BY THERESA SCANLON
Franciscan University of Steubenville women’s swimming and diving team ended their second season with third place in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.
“The talent from last year really fed into this past season,” Head Coach Becky Recznik said. “Our first two years as a program have been strong, and next year we’ll be even better.”
Recznick joined the Lady Barons as head coach halfway through their 2011-2012 season. Recznick had to quickly figure out how to coach the girls through their first season as a team, as well as prepare the Lady Barons for the AMCC championships, a three-day, four-night event in Pennsylvania where Franciscan competed against 15 other teams.
“Championships were exhausting but rewarding in so many different ways,” Recznik said. “The season had reached its culmination, all the hard work had paid off, and as coaches we were able to reflect on how the team had developed.”
Although the Lady Barons excelled, coming in only 89 points behind first place Penn State-Behrend, FUS suffered this past season due to a small championship roster. Behrend won last year’s AMCC championship with a 137-point lead over the Barons. Three of the Lady Barons left to study abroad this spring, while one swimmer was out with an injury.
“Ideally I would love to see the team expand to 18 girls,” Recznik said. “But I would be very satisfied with 12 to 15 as well.”
Although the Lady Barons lost four girls, coach Recznik recruited two assistant coaches, Kristin Curran and Kateri Lang, who helped to organize the team and devote individual time to each swimmer and diver.
“We had a lot more consistency with coaching this season,” Recznik said. “Along with our new coaches, we had a lot of freshman talent that added strength to the team.”
Still only in the second year of their program, the Lady Barons are continuing to build their team by recruiting girls and accentuating the talents they already have.
“We still have time to figure out what exactly we want to be as a team,” Recznik said. “Each year we have new girls and new personalities to create an atmosphere out of.”