Men’s swim and dive team named C-USA champions

Evan Depasco

The WKU Swim and Dive team duplicated the success it found in last year’s Conference USA championships, this past week in Knoxville. The men captured their second-straight C-USA title, and the women finished third. 

Head Coach Bruce Marchionda was enthusiastic about his team’s performance. 

“It was a total team effort at the end of the week,” Marchionda said. 

WKU had 15 first-place finishes at the conference championships, and of those 15, five came in the championship rounds. 

The Hilltoppers finished the week with 909.5 points, topping Old Dominion with 894 and Florida Atlantic with 663.5. 

Before competition began, Marchionda spoke about how crucial a solid performance from the bottom half of the team was if it wanted to contend for the title. After competition, he acknowledged this point once again. 

“Our depth proved to be the deciding factor with multiple swimmers having great finishes,” Marchionda said. 

Sophomore Fabian Schwingenschlogl retained his title as Swimmer of the Meet, while sophomore diver Zach Batus was chosen as the Men’s Invitational Diver of the Meet. 

Schwingenschlogl won three individual titles over the four days, setting a new career record with a time of 1:45.41 in the 200 individual medley, then went on to take gold in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. 

Batus found himself on top of the podium twice. He totaled 313.90 in the three-meter event and 296.90 in the platform dive. Batus also took home silver in the one-meter dive with a score of 242.15. 

Freshman Daniel McGee took home first in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 15:30.40. 

The other winner from the men’s side was freshman John Myhre, whose 1:46.15 took home gold in the 200 backstroke. 

The Lady Toppers found themselves on top of the standings after the first day of competition, but fell to second on day two and eventually finished third with a total of 645 points. Defending champion Florida International took home the title with a total of 765, followed by Rice at 661.5. 

The girls team dealt with a sickness throughout the week that swept through some members of the team,

 “I personally never seen anything like it,” Marchionda said. “There was a stomach virus that went through the women’s team throughout the weekend.” 

Senior Susan Marquess won the title in the 200 fly with a time of 1:56.91, while fellow senior Claire Conlon finished second in the 200 breast at 2:12.96. 

The women’s team set a school record in the 400-medley relay. Marquess, junior Michelle Craddock and freshmen Hannah Musser and Sydney King totaled a time of 3:20.47 and a third place finish. 

Marchionda captured his fourth career conference championship, and Chelsea Ale was named the Men’s Diving Coach of the Year. 

Members of the WKU Swim and Dive team will travel to the University of Georgia this weekend in hopes of qualifying for the National Championships in Iowa City.