The University of Richmond women’s swimming and diving team placed second overall in the Atlantic 10 championships this past weekend.
The Spiders traveled to Geneva, OH, from Feb. 15 to Feb. 18 to compete with 11 other A-10 schools. UR totaled 479.5 points throughout the championships and garnered five podium finishes.
On the first day of the event, junior swimmer Katelyn Pennell, sophomore swimmer Abigail Fuller and senior swimmers Lauren Medlin and Sara Greene took home the gold medal in the 200-yard medley relay with a 1:39.30 time. This set an event record for the A-10 conference, the pool, the meet and the team.
In the 800-yard medley, Pennell, senior swimmer Claire O’Shaughnessy and first-year swimmers Caitlyn Hughes and Kathryn Chignell finished in third place. Their 7:21.48 time warranted bronze medals for the four of them.
During the second day, Fuller took home the silver medal with a second-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle.
Fuller also placed third in the 200-yard freestyle relay with first-year swimmer Julia Krichev, junior swimmer Lucy Yeomans and Medlin.
On day three of the event, Pennell ended up on the podium for a third time, receiving a bronze medal for her efforts in the 100-yard backstroke with a 54.28 time.
Other notable performances included junior swimmer Alexa Connors’ 16:52.74 in the 1650-yard freestyle, which was just on the cusp of a podium finish with fourth place. In the same event, junior swimmer Megan Carson placed ninth, first-year swimmer Natalie Stuart 10th and sophomore swimmer Laura Davis 15th.
Hughes, Yeomans, O'Shaughnessy and Fuller competed in the 400-yard freestyle relay group and finished in fourth place, just missing a place on the podium. Their collective time of 3:22.68 was only .07 seconds behind the third-place finishers.
In the 200-yard backstroke, Pennell and sophomore swimmer Carstyn Klosterman placed sixth and seventh place, respectively.
Head swimming coach Matt Barany wrote in an email to The Collegian that while he was not happy with a second-place finish, he is still proud of the effort from his team all season.
“Our women train hard, treat each other well and add value to the university,” Barany wrote. “They are the best.”
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Barany has been with the Spiders since 2005. Under Barany’s tenure, the Spiders have won 12 A-10 Championships. Last year, the team finished third overall in the A-10 championships. UR’s last first-place finish was in 2021.
“I’ve been here a long time. Those 12 championships are memorable, and I appreciate the efforts of all the swimmers and divers during my time here,” Barany wrote. “I still have the hunger to win a championship as if it were my first.”
It has not only been a successful season in the pool for the Spiders but outside of the Robins Center Natatorium and in the classrooms as well.
Earlier this month, the team was awarded Scholar All-America Team Honors as the program finished with the second-highest GPA in Division I swimming and diving with a 3.82 average.
“We target talented swimmers and divers who are eager to train hard and improve, but they are more motivated by the academic experience at Richmond,” Barany wrote. “They carried course loads in high school that appropriately prepared them for Richmond. Once here, they get to engage the professors and mentors for the full experience. It’s all them!”
Contact sports editor Jimmy James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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