Eastern swim teams wrap up final home meet

Tyler McCluskey, Swim Reporter


Sophomore Gerald Stingle swims the 2nd leg of the 300-yard butterfly relay Saturday at Padovan Pool.
Sean Hastings
Sophomore Gerald Stingle swims the 2nd leg of the 300-yard butterfly relay Saturday at Padovan Pool.

The Eastern swim teams had a total of nine second-place finishes in Saturday’s meet against Saint Louis, Wabash College and Maryville.

In the men’s 500-yard freestyle relay, the team of junior Shamus Shields, sophomore Tyler Parrish, junior Jennings Soccorso-McCoy and junior Bryan McPherson had a very close race, coming down to the last touch.

The Panthers would end up taking second place but only by a tenth of a second, finishing with a time of 4 minutes and 14.58 seconds.

Soccorso-McCoy said he was mad that he lost by that little, but it will bring him motivation.

“Basically, that’s going to eat at me the next week of practice. So I’ll just use that to feed off this next week,” Soccorso-McCoy said.

Soccorso-McCoy said that he was more focused on just going fast.

“I was going so fast that I actually forgot to focus on that last turn,” Soccorso-McCoy said. “And that’s where I kind of messed up a little bit. If I would have gotten that last turn, I think I could have got him.”

Coach Jaqueline Michalski said losing by that much is a reminder of what practice means for the heat of the moment in a meet.

“When you don’t work on your finishes, and you glide into your finishes, and the timing of your finishes aren’t right in practice, it’s going to come out,” Michalski said. “It sucks, but it’s a really great lesson for them to always be reminded of what you do every day in practice comes out in the end.”

Michalski said the atmosphere was lighthearted and fun and she told the team going into the meet that she just wanted them to race the people around them.

“Some of our times weren’t the best, but I wasn’t expecting that,” Michalski said. “I was expecting them to get up and race, and that’s exactly what they did.”

The Panthers had a couple of false starts, but Michalski said that she does not look at it as a negative, but more of a learning experience and time to grow.

“There’s a lot of times that we learned and realized that we can get better, and if we pay attention to the times where it’s not perfect and you learn from them, that’s how you become a much better swimmer,” Michalski said.

The Panthers honored their seniors in their final meet: Carolyn Belford, Fallyn Schwake, Austin Parrish, Brogan O’Doherty, Jessie Freudenthaler, Paige Eavenson and Sydney Jarrard.

Michalski said it was a bittersweet moment.

“It’s great to celebrate that they have accomplished four years here at the program but also sad to see them go,” Michalski said. “These seniors hold a real special place with me. They’ve been with me for three years. They’ve really accepted me as their new coach coming in, and that’s not always an easy thing. I give them a lot of credit that they have really jumped on board with the program that’s been changed.”

Both the men and women placed second in the 400-yard medley relay.

Sophomore Lauren Oostman, junior Dani DiMatteo, sophomore Martee Grainger and freshman Rachel Manderscheid finished with a time of 3:39.66.

The team of junior Matt Jacobs, junior Brandon Robbins, sophomore Alex Laleian, and sophomore Nick Harkins finished in 3:39.15.

Schwake and freshman Karleen Gernady took second in the 1,000-yard freestyle in the time of 10:55.22.

In the 300-yard breaststroke on the men’s side, the team of Jacobs, Robbins and freshman Colin Frazee touched the wall in 3:01.37.

Tyler McCluskey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].