WKU swim team travels to UK for season-opening meet

Mercedes Trent

Fast freshmen hope to get the WKU swim teams off to a

successful start Saturday when they travel to Lexington to compete

against Kentucky and Vanderbilt. 

“We have two goals,” Head Coach Bruce Marchionda

said. “One, to get up and be competitive with two very good SEC

schools. We also want to come together as a team. By that I mean a

very good blend of leadership from the upperclassmen and a little

bit of fire from the new swimmers.”

Senior Kevin Knezevich, the men’s team captain, said

the class of 22 freshmen who led scoring in the Red and White

intersquad meet on Oct. 15 are the key to the team’s strength.

“We have a lot of fast freshmen, and that helps with

our depth,” Knezevich said. “Seth Musser is going to be put in a

situation where he has to step up and replace some seniors who we

lost last year. He’s going to be a key factor.”

Knezevich also mentioned freshman Drew Cato as a

significant new competitor fast enough to make an impact on the


Marchionda said he believes the new setting of a

larger, more team-oriented meet will “add a little pressure” to the


Senior women’s team captain Kristiana Feeser


“I think it’ll put a lot of things in perspective,”

she said. “It’ll be a starting level we can move up from.”

For Marchionda, that starting level is maintaining

energy throughout competition.

“I want to see them swim fast when they’re so tired,”

Marchionda said. “The faster they are when they’re tired, the

better they’ll be when they’re rested. That’ll probably be a lesson

for the younger ones.”

Knezevich said he wants the team to start strong and

maintain the positive beginning.

“(I want) to show up and smack them in the face the

first relay and keep that momentum up throughout the meet,” he


Knezevich, a transfer student from UK, said the meet

holds emotional significance for him. He will compete against

former teammates such UK senior Tyler Reed, who was also

Knezevich’s roommate.

“We’re excited to swim with each other in our last

college season,” Knezevich said. “I never thought I’d have the

chance to swim with them again.”

Though Knezevich is still close friends with his

former teammates, he sees the return to Lancaster Aquatic Center as

“more motivation than advantage.”

“It’s a big meet,” Knezevich said. “We lose a lot of

recruits to (UK). It’s going to be really beneficial to our program

to be able to compete on a high level with them.”

Knezevich believes WKU can compete closely with the

UK team.

“On paper we’re pretty close,” Knezevich said. “I

think we have a pretty good chance to beat them. Just one or two

races will make a difference but I think we can out-swim them.”

On the women’s side, Feeser agreed that WKU could

excel in tomorrow’s meet. 

“I think we’re definitely big contenders,” Feeser

said. “We have a lot of new and old talent so I think we can give

them a run for their money.”