Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

The men’s and women’s swimming team competed in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championships this past weekend, each taking a huge lead into the final day of events.West Chester University has completely dominated the last decade of swimming in the PSAC. The men’s team has won an unparalleled 11 straight championships, and has yet to lose in the new millennium. The women themselves have won the last three team titles, and four of the last five. Golden Ram swimming has been virtually unbeatable in the pool in the 21st century, and has displayed that same level of dominance this past weekend, as they are in good position to make it 12 and four in a row, respectively.

The events started Thursday with the 1,000-yard freestyle race. Continuing his superb freshmen year, Tommy Rhoades put West Chester into an early lead with a victory in this event. Max Bernardes’ second place finish in the race gave West Chester 39 total points and an eight-point lead after day one.

Day two saw the WCU Golden Rams men’s swimming lengthen their lead even more as Kenny McCormick set an individual record himself. McCormick’s time of 1:49.26 in that race set a new meet record for the PSAC, as he defended his title in the event.

That race was the first of three for the West Chester men on Friday. Tommy Rhoades picked up his second individual crown with a first place effort in the 500 free. Bernardes finished runner up once again, and David Smoker took fifth to keep the Rams ahead.

The team’s third championship on Friday came from their 400-medley relay team. The 200 free relay took second as well. West Chester had a comfortable lead with 259 points after Friday’s events, 35.5 points ahead of second place Clarion, and almost 100 ahead of third place Shippensburg.

West Chester blew the door off the competition Saturday, as they amassed four more individual championships, and gave them a commanding lead going into the final day of competition.

The 800-yard freestyle relay team was one of those four crowns won Saturday. The team was made up of Rhoades, McCormick, Smoker and Bernardes.

McCormick set another meet record with his first place winning time in the 400 individual medley, as he and Brendan Magarity swept another event for the Golden Rams.

The 200-medley relay team was the third winner on Saturday for WCU, as four first-time 2010 champions were crowned. It was Calvin Starosta, Peter Madueno, Eric Kunzman and Brendan Fanslau who made up that winning team.

Starosta also won an individual event, the 100 backstroke.

The Golden Rams added two more runner up finishes in both the 200 free and the 100 breaststroke.

After three days of competition, the West Chester men’s swimming team has totaled 553 points. Clarion is the closest competitor with 441.5, over 100 behind. Shippensburg is third, over 200 points back. A twelfth straight championship seems inevitable at this wrinkle in time.

The men’s feat in the pool seems hard to keep up with, but the women are sitting in a very similar position after three days of competition, keeping in tow behind the Golden Ram men, on their way to another championship.

After day one of competition, the Lady Rams were actually sitting with more points then the men, as they scored 50 in Thursday’s lone event. As the men did, the women swept the first two spots with Kristen Montello and Danielle Ierley. Their two times were third and fourth, respectively, for WCU all-time in that race. Gino Agro took sixth in that race to give West Chester a 12-point lead after day one.

One day and four individual titles later, the Lady Rams sat in first place with 272 points and a hefty 133 point lead over the next closest team.

Jackie Borkowski was West Chester’s star in the pool for Friday, with one individual championship and two more as part of a relay team. Her individual victory came in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.21.

Borkowski was also a member of the 200 free relay team that took first place, along with Erin Fischer, Megan Bauer and Christie Stern. Borkowski’s other relay winning team was the 400-medley relay. The other three in the race were Montello, Fischer, and Rachel Gale.

Montello and Ierley teamed up once again for a clean sweep of the top two spots, this time in the 500 free. Montello took the crown, Ierley the runner up, and Nicole DiBonaventure sixth place.

After the second day of events, Kutztown and Shippensburg were battling for second place, and Clarion was in fourth.

After Saturday’s races, the crown seems to be all but a lock for the Lady Ram swimming squad.

Montello, Fischer, Bauer and Ierley all teamed up to win another event for the Rams in the 800-yard freestyle race. That was one of two individual victories on the day. Borkowski was the other winner for West Chester, as she took first in the 200 free. Megan Bauer was the second place finisher in that race.

The team also had an impressive showing in the 100 butterfly, as Fischer, Leah Varvaro and Jillian Murphy swept the second, third and fourth place spots.

Both teams are sitting in great position to take another PSAC crown. The men hold a comfortable 100 point lead, as they sit with 553 points. The women, although scoring less than the men with 521 points, hold a much greater lead going into the last day of competition.

Second place Clarion has only 308 points, 213 behind West Chester. Shippensburg is the next closest with 289.

Sunday featured some of West Chester’s best events. The final day’s events are the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay.

**The final day of competition at the PSAC Championships were not completed in time for this week’s edition of The Quad.

Ryan Frisco is a third-year student majoring in Communication studies. He can be reached at

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