BY MATTHEW J. VAN WAGENEN
The Lady Baron swimming and diving team took runners-up in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championships and ended their successful season on a high note.
Head coach Beck Recznik said the ladies performed with excellence and upheld a positive morale throughout the season.
“Swimming, as a team sport, is not just about dropping individual times,” said Recznik. “It is about an overall attitude … the team’s attitude of commitment definitely surpassed my expectations. They were truly magnanimous even before we stepped foot on the pool deck at championships.”
The second place Franciscan team, with a final score of 147, placed 19 points ahead of third place Penn State Behrend, the seven-time defending champions who had 128 points.
This season, several team records were set. Molly Coogan set records in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke, Nicole Marshall set records in the 100 and 200 yard backstroke and Kellie Rankin set a school record on the 3M diving board event. Additionally, Nicole Marshall became the first Franciscan swimmer to qualify for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships with her time of 1:01.38 in her 100 yard backstroke at the AMCC Championships.
Recznik is proud of the legacy that senior Molly Coogan will leave behind when she graduates.
“Molly Coogan is our beloved senior and she certainly has established a deep legacy on the team,” said Recznik. “She has lived out the vocation of student-athlete in a profound way and I believe that every single girl on the team has been touched by her genuine love of the sport…she does not settle for anything less than her absolute best and that is a profound legacy to leave.”
Recznik is excited to see how the girls will perform in the 2014-2015 season after watching each of the ladies surpass her expectations at some point during the season.
“Next season will hold its own challenges, I am sure,” said Recznik, “but I believe that we have built a strong foundation for next year in the freshman class that joined this year and in the girls who will be returning next year. They understand what it means to face unexpected sacrifices and to overcome obstacles to achieve greatness.”