The St. Bonaventure men crowned three individual winners, won a relay and placed second and third in another event during a dominating Thursday in the swimming pool.
The Bonnies remain in first place after two days of the Atlantic 10 Championships in Geneva, Ohio. Bona has 249.5 points, 42.5 ahead of second-place Xavier. The meet continues today and Saturday. Bona has finished second overall the past six years.
Vatslav Lets won the 500 free in 4:23.90 for Bona, while Mike Murphy won the 1-meter diving (287 points) and Ripley Danner triumphed in the 200 IM in 1:49.20. Bona closed the day winning the 200 free relay – a foursome consisting of Viacheslav Shchukin, Jimmy Martin, Michael Pilyugin and Nate Destree, whose time of 1:21.18 just bested Xavier’s 1:21.30.
Shchukin took second in the 50-yard freestyle, three-hundreths of a second ahead of teammate Martin.
The Bona women stand ninth with 78 points. Richmond leads with 298.
HOCKEY: Niagara will hold Senior Night tonight as it hosts Mercyhurst in an Atlantic Hockey Association showdown at 7 p.m. in Dwyer Arena (TWCSportsChannel, Radio 1440).
Tonight’s game also will serve as Fan Appreciation Night as the first 1,000 in attendance will receive free bags of popcorn. Additionally, the first 150 fans to enter the area will receive assorted official NHL hats. Discounted merchandise will be available and all fans will be eligible to win various prizes.
The contest is the first of a home-and-home series between the two teams. While Niagara (19-6-5, 18-3-2) clinched the regular-season title and top seed for the playoffs next month, these next two games are just as vital to the Purple Eagles as they are to Mercyhurst (14-13-3, 12-9-2). No. 15 Niagara currently stands 10th in the PairWise Rankings and needs to maintain a lofty standing for consideration into the NCAA Tournament field as an at-large team should it fail to secure the conference’s automatic qualifier during the playoff tournament.
Mercyhurst is third in the Atlantic Hockey standings, trying to finish in the top four to earn a bye into the quarterfinals. Canisius is four points back of Mercyhurst, and opens a home-and-home with Robert Morris at 7 tonight at Buffalo State Ice Arena.
The two teams meet Saturday in Pittsburgh with RMU a point ahead of Canisius in the standings.
• Buffalo State goalie Kevin Carr (.922 save percentage, 2.47 GAA) and junior captain and forward Mike Zannella (15 goals, 25 points) each received second-team All-State University of New York Athletic Conference honors Thursday.