Rich Donahue | The Duquesne Duke
For the Duquesne women’s swim team seniors, Saturday marked an end of an era. It would be the last time Meghan Smith, Miriam McGeath, and Hannah Huber would compete in a meet at Tower’s Pool. Well as Huber put it in the post meet interview, the seniors went out with a bang as the swim team flexed their muscles with a 149-100 win over Mount St. Mary.
The Dukes placed first in 12 of 14 events of the meet and set two pool records along the way.
Head coach David Sheets commented on the win saying that the team is in the right mind set for the last stretch of the year.
“I was pretty pleased in the way we swam,” Sheets said. “The kind of training we are doing right now tends to wear our athletes down, but we are getting into the last stretch with four weeks left and some of the kids are really turning it around right now. They are really starting to focus on getting up and racing.”
The Red & Blue began their dominating performance by winning first place in the five events of the meet. The run started with a first place finish by the team of Hallie McCue, Sam Ray, McGeath, and Claire Nobles in the 200 yard medley relay at 1:49.56. Duquesne would continue their streak with first place finishes by Taylor Kane in the 1000 yard freestyle at 11:19.71, Nicole Bruneel in the 200 yard freestyle at 1:57.78, McGeath in the 100 yard backstroke at 1:02.62, and Smith in the 100 yard breaststroke at 1:06.05, which was a new pool record. McGeath stated that it is good to have a dominant win over a lesser opponent.
“It is always good to have the one day when you know you are going to crush the team,” McGeath said.
The other pool record by the Dukes was in the final race of the day in the 400 yard freestyle relay. The team of Ray, Smith, Molly O’Brien, and Nobles captured the new record with a time of 3:35.25. Smith commented on both her record and the team record saying it was great for it to happen on senior day.
“It was really exciting and fun,” Smith said. “We had talked about it a couple of weeks because I had been 1:06.1 the whole season and he [Coach Sheets] was like ‘can’t you go a tenth faster’. It was exciting.”
Before Saturday’s meet, the three seniors were honored on Senior Day officially closing out their home meet career at Duquesne. Coach Sheets had nothing but positives to say about what these seniors meant to the program.
“The group of seniors that we have are a key to our program,” Sheets said. “They really represent who we want to be.”
This meet versus the Mountaineers marked the last test for the Dukes prior to the Atlantic 10 Championships. Sheets stated that he feels the team is in the best position going into the A10 Championship as ever before.
“I feel pretty confident,” Sheets said. “We are in a much better place then we have been in a long time. We got the horses so now we just have to get up and race when we get there.”
The A10 Championships for women’s swimming will take place on Feb. 19-22 in Geneva, Ohio.