Penguins make a splash in the postseason

By Marissa Masano / The Jambar

The Youngstown State University swimming and diving team competed from March 14 to 16 at the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America National Invitational Championship in Ocala, Florida and the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

The team competed with eight men and four women at the National Invitational. At the Diving Championships, sophomore Emma Schum and freshman Hanna Held represented the Penguins.

Schum competed in the one-meter dive and placed 54th out of 56 divers, with a score of 193.40. Held placed 25th out of 27 divers in the five-dive platform event with a score of 189.00.

In the CSCAA National Invitational, senior Gavin Webb had a podium finish in the men’s 500-yard freestyle with a school-record time of 4:24.69. Webb bested his seeded time of 4:25.90 to place third.

Later in the meet, the senior advanced to the A-final in the 400-yard individual medley and placed eighth at 3:54.09.

Sophomore James Slessor broke his own school record with a time of 54.54 in the 100-yard breaststroke. The time advanced him into the B final, where he finished 20th with a time of 54.64.

Slessor also competed in the 200-yard and 50-yard breaststroke, placing 26th with a time of 2:01.39 and 27th with a time of 25.51, respectively.

Junior Dominic Bono advanced to the B final in the 200 yard backstroke and placed 20th with a time of 1:50.06. Bono also competed in the 400-yard individual medley, placing 22nd at 3:59.70.

Senior Christian Taylor placed within the top 20 in two of three events. His highest finish was in the men’s 1650-yard freestyle, where he placed eighth with a time of 15:44.26. In the men’s 1000-yard freestyle, Taylor placed 12th with a time of 9:27.84, and in the men’s 500-yard freestyle, he finished 29th with a time of 4:37.23.

Seniors Rares Druga and Jasper Liekens also clinched top-30 finishes for the Penguins.

Druga placed 29th in the men’s 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:41.00. Liekens competed in the men’s 200-yard butterfly, finishing 30th with a time of 1:52.70.

Senior Gavin Redden, freshman Kyle Mizell, Druga and Slessor represented the Penguins in three relays.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the group finished 21st with a time of 1:23.49, and in the 200-yard medley relay, the four placed 26th with a time of 1:31.33.

The four Penguins then competed in the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay and clocked in a time of 3:01.22 to place 18th.

A separate relay team of Druga, Liekens, Taylor and Webb competed in the 800-meter freestyle relay. The team placed 13th with a time of 6:43.34.

Overall, the men finished with 159 points and placed 17th out of 36 teams. Texas Christian University placed first at the invitational, rallying 859 points.

On the women’s side, sophomore Miriam Frass and junior Hailey Clark competed in individual events.

Frass placed in the top 30 in two out of her four individual events, finishing 29th in the 1000-meter freestyle with a time of 10:21.96 and 30th in the 1650-meter freestyle with a time of 17:06.52.

Clark competed in the 1650-meter freestyle and 1000-meter freestyle and placed 31st and 33rd, respectively.

A team of senior Brooke Schuette, sophomore Madelyn Mahoney, Frass and Clark represented the Penguins in the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay, where they placed 28th at 7:36.54.

With the conclusion of the postseason, the swimming and diving team is done competing for the season.

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