Feb. 1 – BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College swimming & diving teams came up short against Presidents’ Athletic Conference opponent Grove City on Saturday. The women dropped a 151-123 decision, while the men were defeated 148-122.
On the women’s side, the big winners were Christine Pray (Canton, Mich./Canton) and Marina Baker (Winchester, Va./Sherando). Pray was able to break the school-record in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:22.75. The mark was previously held by Mary E. Scollins, who set the record in 1974, with a time of 2:23.40. Adding to that accomplishment, Pray also took first place in the 1,650 yard freestyle (19:04.22) and was a member of the second-place 200 yard medley relay team.
Baker highlighted her afternoon by breaking her own school-record in the 200 yard breaststroke with a time of 2:38.97. She added to that a first-place finish in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:14.49) and was also a member of the victorious 200 yard freestyle relay squad.
Alexi Pyles (Los Angeles, Calif./GHCHS) and Haley Ekaitis (Pittsburgh, Pa./McKeesport ), who both were members of the winning relay team, also had impressive outings. Pyles added first-place finishes in the 100 yard backstroke (1:04.72) and the 100 yard butterfly (1:02.11). Ekaitis grabbed first place in both the 1-meter (126.80) and 3-meter dives (145.50). She also finished second in the 50 yard freestyle.
The meet also marked the last home contest for seniors Kayla Spinelli (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia) and Katie Woeckener (Hickory, N.C./St. Stephens). Spinelli grabbed second place in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, while Woeckener was able to grab a third-place finish in the 1,650 freestyle.
The men were led by Jeremy Starr (Warren, Ohio/Warren G. Harding) and Brandon Martell (Sharon, Pa./Sharon). Starr touched first in the 50 yard freestyle (23.07) and was a member of the winning 200 yard freestyle squad (1:34.48). He also grabbed a second-place finish in the 100 yard freestyle. Martell was able to win both the 1-meter (184.90) and the 3-meter (176.65) diving events.
Others that had notable performances were Jacob Collas (South Park, Pa./South Park ) and Craig Starks (Milwaukee, Wisc./Rufus King International). Collas was able to take first-place in both the 100 yard breaststroke (1:04.46) and 200 yard individual medley (2:12.17). Starks, who swam a leg on the winning relay team, also won the 100 yard butterfly (57.14).
The squads will conclude their season on Feb. 12 – Feb. 15., when they travel to Grove City, Pa., for the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championships.