Feb. 1, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall’s swimming and diving team finished its regular season with a 164 to 94 loss to Bowling Green in the Frederick A. Fitch Natatorium, Saturday. The Thundering Herd posted 14 individual top-three finishes, including 11 season bests.
“We had some fantastic races today,” coach Bill Tramel said. “I’m especially pleased with the toughness we showed.”
Juniors Kacey Preun (St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada) and Kaley Gregory (Hurricane, W.Va.) took first and second places in the 1,650-yard freestyle. Preun’s time of 17:23.67 was a season best, and Gregory followed with a time of 17:28.25.
Gregory later won the Herd’s fourth event, the 500-yard freestyle, by out-touching Bowling Green’s Alex Poitinger by .08 seconds.
“Kaley Gregory came from behind with a monster last 50 in the 500 for the win, and Sarah Kay followed the performance by fighting to the finish for the touch out in the very next event,” Tramel added. “When we teach our team a skill, and then they execute that skill and it makes a difference in the outcome – a win – that’s the best feeling in coaching. It really is.”
Freshman Bree Mury (Round Rock, Texas) earned a season best with a time of 2:07.86 that earned her second place in the 200-yard backstroke. Mury also placed second in the 200-yard freestyle.
“We got stronger as the meet went on,” Tramel said. “We had a very good first period, but I think coming out of the break, Bree’s 200 back really set the tone for the rest of the meet. That was the swim of the day.”
The senior class put together a strong performance for their last home meet. Veteran Sarah Kay (Cape Town, South Africa) won the 200-yard butterfly for the sixth time this season and the 100-yard butterfly for the fourth. Her time in the 100-yard event of 58.51 was a new season best.
Senior Vera Niemeyer (Wuerselen, Germany) also picked up an event win for the Herd, finishing first in the 200-yard individual medley. Senior Madison Lawhorn (Baltimore, Ohio) placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing .09 seconds behind the Bowling Green victor.
“We have set ourselves up for a great championship,” Tramel concluded. “We still need to fine tune, but both Ian and I are looking forward to Conference USA. It’s going to be fun with some fast swimming.”
The Herd will have over three weeks of training before heading to Atlanta, Ga. for the C-USA Tournament, Feb. 26.