A championship for the record books

By Marissa Masano / The Jambar

The Youngstown State University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams traveled to Indianapolis to compete in the Horizon League Championships from Feb. 14 to 17. 

Both the men and women placed fourth overall. The men collected 417 points over four days, while the women scored the most points in program history with 474. Both sides also matched their best finishes in program history. 

Oakland University swept the championships for the 11th consecutive season, with their men’s and women’s teams scoring 876.5 points and 909.5 points, respectively. 

On Day One, the YSU women’s 800-yard freestyle relay team set a school record to earn a podium finish.

The team of senior Brooke Schutte, junior Hailey Clark, and sophomores Miriam Frass and Madelyn Mahoney clocked a time of 7:26.75 to finish third and set a school record relay mark.

The men’s 800-yard freestyle relay team of seniors Gavin Webb, Christian Taylor, Jasper Liekens and  Rares Druga swam a time of 6:37.94 to set a school record and finish fourth in the event. 

Leading off in the men’s 800-yard free relay, Webb broke the individual 200-yard free record with a time of 1:39.08. 

Starting Day Two was the women’s 500-yard freestyle. For the Penguins, Frass finished second to secure a podium finish with a 4:54.13. 

In the men’s 500-yard freestyle, Webb secured a podium finish for the second straight year with a time of 4:26.42.

The women’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of junior Oliwia Kaniak, graduate student Chiara Vetter, Mahoney and Frass tied a school record set in 2015 at 1:35.09. The team finished fifth.

The men’s team of Druga, sophomore James Slessor and seniors Darren Laing and Gavin Redden finished fifth with a record breaking time of 1:21.3 in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Day Three was highlighted by Frass becoming the Horizon League champion in the women’s 400-yard individual medley. 

The sophomore clocked a time of 4:21.37 to win the event by over three seconds and set a new school record. Frass is YSU’s first women’s swimmer to become a Horizon League champion since 2013 and the third in program history. 

In the women’s 100-yard breaststroke, Vetter finished runner-up at 1:03.6. The graduate student became the second Penguin to finish runner-up for the women since 2018.

The women’s 400-yard medley relay team of Vetter, Frass, and sophomores Anna Kozinska and Allison Ramirez Romero earned a podium finish. The team finished third with a time of 3:49.54.

In the men’s 400-yard individual medley, junior Dominic Bono broke his own school record in the prelims with a time of 3:51.74. In the final, he finished fourth with a time of 3:52.95. 

On the fourth and final day of the Horizon League Championships, Webb earned his third consecutive Horizon League title. 

Webb finished first for the third straight season in the men’s 1650-yard freestyle with a school-record time of 15:09.6. Fellow teammate senior Christian Taylor finished runner-up with a personal record of 15:27.32. 

In the women’s 1650-yard freestyle, Frass earned a podium finish with a time of 16:56.27 to place second in the event for the second straight season. Clark finished third at 16:59.35 to make her first career podium finish.

The Penguins will travel to the National Invitational Championship in Ocala, Florida and the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships in Louisville, Kentucky from March 14 through 16.