BY MATT MERKEL
The Lady Barons swimming and diving team has been in top form this season. They currently sit in first place in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference with a record of 4-3. They are lead by first year head coach Rebecca Recznik. Senior captain, Maria Deuchar, has helped build this year’s team into a division leader.
The Lady Barons most recent milestone came with a win against Division II Ursuline College. Deuchar was honored for her years of hard work with the team. Not only did she receive pomp and circumstance in the form of flowers and a speech, but she also gave her team a first place victory in the 50-yard freestyle race.
Deuchar beat her closest competition by .04 seconds and helped seal her team’s victory over the Ursuline Arrows.
“Winning that 50 was incredibly exiting because I knew they had fast sprinters,” Deuchar said as she described the neck-and-neck race. “I won by a touch. I hit the wall with my right hand, and in my peripheral vision I watched her hand touch right after me.”
Coach Recznik described her senior captain’s style as “quiet leadership.” Deuchar explained her leadership technique and how it translated to success for her team.
“It’s about challenging myself to be a better person,” Deuchar said. “I’m always looking to be the best that I can be in and out of the water. That’s the way I lead others. I want them to look at me and follow my example.”
Deuchar’s expectations were met by her teammates’ successes on senior night. Junior Molly Coogan mirrored Deuchar’s success by setting a new pool record for the 100 yard breaststroke. Freshman Kellie Rankin set a pool record for her diving with a score of 187.85.
Deuchar’s senior night was capped with success from her team that she helps to lead everyday.
“It is a lot to lead a look out for a team,” Deuchar said. “It’s nice to see them do so well.”
Deuchar and her girls headed into their last meet of the regular season against Penn State Altoona and Chatham University on Feb 2, which unfortunately resulted in a loss for the Lady Baron swimming and diving team.
According to the Franciscan Athletics website, sophomores Allie Kelly and Maria Giuliani set personal records in swimming events and Rankin set a personal record of 207 in the 3-meter diving event at the meet against Chatham and PS-Altoona
The Lady Barons will take to the pool again in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championship meet February 13 through 16 at Grove City College.