Jan. 22, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Strong performances by a pair of freshman were not enough for Marshall swimming and diving as it fell to Ohio, 167-116 Tuesday inside Frederick A. Fitch Natatorium.
Danica Ross and Kelsey Ferguson were one of four individual winners against Ohio (2-2). They were joined by Arlie Rykosky and Madison Lawhorn with individual victories. The Thundering Herd also won the dual-meet’s final event, the 800-yard freestyle relay.
“I cannot be happier with the performance tonight,” head coach Bill Tramel said after the meet. “Our hard work is really starting to show. We have had a number of hard weeks of training over the recent holiday break and we haven’t laid up at all.”
“To perform as we did tonight is very satisfying and even though we fell short on the scoreboard, I felt like we won tonight.”
Ross was the only multiple winner during the meet. She won for the third time in the 50 free (24.56), giving her a perfect 3-for-3 record on the season. The Binghamton, N.Y. native also used a career-best time of 52.87 in the 100 free for her second win of the night. Her time also ranks as the 18th fastest time in school history.
Ferguson meanwhile was victorious for the first time as member of the Herd. She posted a career-best performance of 2:25.55 in the 200 breaststroke. The West Virginia native also had a career-best swim in the 100 breast to finish second
One of the more exciting moments of the meet came during the 800 free relay to close out the meet. The Herd (5-5) broke a 10 year Fitch Natatorium record with a time of 7:49.78 in the 800 free relay. The combination of Ross, Tiffany Aeling, Sarah Coghlin and Kaley Gregory swam to victory with a large home crowd backing them. Gregory was able to hold off Ohio’s Katey Brooks on the final lap for the win.
“I am really pleased with how strong we finished the meet,” Tramel expressed following the meet. “Then to find out after the fact that the 800 free relay was a pool record is really exciting. That was a record set in 2003, the first year of our program’s existent.”
Rounding out individual winners was Lawhorn, who nudged out her teammate Ferguson in the 100 breast to grab her third win of the season in the event with a time of 1:06.31. Rykosky had a personal season-best performance of 2:12.63 in the 200 individual medley for the team’s fifth individual victory.
“I believe we had over 20 season-best times tonight, two lifetime bests in Kelsey (Ferguson) and Alex (Black) and really exceptional swims from pretty much everyone across the board,” Tramel added.
There was also plethora of other notable performers for the green and white on Tuesday. Gregory had her career-best time (10:28.72) in the 1000 free with a second place finish. In the 200 butterfly, Coghlin was runner-up with her season-best time of 2:11.13.
Additionally, a third freshman, Alex Black performed well as she had her best time of her career after posting a performance of 2:35.67 in the 200 breast.
“We are going to have another challenge this weekend on the road against Liberty,” said Tramel.
“Hats off to Ohio with a great meet and they provided us with some great races that were a benefit to us to enjoy the success we had.”
Marshall and Liberty’s dual-meet is scheduled for this Saturday with action beginning at 11 a.m.