COBLESKILL, N.Y. – Gallaudet set the tone at the 2011 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) swimming and diving championships Friday on the first day of competition held at the Bouck Hall Natatorium on the campus of SUNY Cobleskill. The Bison won two of the six events and finished the day in first place with 167 points. 

Junior Brian Bennett turned in two first-place performances as he topped the 500-yard freestyle field with a time of 4:58.22, 21 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, and was a member of the first-place 400 yard medley relay team (4:03.51). Bennett was joined by senior Kyle Sexton, junior James McGowan and freshman DJ Everton-Lovell.

Sexton and McGowan were also part of the 200 yard freestyle relay that started the Friday night finals for the men’s competition. The Bison placed fourth with a time of 1:41.93 to earn 24 points. The other half of the relay consisted of senior Ben Taylor and sophomore Kailob Miller.

Everton-Lovell placed fourth in the 200 yard IM as he touched the wall six seconds behind the winner with a time of 2:18.58. He earned 11 team points for the Bison. McGowan was right in the mix in the 50-yard freestyle sprint where he finished in at fifth place (23.76 seconds). Cazenovia College’s Charles Saidel won the event in 23.09 seconds.

The last event of the evening was the 1-meter diving competition. Gallaudet had two of the four divers in the event as Miller finished second with a score of 233.25 followed by junior Sean Ryant, who placed third with a score of 220.30 points. The duo scored 25 points for the Bison.

GU is 10 points ahead of defending champion Wells College (157 points) entering the second day of competition on Saturday.