of the greatest divers in school history. Competing from three-meters in his first set of the day, Mitchell tucked and twisted his way to a final score of 325.05, shattering his own previous school record by nearly 40 points. It is the third time this season that Mitchell, who holds both the one and three-meter marks, has re-written a school record.
A sign of how good Mitchell has been in his second year, his opening score made his event-winning one-meter mark of 281.03, a score that would have approached the school record that stood before he stepped on campus, seem almost pedestrian.
Aside from being a new school record and the highest six-dive score for a Seton Hall diver of any gender regardless of distance, Mitchell has now qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships from both one and three meters.
Junior Matt Benson (Overland Park, Kan.) also played a key role in the team victory, leading the Pirates with second place finishes in both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke to aid the winning cause.
Aside from a packed house on hand to witness the victory, for the first time ever, Pirate fans could follow the action live on www.wsou.net as live commentary was provided throughout the day.
Seton Hall will have the opportunity to build a winning streak when they return to action tomorrow, January 26, as they take on BIG EAST foe Connecticut in Storrs. Start-time is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.