Swim and Dive teams find success at OACs

After the team’s annual trip to Florida to train for the OAC Tournament, the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams completed this year’s schedule with the conclusion of the OACs on Feb. 15.

Inside the Ocasek Natatorium at the University of Akron, both teams found success as the women placed third of five teams and the men finished fourth of five. John Carroll swept the OACs for the fourth consecutive year. But the BW teams had five individual event champions and men’s diver Zachary Pierce was named the OAC Diver of the Year in his freshman season.

The women found the most success, with four of the five champions coming from their team in the three-day event. On the first day of the event, sophomore All-OAC freestyler Bella Ratino won her second OAC Title in as many years.

The team also had three other All-OAC performances, when Madeline Pierce, Erika Nockengost, and a medley unit consisting of Ratino, Nockengost, Ellie Clymer and Marissa Kural all placed in the top three for their events.

The men’s team also set records on day one.

Freshman stroker Michael Lewis qualified for the 200-yard medley with a school record time, but in the event placed fifth. The team also set new season best times in five other events.

On day two, the men had more to brag about. Pierce won the OAC Championship in the 1-meter and 11-event, claiming his first championship and All-OAC honor. The team also improved on season best times in seven different events and set new school records in the 100-yard backstroke and the 800-yard free team.

The women also had better results on day two. Kural won the 100-yard butterfly, claiming her first championship and All-OAC honor. Nockengost and Ratino also earned All-OAC honors by earning runner-up finishes in the 400-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly, respectively.

They also had two relay teams earn All-OAC honors, when Pierce Clymer, Kural and Julia Newbould finished second in the 200-yard medley, and Nockengost, Thorson, Ratino and Kural placed second in the 800-yard free style.

Day three was the most successful day for both squads. The women earned two more OAC Champions and three more earned All-OAC honors.

The success started with Clymer and Ratino, as both were named OAC Champions. Ratino won the 1650-yard freestyle for the second consecutive year and completed this season with two OAC Championships and three All-OAC honors.

Clymer’s first OAC Championship came in the 1-meter and six dive event and was her second career All-OAC performance. Three others earned All-OAC honors on day three and the Yellow Jackets rounded out the tournament in third place.

On day three, the men were led by their diving squad. Pierce won his second OAC Championship, this one in the 3-meter and 11-dive event and senior All-OAC diver Evan Rinaldi placed third in the same event, earning him his third career All-OAC honor.