Penguins fall short in Miami Classic

By Marissa Masano

The Youngstown State University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams traveled to Miami University to compete in the Miami Classic Invitational from Feb. 9 to 10 at the Nixon Aquatic Center in Oxford, Ohio.

Miami’s men’s and women’s teams won the classic scoring 1,287 points and 1,491 points, respectively. Youngstown State’s men placed second with 351 points and the women finished in third place with 236 points.

In total, 16 Penguins competed, many of which were freshman and sophomores. For head coach Brad Smith, choosing younger swimmers was about helping push many into the rankings.

“We look at mostly where they stand within the conference standings and how close they are to scoring or if they already have times that would place them in the top 16. It turned out, a lot of our younger ones were either on the cusp or not quite there yet,” Smith said.

The women’s 200-yard freestyle relay opened the meet, as the women clocked in at 1:38.50, and the men clocked in at 1:25.5.

In the women’s 500-yard freestyle, freshman Sydney Vandervelde was the first finisher for the Penguins, who placed seventh overall with a time of 5:11.51. Freshman Madi Hindman finished ninth with a time of 5:30.16.

Freshman David Grant was the Penguins’ highest finisher in the men’s 500-yard freestyle, placing seventh with a time of 4:54.99. In the men’s 200-yard individual medley, freshman Jack Motl finished eighth, clocking in at 2:00.84.

Senior Kamden Batchik led the women in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.21. She finished 14th overall. In the men’s 50-yard freestyle, freshman Joey Lundgren placed 11th and was the highest finisher for the Penguins with a time of 22.43.

The women’s 200-yard medley relay team swam at 1:48, while the men finished at 1:32.5.

Lundgren was one of two Penguins to swim the men’s 100-yard butterfly. He was the team’s highest finisher, with a time of 51.88.

Freshman Joseph Wyatt led YSU in the men’s 400-yard individual medley. With a time of 4:22.59, Wyatt finished fifth.

In the men’s 200-yard freestyle, Motl placed seventh at 1:46.86.

Sophomore Summer Raymer led the Penguins in the women’s 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:02.94. Raymer finished ninth, and three of her teammates followed. 

As YSU’s only swimmer in the women’s 1650-yard freestyle, Vandervelde placed fifth at 17:57.57. Grant led the Penguins with a third-place finish in the men’s event, clocking 17:10. 

Hnidman led YSU in the women’s 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:22.  The freshman placed 11th. 

In the women’s 100-yard freestyle, Batchik led the Penguins, finishing 13th with a time of 53.35. Motl was YSU’s highest finisher in the men’s event. The freshman clocked in a 48.03 to place fifth.

Wyatt placed sixth in the men’s 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:55.88.

Wyatt was able to lead the Penguins in two of his three races. Smith said the freshman has been progressing throughout the season.

“He picked up steam as the season went on and improved pretty much in each and every swim and every meet. I am happy to see him swim pretty well at the Miami classic and help the team out,” Smith said. 

YSU closed the event with the men’s and women’s 400-yard freestyle relay. The women swam at 3:33.5, while the men swam at 3:04.

The Penguins will travel to Indianapolis to compete in the Horizon League Championships, which will begin Feb. 14 and conclude Feb. 17. To watch the meets, visit ESPN+