Swimming season underway

By: Brendan Burris ~Staff Writer~ The second half of the Xavier men’s and women’s swimming teams’ seasons are set to begin as it prepare for the Big East Championships in two months in Ithaca, N.Y. The start of the season was successful for both the men’s and women’s teams. The season for both teams started in September, where they participated in the Butler Fall Invitational.

The men’s swimming team poses together at practice in O’Connor Sports Center.

Right off the bat, the teams’ newest swimmers, notably freshmen Paxtyn Drew and Alex Wolfred, made an impact. Drew finished first in the 200-meter medley relay while Wolfred took home second. After the first half of the season ended, six Musketeers participated in the AT&T Winter Nationals, competing in 12 events over four days in Greensboro, N.C. The men’s 4×200-meter relay team of junior Luke Johanns, senior Michael Gordon and sophomores Erik Biernat and Arthur Smith finished in 20th place in a competition that featured schools including Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State and former Atlantic 10 rival Saint Louis University. The two Musketeer women swimmers, senior Carolyn Stewart and Drew, competed in the 100-meter backstroke and finished 76th and 93rd, repectively. After taking a hiatus from competition at the end of the fall semester, the teams returned to competition on Jan. 10 in Indianapolis facing off against Ball State and IUPUI. Sophomore Emily Wagner won the Musketeers’ first medal of the day when she set a personal best time and finished first in the 1000-yard freestyle event. Sophomore Nick Strader did the same for the men, swimming a personal record in the 1000-meter freestyle that placed him third on Xavier’s all-time record list. The teams will take a two-week break before the final home meet of the season. Xavier hosts Wright State at 5 p.m. on Jan. 23 in O’Connor Sports Center.