Freshman finds way into record books

Gannon University’s swimming and diving team has already produced many accomplishments on the young season.

It has produced a 7-3 record on the women’s side, including a 2-0 record at away venues. It has yielded a 4-4 record on the men’s side, with a 3-1 record in home water.

All the Knights’ gains have given coach Nathan Walters a satisfactory feeling, though he said he is careful not to mistake satisfaction for complacency.

“Mid-season invitationals reaffirmed what we’ve been doing,” he said. “I’m pleased with our training and our development.”

However, the most exciting of the results may arguably be the emergence of a new face on the team, freshman phenom Michelle Fischl.

Fischl, a pre-veterinary/biology major from Greensburg, Pa., was no stranger to success while in high school.

A four-year letter winner at Greensburg Salem High School, Fischl swam for coach Dan Beck in high school.

Upon leaving the pool at Greensburg Salem, she dove right off the blocks and into the record books at Gannon University.

While the binding, cover and contents are different, it’s not Fischl’s first plunge into the books.

Fischl set records during her time in Greensburg in the 200-yard IM, the 100-yard backstroke, the 100-yard breaststroke, the 100-yard butterfly and the 500-yard freestyle.

It didn’t take long before she made a splash at the NCAA division II level.

The date was Dec. 3.

The setting was the pool at the College of Wooster.

The event was the Mid-Season Invitational at the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio.

In only the eighth event of the season, Fischl set the Gannon University record for 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:06.38 in the preliminary heat.

That mark wouldn’t stand long.

The record would prove to be short-lived as Fischl’s time was bettered by over a full second in the final heat by the only swimmer who could beat her on Saturday: Michelle Fischl.

Her time in the record-breaking heat was 2:04.91.

Those numbers won her the race, qualified her for the NCAA “B” cut, and earned her a spot on the wall as the fastest Knight to ever swim the 200-yard backstroke in Gannon history.

Also standing out for the women was senior diver Diana Rocco.

Rocco qualified for the NCAA Division II National Diving Championships in the 1-meter event with 393.8 points.

She earned first place in that event as well as the 3-meter dive, in which she posted 413.05 points.

The Knights will host SUNY Fredonia Friday for a 7 p.m. meet.

Walters said that he is eager to see what the rest of the season will holds in store for the Knights.

“We’ve introduced some new strength and training regimens,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

ALEX WOMER

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