STEUBENVILLE, Ohio. — It was a historical moment for Franciscan University's inaugural Lady Baron swimming and diving team Saturday afternoon, hosting its first-ever home tri-meet at Steubenville High School. The Lady Barons split the meet with Chatham University and fellow Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference member, Penn State Altoona. Franciscan is now ranked No. 1 in the AMCC.
Franciscan defeated Penn State Altoona 81-25, Chatham topped Altoona 76-27, and Chatham defeated Franciscan 62-49.
The meet started with the Lady Barons walking into the natatorium to the sound of a crowd roaring with excitement. The momentum stayed high as the Lady Barons won the first event, the 200-yard medley relay: GraceAnne Beatovich, Maria Deuchar, Mary Niehaus and Maria Giuliani clocked a time of 2:07.55.
"The fans were really fired up and that meant a lot to the girls," said head coach Rebecca Recznik. "It was especially nice to have some of the girls' family members here."
Emily Pass, freshman distance swimmer, had a standout performance in the 1000-yard freestyle with a winning time of 12:51.75. Pass dropped about 30 seconds off of her previous personal best.
Freshman Maria Giuliani also pulled out a win for the team in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:11.27.
"All the girls were getting personal records and that's what we strive for," noted assistant coach Ryan Miller.
At the end of the meet, the Lady Barons recognized their seniors: Joan Radke, Danielle Tremblay and GraceAnne Beatovich. Coach Recznik noted that the seniors all have their own way of leading the team in and out of the pool.
"Being a new team, it's important to start a tradition of leadership and these ladies have done just that," she said.
The Lady Barons move on to the Presidents' Athletic Conference Championships at Grove City College beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Starting times of the four-day championship are to be announced.