By Ronald Hanaki
Last Saturday, ESU’s Women’s Swimming program held its Alumni Meet at the natatorium inside Koehler Fieldhouse.
Head Coach Brianne Globig said, “They had done this years ago, but this is the first Alumni Meet in some time.”
“We have alumni swimmerswho have stayed in touch with the team and have stayed involved,” stated Globig.
“We have a really good group of swimmers who have recently graduated,” said Globig. “A lot of the past swimmers who have graduated were asking to do it.”
“We reached out to the older alumni as well,” stated Globig.
ESU swimming alumni from the years 2004-2017 came back to compete against ESU’s current swimming team.
Natalie Harbold, ESU Class of 2004, was the most distantly graduated alumni who returned.
“We are excited to have an alumni function and want to do it every year now,” said Globig. “And I am sure that our alumni are grateful for the opportunities to come back to campus to support the team that they love and remember so well.”
It turned out to be a competitive event between the current team and the alumni swimmers.
In one memorable event, the 200 medley relay was won by the alumni team of Ashleigh Podhayny, Kelly Buyaskas, Kaitlyn Casciole and Andrea Tremper.
In addition, freshman Elizabeth Young had the opportunity to compete against two of her aunts who were past ESU swimmers.
“It was fun to see the freshman race for the first time,” said Globig. “They were short events, but it was a nice start to the season.”
“After the meet, our team got to meet and socialize with the alumni,” said Globig.
“It was fun to learn some of their names and hear their stories. It was nice to see our newest team members interact with our older alumni–having fun and telling stories,” stated Globig.
Globig is looking forward to the new season.
“We set our standards very high this year,” said Globig. “The girls have big goals to go after.”
There is a new team motto this year.
“Earned. Not given,” stated Globig. “They want to break records and place high in conference meets.”
“High standards have been set,” said Globig. “If they work hard and stay focused, they can blow them away.”
“We want to improve upon our 9th place finish at conference championships last season and get more girls into the top eight final heat,” said Globig.
“Briana Hall, our senior, has looked really good in her events,” said Globig.
Senior Annie Fagan returns to the team for her final season. At the PSAC Championships last season, Fagan became the first Warrior since 2010 to qualify for two ‘A’ finals.
As a freshman, Olivia Lukshides swam the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:56.01 last season. That is the second fastest in program history and is only 0.12 of a second behind ESU swimming great Ashleigh Podhayny’s school record time of 1:55.89.
Lukshides also holds the third-fastest time in program history in the 100 freestyle.
“She [Lukshides] could have a really good year,” said Globig.
“We lost nine seniors last year, but we have six new recruits coming in this year,” said Globig. “Most, if not all of them, will qualify for the conference meet.”
Much is expected from this year’s freshman class.
“I’m really excited about Brianna Bieber,” said Globig. “She has the potential to be a point-scorer for us at conference meets.”
“Taylor Howery has been really working hard in practice,” stated Globig. “She is already swimming fast times.”
“Julia Harnish comes to us from Washington state,” said Globig. “It’s pretty cool to have someone come from that far away and expand our recruiting base.”
“We want to keep growing and support the team and ESU Athletics for the alumni,” stated Globig.
The Warriors will return to the pool for the Millersville Relays this Saturday.
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