Eastern women’s swim team lands two recruits

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

The women’s swim team has signed two recruits for the 2016-2017 season. Coach Jacqueline Michalski brought in Sara Dains and Karleen Gernady.

Dains and Gernady are both seniors at their respective high schools. Dains is a four-year varsity swimmer at Peoria Notre Dame High School in Peoria, Ill. She was selected captain of her swim team in her junior and senior seasons. Dains has been named to the all-sectional team three times.

Gernady is also a four-year varsity swimmer at Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa, Ill. She is also a participant in club swimming. Gernady has been a state qualifier in the 400-yard individual medley, which is a tough race to be good at in high school, Michalski said.

“(Gernady) is a very diverse swimmer,” Michalski said. “The 400 IM is not an event most high schoolers are good at and that’s one of her strongest events, so to swim that event strong is really going to help our team and add some depth.”

Dains dropped 2.5 seconds in her 100-yard breaststroke in her sectional meet.

“Sara (Dains) is a really dedicated swimmer,” Michalski said. “She’s had some ups and downs I think in her career a little.”

Michalski said for Dains to drop time shows that she is really motivated and for a senior to drop times in their senior year is exciting.

Dains and Gernady both have personalities that are going to mesh well with the team, Michalski said.

The women’s swim team got the top GPA in the nation back-to-back semesters and also won the EPIC award in August, too.

“They want to stay on the same academic path that we’re on so they really fit in with the team,” Michalski said.

Just because both swimmers are swimming certain events in high school, it does not mean that they will be swimming the same events here.

Michalski said that Dains will swim some breaststroke to start out, and Gernady will stay in the 400 IM.

“I don’t like to pigeon hole people in events when they come here,” Michalski said. “I like to explore what they can swim and what they might need a little more developing in.”

The women’s swim team is off to a 2-4 start this year and will be heading to the House of Champions at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis this weekend.

The women beat Valparaiso two weeks ago in Padovan Pool, finishing in first place in a majority of the events.

It will be about a year before Dains and Gernady get on campus and start swimming as Panthers, but Michalski said she and assistant coach Meghan Cotugno are excited to see both swimmers grow in their time at Eastern.


Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]