WKU swimmers sweep Evansville to continue winning streak

Sophomore Billy Kunkel checks his time after winning the 200-meter freestyle in a meet against the University of Evansville at the Preston Center on Saturday. The WKU men’s and women’s teams won to extend their streak.

Lucas Aulbach

The WKU men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams extended their respective streaks with Evansville being the latest victim.

The Toppers took a 163-94 victory and the Lady Toppers a 164-11 win on Saturday at WKU’s second home meet, which took place in Powell Natatorium at the Preston Center.

Neither WKU squad has lost since an Oct. 16 meet against South Carolina, a loss that WKU junior Chris Housden called “a real wake-up call for all of us.”

Housden notched wins in the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard backstroke races on Saturday, with junior Chelsea Larsen and Laurel Chaney winning those respective races in the women’s competitions.

Larsen also took first in the 200-yard butterfly, with Lucas Zelehowsky winning the men’s race.

Evansville won just six of the 30 events throughout the day.

Larsen was pleased with the WKU’s performances after the meet.

“This meet is usually a good indicator of where the team is right now,” she said.

Players cited increased intensity at practice this week and new-found team spirit as major reasons why Saturday’s meet was such a success.

Saturday’s meet was the last for WKU for the fall season. The next step is a trip to Florida to practice. The teams are going just outside Ft. Lauterdale for a two-week training session during winter break.

WKU will compete against Indian River State College in Florida over winter break and will host Southern Illinois on Jan. 29.

Head Coach Bruce Machionda said before Saturday’s event that the teams were going to try to incorporate new strategies during the meet. He came away pleased with the results.

“I think the whole team can take some very positive things from this,” Marchionda said.