Records Fall in Season-Opener; Falcons Outmatched By Gettysburg
Returning MAC Champion, junior Katelynn Sagaser won two individual events against Gettysburg College Saturday.
Grantham, PA – The Messiah College men’s and women’s swim team kicked off the 2011-2012 season Saturday against the reigning Centennial Conference champions, Gettysburg College (1-0). Despite breaking several school records and earning numerous MAC cuts, the Falcons couldn’t overcome the Bullets, resulting in an 84-172 loss for the men and a 100-157 defeat on the women’s side.
“Gettysburg is the toughest opponent we face all year,” assistant coach Chris Doemland said. “They are a great team and their fan support is outstanding. It’s a fun way to kick off the season.”
The Falcons (0-1) won six individual events on the day, although two were exhibitioned.
Sagaser - the reigning 2010 Middle Atlantic Conference Champion in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard backstroke - dominated her events to win the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.68) and the 200-yard individual medley (2:17.55).
Schaffer was also a multi-event winner earning victories in both the 50-yard freestyle (:25.65) and 100-yard freestyle (:56.69).
“Sagaser and Schaffer are key returners,” head coach Nancy Luley said. “They are very strong swimmers and they provide a lot of leadership for us. This was a great start for them and our freshmen had some fabulous swims today.”
Several freshmen made their mark against Gettysburg, earning MAC cuts in their first collegiate swims, including Burrell, Pa. native, Lauren Clune. In the first individual event of the meet, 1000-yard freestyle, Clune not only earned a MAC cut, but also shattered the previous school record (12:29.72) with a time of 11:27.05 for second place. Clune’s third place finish (5:37.40) in the 500-yard freestyle came from yet another MAC qualifying time.
One more school record was rewritten in the 100-yard butterfly by freshman Lauren Penwell. Penwell’s time of 1:02.50 was almost one second faster than the previous record (1:03.86) and earned second place.
Freshmen Nicole Barberides and Hannah Teklits joined the MAC cut club in the 200-yard freestyle. Barberides’s time of 2:07.95 was good for fourth place and Teklits was close behind at 2:08.80 for fifth.
The women finished the afternoon with an exhibition win in the 200-yard free relay. Sagaser, junior Molly Handley, Clune, and Schaffer combined for a time of 1:44.03.
On the men’s side, the Falcons (0-1) had a difficult time matching the speed and depth of the Bullets, but several newcomers rose to the occasion to earn their first MAC cuts of the season.
Sophomore transfer Nate Brown had a strong swim in the 50-yard freestyle. His time of :22.71 was good for third place.
Freshmen Adam Vogel and Nathan Good rounded out the strong performances on the day for the Falcons. In the exhibitioned 200-yard individual medley, Vogel took the event with a time of 2:11.11, while Good also earned a MAC cut in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:02.09.
“We’re very happy to be in our pool to start this season,” Luley said, referring to an extensive construction project that forced the Falcons to commute to local pools for the first half of last season. “We are truly ‘at home’ to start our season and the fans came out in full force to support us today. This was a great test for us and I am happy with our performance.”
The Falcons will set their sights on their next tests, conference rivals Lycoming College and Elizabethtown College. The double dual meet with take place on Saturday, November 12th at Lycoming College. Swimming is set to begin at 1:00 p.m.