Women place 8th, men 7th at the PSAC swimming championships

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 at 6:08 PM

The Edinboro women’s swimming team placed eighth overall and the men placed seventh at the PSAC championship meet that took place at the York YMCA in York, Pennsylvania from Feb. 21-24.

Twelve teams competed on the women’s side, but only seven men’s teams attended the event. West Chester University, who historically fields a strong swim program, took first place in both competitions.

“We’re thin in some areas,” Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming Coach Chris Rhodes said a few days after the meet. He explained how roster issues have them unable to score consistently or at all in certain events. “And that’s where the team aspect, the team points really we took a hit on. But I think when you look at it as the individuals, they did a great job. Everybody dropped time and swam out of their minds.”

Katelyn Kopacko earned an NCAA B-qualifying time, which gives her the opportunity to be selected to participate in the NCAA Division II National Championships.

The women started the competition strong in the first day, but the men had trouble earning points for their team. At the end of the first day, the women sat in sixth place and the men sat in last.

The first day was the most eventful for Edinboro, as Kopacko earned the NCAA B-qualifying time, All-PSAC honors and set a new school record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.51 seconds. 

Marcus Grosso also set a new school record during the 200 butterfly time trial, finishing with a mark of 1 minute and 53.34 seconds. He was also part of the 200 medley relay team with Dylan Cerroni, Jack Bangert and Tommy Horan that finished sixth, the team’s best finish that day.

Rhodes said he was glad to see Cerroni get to compete in multiple events in his senior year and produce strong results.

“Dylan had the meet of his life, and it’s just a shame he’s a senior. I think he has kind of paved the way a little bit and showed that you can continue to improve every year,” he said. “And then hopefully by the time these guys have a little bit more experience, they’ll be competing in the top.”

The second day saw the women fall to ninth place while the men found themselves moving up one spot to sixth.

Grosso was once again part of the men’s best performance during the day, finishing fourth as part of the 200 freestyle relay with Steven Sell, Horan and Nick Bradford. In the individual version of the 200 free, Grosso posted the men’s best individual performance that day with a sixth-place finish in 1:41.70.

The women’s 200 freestyle relay team consisting of Kopacko, Nicole Kadlecik, Casey Tokarski and Kaitlyn Daiger earned a second-place finish and All-PSAC honors with a time of 1:36.62.

Yana Miletska placed eighth in the 40-yard individual medley and Sydney Dundon took 11th in the 200 freestyle. Edinboro had an opportunity to earn more points in the 400 medley relay, but Kadlecik — who swims the third leg of that event — jumped in too early, causing the Scots to be disqualified.

The third day saw Miletska miss the NCAA B-qualifying time by less than a tenth of a second in the 100 breaststroke, which netted her a fifth-place finish. She finished fifth in the 200-yard version of the event on the fourth day of the meet. She was also part of the 800 freestyle relay team that finished in eighth. She anchored the squad with Gabby LaBovick, Dundon and Kendall Peregrini, finishing in 7:57.69.

The men also performed well in the 800 free relay, as Grosso, Michael Kocher, Bangert and Bradford combined to finish fourth with a time of 6:59.43.

Grosso added a sixth-place finish in the 100 backstroke to his already impressive showing at the meet. Not only did he repeatedly show up in Edinboro’s best performances each day, he broke a number of personal records as well.

Rhodes said Grosso’s swims were some of the highlights of the four-day meet.

“It was fun to watch. I mean, every time he jumped in he hit a lifetime best, and I think it just goes to show that hard work pays off,” he said. “He did what we asked him to do. He trained very hard, he trained great and it showed.”

Despite the strong performances, the Edinboro men would fall to seventh place after the third day, where they would then finish after the fourth day. 

Grosso again saw himself earn top-10 finishes for the Fighting Scots, as he placed seventh in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.44 seconds and then joined Kocher, Sell and Bradford in the 400 freestyle relay to finish fifth in 3:09.51.

Kocher also earned the Scots a fifth place finish with a time of 1:53.37 in the 200 backstroke.

Dundon earned the women two top-10 finishes on the final day of the meet as well. She earned an eighth-place finish in the 100 free, an event she did not lose at any of Edinboro’s dual meets this season. She competed for Edinboro in the 1,000-yard, 500, 200 and 100 freestyle events, as well as the 800 and 400 freestyle relays at the PSAC meet. 

Rhodes talked about how hard Dundon worked throughout the week to improve her lap times and stay fast throughout the meet.

“I think just a change of environment for her really paid off. The training obviously worked very well,” he said. “And then to come back and do the 100 at the end of such a hard week of swimming, and to be the only freshman in the top eight, I mean it just kind of says a lot about her as a person and her work ethic.”

She was part of the 400 freestyle relay team that finished ninth with a time of 3:36.68.

In the final day, the women were able to climb one spot to finish in eighth place, but Rhodes noted that if the women’s 400 medley relay team hadn’t been disqualified in their race, they might have earned enough points to finish in seventh.

Kopacko will now wait to see if her time in the 50-yard freestyle sprint earns her a spot in the NCAA Division II National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina that begin on Mar. 14. Miletska, who narrowly missed the NCAA B-qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke, could also potentially be selected to compete.

Christopher Rosato Jr. can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com

Tags: swimming, sports

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