Freshmen impress at WKU swimming’s Red-White meet

Mercedes Trent

If the results at Saturday’s Red and White swimming meet are any indication, freshmen will be the key to WKU’s swim teams this season.

On the women’s side, eight of the 11 events were won by freshmen. 

Freshman Allie Duff led the women’s team in scoring, placing first in the 100-yard backstroke, the 200 backstroke and the 200 individual medley. 

Fellow freshman Susan Marquess followed in scoring with wins in the 100 and 200 freestyle. 

Freshman Seth Musser took an early victory in the men’s 100 backstroke. Head Coach Bruce Marchionda said Musser “set the tone” with his later win in the 200 backstroke. 

The intersquad meet, held at the Bill Powell Natatorium, divided the 62-competitor team into two — the Red team and the White team. 

The White team, which won the meet with 229 points, featured Duff as its leading competitor. Freshmen winners Claire Conlon (100 breaststroke), Paige Drazga (20 freestyle), and Ashley Forsyth (500 freestyle) also elevated the White to its winning position. 

The women’s 100 butterfly, won by junior Kristiana Freeser, was the only women’s White team victory not by a freshman.

Junior David Rayner won points for the White in the men’s events with wins in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. Sophomore Heitor Rodrigues matched him in wins with victories in the 100 and 200 butterfly. 

Junior Billy Kunkel also put up points for the White with wins in the 50 and 100 freestyle, the latter of which he holds a pool record.

The Red team, earning 189 points, touted Marquess and Musser, as well as Musser’s older brother Luke, a junior, who claimed first in the men’s 100 and 200 breaststroke. 

Senior Stephanie Martin also competed on the Red side, winning the women’s 200 breaststroke — the event in which she also holds a school record. 

Chelsea Larson rounded out the scoring for the women on the Red with a first place finish in the women’s 200 butterfly. Freshman Drew Cato contributed another young victory to the Red with his win in the men’s 200 individual medley. 

Both swimming and diving teams will compete in a tri-meet against on Oct. 29 in Nashville against Vanderbilt and Kentucky.