It was a weekend where both the men’s and women’s PSAC champion swimming teams competed in the NCAA Division II national tournament. The story of the meet wasn’t a team accomplishment, but rather the outstanding performance of senior Lady Ram Jackie Borkowski and her three national championship titles.In the overall team competition, both teams faired well, as the men took ninth place and the women an impressive fourth place finish.
Borkowski wasted no time in earning her titles. On day one of the competition, she qualified for the 50 yard freestyle finals in the preliminaries, and captured the title later that night to earn her first individual championship.
The rest of the day one points on the women’s side were scored by the 200 medley relay team of Leah Varvaro, Rachel Gale, Erin Fischer, and Megan Bauer. The group earned an eighth place finish and All-American recognition in their race.
Borkowski continued her success in day two, as she brought home her second individual title, this time in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 1:49.31. She also earned All-American recognition in the 200 free relay, as she, Bauer, Fischer, and Kristen Montello combined to finish fourth in that event.
Fischer also earned individual honors on day two with a fifth place showing in the 100 butterfly.
At the end of three days, the women were sitting strong in third place, but a distant 200 points behind the top two teams.
Borkowski continued the capstone of her amazing career by earning yet her fourth All-American recognition in the 500 free with a fourth place finish. Montello was a close fifth to earn more points for West Chester.
Others placing on day three were Fischer in the 200 butterfly with an eighth place finish and the 800 free relay team of Borkowski, Montello, Danielle Ierley, and Bauer who took third.
Day four was the last day of competition for the senior class, but they went out with a bang.
Jackie Borkowski ended her collegiate career with her final national title, coming in the 100 yard freestyle. Her winning time was only a half second off of a national title in that race.
She earned one more honor in the meet later, when the 400 free relay team she was a member of took second place.
Montello also contributed on the final day with a fifth place showing in the 1650 free. She ended the weekend with five All-American races total.
Borkowski cleaned up at nationals, all in all winning three individual titles, another All-American individual showing, and three All-American certificates in relay races. She was named the swimmer of the meet for nationals for her outstanding performance.
For the seniors, it was a bittersweet day. Borkowski ends her career with 22 All-American honors. Danielle Ierley had seven of her own in her career, and Rachel Gale leaves the team with two.
For head coach Jamie Rudisill, it is just adding to her illustrious career as a swimming coach. This is the fourth time that the women’s swimming team has finished in the top four at nationals.
Drury was the team victor on the weekend, winning their third national title in four years and sixth since 1997. Wayne State took the runner up spot, and UC San Diego was the last team ahead of West Chester University.
The men’s team had an impressive showing at nationals as well, as they too placed within the top ten.
The Golden Rams opened up the weekend in sixth place, as they placed two events in the top eight. Kenny McCormick continued a season of success with a fifth place finish in the 200 individual medley. He was also a member of the 200 medley relay team which broke a PSAC record and placed in the top eight.
The second day of swimming saw the men score three more All-American positions. McCormick notched his second strong showing with a sixth place finish in the 400 individual medley.
Adam Vance had a very strong effort in the one meter dive, as his score was good enough for a third place finish. The 200 free relay was the third event in which West Chester scored on day two. That team made up of Tommy Rhoads, Josh Pauley, Calvin Starosta, and Brendan Fanslau took sixth place.
McCormick, Rhoades, Fanslau, and Max Bernardes teamed up to take an impressive fourth spot in the 800 yard freestyle relay on day three. In addition to that, Rhoads and David Smoker each added an eight place finish in their own events respectively.
Day four was the most disappointing day for the Golden Ram swimmers, as they placed only one in the top eight, dropping them from seventh to ninth in the standings.
Adam Vance scored his second All-American showing of the meet, and the highest finish by a men’s competitor in all nationals. Vance took second in the three meter dive competition, bettering his performance in the one meter dive.
Drury pulled a double victory, as both the men and women took home the national title. For the men, it was their sixth consecutive title. University of Incarnate World was runner up, and then Wayne State, Grand Valley, and Ouachita Baptist rounded out the top five. Wingate, UC Sand Diego, and Missouri S & T were sixth, seventh, and eight ahead of the Golden Rams.
Ryan Frisco is a third-year student majoring in Communication studies. He can be reached at RF648257@wcupa.edu.