By Rachel Grula
KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Three Golden Bear swimmers qualified for a spot in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships in February as
Kutztown hosted its first home meet of the season on Saturday, falling to LIU Post 160-90.
Junior Jessica Bleiler kept her undefeated title in the 100-fly with a qualifying time of 1:00.86. She made pace in the 200-fly, finishing with a time of 2:16.44 and topping the qualifying time by 1.48 seconds.
Like Bleiler, Senior Elizabeth Metz was a double winner in the pool. She dominated the 1650-freestyle with an almost 26 second advantage on the closest competitor. In the 500-freestyle Metz took the gold, ending with a time of 5:20.97 to qualify for two PSAC events.
Three silver medals went to Caitlin Davies, who placed in the 50-, 100-, and 200-freestyles. It was her time of 2:00.35 in the 200 that qualified her for a chance at the championships.
“We practiced hard every day to get ready for the meet,” Metz said. “We kept our focus and made sure to work on the little things that would prepare us for our competition.”
Though not qualifying, Kutztown’s Samantha Scialpi displayed strong swimming against the Pioneers, besting her previous times for new career-highs in both the 100- and 200- backstroke. Her times of 1:06.15 and 2:25.09, respectively, gave her the bronze in both events.
Long Island University Post’s win against the KU swimmers marks their fourth straight victory. The Pioneers, who boast a team including a few national champions and the distinction of being a Top 10 program in Division II, entered the Keystone Pool with speed that the Golden Bears had trouble matching.
Despite the loss, the KU swim team is optimistic for the remainder of their season. They are refocusing and preparing for their next meet, and looking to team veterans for guidance.
“The veterans that returned this season are amazing leaders, and we are lucky to have that,” Davies said, adding that having their experience will make the team stronger. “But each swimmer plays a huge role in making the team whole, all the way from the freshman to the seniors. We all hope to improve our personal best times and to go further in the post-season than we have in previous years. I believe we will.”
The Kutztown swimmers return to the Keystone Pool on Friday, Nov.15, at 5 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 16, at 10 a.m. for the annual Golden Bear Invite.