BY ERIN MADDEN
Franciscan’s women’s swimming and diving team had an overall strong last meet before the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) championships as they were able to tie Penn St.-Altoona in a dual-double with Chatham.
The Lady Barons tied Altoona at 129 points while losing to Chatham 179-94.
“Overall, it was a really good meet to end on, as our last meet before championships,” said head coach, Kateri Lang. “Everyone seemed really excited and positive with their times and how the meet went. It was a really high note to end their hard work before championships.”
While Lang noted that it was a strong meet for the entire team overall, with most girls swimming a full meet, she was particularly impressed by the times posted by sophomore Naomi Sebastian.
Sebastian took second in the 50 breaststroke, dropping much time off her personal best for that particular event. She also placed third in the 100 breaststroke.
In this meet, the Lady Barons as a team continued to be led by senior captain Maria Giuliani and freshman Elizabeth McNulty. McNulty was able to take both of her butterfly events while Giuliani placed first and second in the 100 and 200 freestyles, respectively.
Junior diver Kelli Rankin also was able to give the Lady Barons a boost, placing third in the 1-meter dive. She swam and placed fourth in the 50 backstroke event.
“It was awesome that she just takes one for the team and swims for us, too, even though diving is exhausting,” Lang said.
Even throughout this meet, the AMCC championships were on the Lady Barons’ minds as a few girls had to do exhibition swims, on top of a full meet, in order to post a qualifying time to be able to compete.
Lang said that the team will begin tapering its workouts in preparation for the championships, giving the girls a chance to rest before swimming their hearts out in the biggest meet of the year.
The AMCC championships will take place beginning on Feb. 11 at Grove City College.