The Collegian
Saturday, May 18, 2024

Spiders finish third in Pittsburgh meet

Richmond Swimming & Diving competed in the University of Pittsburgh's quad dual-meet Jan. 13 and 14, outscoring Villanova 187-162, but falling to the host Panthers 240-113 and Maryland 242.5-104.5.

Head coach Matthew Baraney said he wasn't pleased with the results.

"We were average," he said. "Our few outstanding performances were negated by our less-than-spectacular efforts. We have developed good training habits, but it seems we're not ready to adopt those habits in the meets."

The outstanding performances came from eight Spider swimmers who recorded top-three finishes.

Sophomore Mali Kobelja continued her strong season, finishing second in the 400 IM with her season-best time of 4:22.69 and finishing third in the 100 breast on the first day. On the second day, she took second in the 200 IM and captured third in the 200 breast, with teammate Erin Brady winning the opening heat of the race.

"I was definitely happy with the result," Kobelja said.

"All week I was taking note of what things I had to make sure I was thinking about with my strokes so then it was second nature when the race came."

On the first day, Kobelja joined senior Jill Smaniotto and juniors Lauren Hines and Mina Vucic with a runner-up finish in the 400 medley relay. After Smaniotto finished the third leg in a dead-lock with the Pitt flyer, Vucic swam a strong final 25 meters of her free to secure the second-place finish for the Spiders. Hines would follow that up with a runner-up showing in the 200 back.

"Our team as a whole has been working on building each other up, so that's something we're always striving towards," Kobelja said.

Senior Charlotte Brackett along with Hines, Vucic and sophomore Laura Jordan closed out day one with a second-place finish in the 200 free relay.

On the second day, Brackett raced to a second-place finish in the 50 free. Senior Liz Cohan was the runner-up in the opening heat of the 50 free with Jordan touching in just behind to tie for third. Brackett, Hines, Cohan and Vucic took third place in the 400 free relay.

"We have a lot of training before the championship, so we'll have opportunities to get better," Barany said.

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"There isn't one area where we have complete mastery," he said. "The team recognizes this and accepts their opportunity."

Richmond returns to the pool this Saturday at noon when it hosts Rutgers at the Robins Center Natatorium. The team will commemorate "Senior Day" with a short ceremony prior to Saturday's meet.

Contact reporter Will Offit at

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