The final score — 120.5-84.5 — told the story Saturday at the Carneval Athletic Pavilion, as the Gannon University men’s swimming team defeated Edinboro in commanding fashion on Senior Day.
Coach Darren Suroviec said that he thought the men swam amazingly against Edinboro.
“I am very proud of the team, but there are always areas to improve upon and I can’t wait for what the future holds when we address these areas,” Suroviec said.
In the home matchup against a familiar rival, the Knights’ seniors faced off for the last time before their Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship meet coming up in York, Pa., next month.
The effort paid off in six individual first-place finishes as well as one victorious relay effort, and a plethora of qualifying times for the PSAC Championship meet.
Eric Booth, a freshman, was among those who posted a qualifying time.
“It felt great,” Booth said later.
“Edinboro is great competition and traditionally a fun meet. I was glad our boys topped theirs in the end, though.”
Event winners were James Fox, in the 1,650-yard freestyle, with a time of 17 minutes, 29.25 seconds; Drew Wolter, 200 freestyle, 1:47.06; Allan Collins, 200 individual medley, 2:02.07; Noah Donovan, 100 butterfly, 1:00.67; Michael Weiser, 100 freestyle, 48.75; and Bryce Ebel, 500 freestyle, 4:59.69.
Collins’ impressive season-best time was 1.69 seconds better than the PSAC qualifying time.
Another notable performance came from Ebel, a freshman from Oregon. It marked the first time that Ebel swam the 500 freestyle this season and he won the race and beat the PSAC standard time as well to qualify for the championships.
“It was fun,” Ebel said. “I’m a sprinter, so a 500 is a bit of a long way. I was just focused on staying consistent.”
The Knights now look forward to preparing for their final meet together — the PSAC Championships.
“For the rest of the season I just want to focus on having the right mindset,” Booth said.
“Being mentally prepared is equally as important as training. Feel good, do good.
“So I just want to know that I’ve done everything I could when I walk into PSACs.”
The men’s team is looking to be competing at high levels for championships. Eighteen swimmers have already qualified and are eligible to compete in at least one event in the championship meet, which will take place Feb. 16-19 at the Graham Aquatic Center in York.
Booth said the swimmers are currently preparing themselves to give their personal-best marks of the season in next month’s meet.
“And not just from myself,” he said. “Our team works hard and puts in a lot of effort. To see someone’s hard work pay off is pretty good motivation to do your best.”
The Knights’ teamwork paid off against Edinboro when it came time for the 200 freestyle relay, as the Knights’ quartet of Weiser, Wolter, Collins and Clark Eason teamed to win the event with a time of 1:26.78.
Gannon’s swimmers are highly anticipating next month’s PSAC meet
“We are all super stoked,” Ebel said. “We have to trust our training and then trust our taper, and finally swim our hearts out.”
Coach Darren Suroviec is ready to let the swimmers rest and refine their events so that they are ready to race, but he has full confidence in their abilities.
“The team is growing mentally stronger as we near the PSAC meet,” Suroviec said. “They usually step up and become more focused as the meet moves forward.”