WKU Swimming sweeps Senior Day meet

After defeating University of Cumberlands, WKU swimmers swim a round of cool down laps. Overall, 15 WKU Swim team members took first place in 22 events at Bill Powell Natatorium Saturday.

Kurt Carson

WKU’s swimming teams capped off their Senior Day festivities Saturday with solid victories on both the men’s and women’s side.

The men’s team (7-1) and women’s team (9-1) defeated University of the Cumberlands Saturday in their last home meet of the season at the Bill Powell Natatorium.

Head Coach Bruce Marchionda said he was impressed with how the teams performed given what they’ve been through the past couple of weeks.

WKU is coming off its hardest training phase of the year and got off a 15-hour bus ride just one day before Saturday’s meet.

“The major thing that we were able to do today was get up and race,” Marchionda said. “Coming off this trip of 14 days of very, very hard training, a 15-hour bus ride yesterday, and to get off, they could’ve easily used that as an excuse. But they didn’t, and that was the nice thing to see today.”

It was a special day for the seniors in what was their last meet in front of the home crowd.

WKU boasts 17 seniors between the men’s and women’s squads.

Marchionda said he’s enjoyed watching the seniors develop over their time at WKU.

“We had a lot of alumni in the stands today, and to see them just really reiterates how fast this opportunity to compete at the highest level goes in four years,” Marchionda said. “There’s not many people that have the chance to compete at this level, so just to watch them mature as an athlete and as a person is the fun part of coaching.”

Marchionda watched senior Stephanie Martin go out in fashion with her performance in the 200-yard breaststroke. She set a new school record with her time of 2 minutes, 16.65 seconds.

“It felt amazing,” Martin said. “Honestly, I didn’t think I’d do that good today because of the training, but yeah, it happened and it felt great.”

Marchionda credited her record-breaking time to the hard work she puts in consistently.

“To do that at this particular time is very phenomenal,” Marchionda said. “Of course she’s that kind of person that really thrives on working hard. The more work she does, the better off she is, so she kind of proved that today. We’re expecting some pretty big things from her four weeks from now.”

On the men’s side, senior Kevin Knezevich won first place in the 100 butterfly in his last home event.

“I thought I did pretty good just like the rest of the team coming off hard training and swimming pretty fast,” Knezevich said.

WKU wraps up their regular season schedule Saturday against Southern Illinois and looks toward Sun Belt Conference Championships in late February.

“Hopefully if we can beat [Southern Illinois] and put up some really good times, that’s going to give them a lot of confidence going into the final preparation for the conference championships,” Marchionda said.