By: Paul Fritschner ~Staff Writer~
As students dove into their coursework this new school year, the Xavier swim team plunged into the pool to begin competing. First up for both the men and women was a visit to Butler to compete against the Bulldogs, as well as St. Louis, Evansville and Wright State. The meet went particularly well for the women, who took home first place among the five teams. Strong individual performances by seniors Mackenna Rife, Molly Kroeger and Clare Brolsma, juniors Emily Wagner and Taylor Jach, along with freshman Katie Kerr, propelled the team to the top spot.
Several top-20 records were set over the course of the meet on the women’s side, with Kerr and fellow freshmen Caroline Gaertner, Laura Dicus, Annie Cummins and Becca Titterton all notching times among Xavier’s elite. Only four teams competed on the men’s side and the Musketeers finished third in the field. Junior Rodrigo Suriano and senior Luke Johanns finished first and second respectively in the 50 freestyle. Suriano’s finish was the only individual first place win for the men.
However, the 400 free relay consisting of Suriano, Johanns, freshman Enrique Hernandez and junior Erik Biernet also swam their way to the top of the podium. Suriano, along with freshmen Michael Pettinichi and Matthew Dyer, finished fast enough to log Xavier top-20 times. The following weekend did not go as well for the Musketeers. They made the trek down to Louisville to take on the Cardinals in a head-to-head meet.
Despite the poor team performance, there were several individual performances that stood out from the rest. Freshman Jenna Wilkes along with Jach cracked the top-ten with their times in the 1,000 freestyle. Sophomore Alex Wolfred touched the wall third for the men in just less than 10 minutes. Strong performances were also turned in by senior Luke Johanns, Suriano and the 400 free team. Xavier will be back in the water on Friday, Oct. 16 when they take on Cincinnati and Cleveland State at the Keating Aquatics Center.