Seniors Leave Legacy at Final Home Meet


Photo Courtesy of Joshua Kang

 Highlighting the senior class is always a surreal experience for athletes, coaches, spectators, friends and families. On Saturday, Feb.1 SLU’s swimming and diving team celebrated their senior class in their final home meet of the season at Simon Rec. The 12 seniors were honored prior to the start of the meet against University of Missouri St. Louis. The Billikens got a pair of victories for men and women, a fitting end to the final meet before the Atlantic 10 Championships in Geneva, Ohio. 

   The Billikens have been putting up good performances the entire season and this pre-championship victory is sure to help push the momentum. The Billiekn women were able to edge Tritons 141-65 and the men had a closer meet finishing with a score of 116.5-97.5. 

   Two notable women’s performances came from freshman Pola Luckiewicz and junior Katie Schmude who each had two event wins. Luckiewicz won in both the 50 and 100 freestyle with times of 24.57 and 53.90, and Schmude came out on top in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke netting times of 59.43 and 1:09.65. The women continued to impress by taking first in every event of the meet. Individual Billiken first place winners were freshmen Lauren Payton in the 1000 free at 10:40.79, Sophie Kishish 200 at 1:57.13 in the 200 free, Tessa Horan in the 200 individual medley at 2:12.69, Rylee Stone with a time of 50.71 in the 100 butterfly, Sara Desing in the 500 free at 5:15.39 and Trinity Goertz with a score 198.56 in the 1-meter dive.

   Billiken relays also swept first with the 200 medley team of Emily Smith, Alexis Beine, Bri Hodgkins and Natalie Daniel. The team came up with a time of 1:48.58. The 200 free relay saw Olivia Tate, Daniel, Stone and Luckiewicz touch first with a time of 1:38.85.

   Billiken men also shined at home with senior Collin O’Brien collecting two victories in the 200 IM and 100 breast clocking in at 1:56.16 and 57.44. O’Brien also earned another victory in the 200 medley relay with teammates Keegan Paulson, Janssen Gamilla and Grant Streid coming in at 1:32.52. Paulson continued the Billiken hot streak with a win in the 100 back at 51.40. While the 1-meter dive was captured by freshman Jason Ruka with a score of 112.70. 

   As freshman shine on senior day, the future of SLU Swim and Dive looks to be in good hands. The current seniors hold a joint 13 records including four relays. One thing Billiken fans can always look forward to is continual growth from the squad and this weekend’s meet showed that in action.