The Clemson Women’s Swimming and Diving team enters the 1997-98 season as the team to beat in the ACC. Being the defending ACC Champions will make each conference meet a battle, but the Lady Tigers return the majority of the swimmers who accomplished that feat of a year ago.
“Expectations for the program are at an all time high,” says Tiger Head Coach Bruce Marchionda. The Lady Tiger’s depth should shine through again this year with the return of 26 of the 30 swimmers from last year’s ACC Championship team. All-ACC performers Wendy Henson, Erin Schatz, and Jennifer Mihalik look to repeat their all-conference showings of 1996-97.
The Lady Tigers won their 1997 title thanks to the depth they had in each event, and that should be Clemson’s strength again this season. The Lady Tigers defeated six-time defending champ North Carolina in its own pool. There were 14 finalists (top-eight finishes) for the Tigers at the ACC Championships last year, with 11 of those athletes returning.
Coach Marchionda looks forward to the opportunity to repeat the feat, Clemson’s first ACC women’s title since 1989. “It will take an extraordinary effort on our part and not only for the returning swimmers to continue their line of improvement, but also for the freshmen to step up and have an impact on the program. Obviously if we are able to do that, then we have a legitimate shot at repeating for the ACC Championships and moving up into the national rankings. Our goal is to get into the top 15 this year and the top 10 in the following years.”
Freestyle In the sprint freestyle events, leading the way is Kathy Lowry, Jennifer Mihalik, and Magdalena Kupiec. Lowry has the third fastest time in school history, Mihalik is fifth, and Kupiec is ranked eighth all-time in the 50 free. In the 100 free Wendy Henson has the third fastest time in Clemson history and will team up with Mihalik and Lowry to make the 100 free a deep event. Newcomers that will add to Clemson’s depth in the 50 and 100 free are Melissa Gebhart and Danielle Goetz, who both could make an immediate impact.
In the middle distance freestyle events, Wendy Henson will be leading the pack. Henson owns the third fastest time in school history in the 200 freestyle and is a NCAA National Qualifier. The other Lady Tigers who are the leaders in the middle distance freestyle are Erin Schatz and Christina Greig. Erin Schatz, fifth all-time in the 500 free and a national qualifier, and Christina Greig, a senior captain who is seventh all-time in the 200 freestyle, will anchor the middle distance.
Those three will be joined by some outstanding freshmen, including Charli Reasons, who according to Coach Marchionda, “has already stepped up and proved herself in workouts.”
In the distance freestyle events, Christina Greig and Erin Schatz, both on the all-time top-10 lists, along with Katarzyna Gawronska and Stacey Finner will be the top four returning in those events. Coach Marchionda looks for all four of them to move up in the all-time times lists in the 1000 and 1650 free events. Adding to the four veterans are three new distance swimmers, Joanna O’Kelley, Christina Brosche, and a transfer from the University of Texas, Carla Williams. This group will challenge each other and hopes to become a great distance force in the ACC.
Butterfly Kendra Kelly, Amy Suppinger, and Kathy Lowry lead the way in the 100 butterfly, currently holding the fourth, fifth, and sixth spots on the all-time top-10 in that event.
Lisa Bartlett and Stacey Finner are the stronghold of the 200 butterfly. They both look to move up on the all-time top-times lists. Magdalena Kupiec is another returning veteran who will have a major impact upon the fly events. The combination of these swimmers in both the 100 and 200 fly events will lead Clemson to become dominant in the butterfly. Breaststroke In the breaststroke events, Magdalena Kupiec will again look to be Clemson’s competitor of choice. Kupiec broke the school record last year with the fastest time in school history in the 100 breast, just missing the NCAA Qualifying time by one one-hundredth of a second. Amy Suppinger and Sheila Humberstone, all-conference finalists in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, along with Dori Glenn, will all provide an experienced base in the breaststroke events.
Newcomers Danielle Goetz, Leslie Anderson, and Lauren Rafferty should all increase the depth factor in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. Coach Marchionda looks for great things from this pool of talent, “We are looking forward to them pushing each other, so that perhaps we can have four or five as a powerhouse at the conference championships.” Backstroke
The 100 and 200 backstroke may be Clemson’s strongest events entering the 1997-98 season. With Erin Schatz, the conference champion in the 100 and 200 back, and Jennifer Mihalik, the conference runner-up in the 200 back, the Lady Tigers look to repeat at the conference championships this March
Other veterans adding to the talent pool are Kendra Kelly, Agata Jankowska, and Katarzyna Gawronska, who each hold an all-time top-10 time in the backstroke events, along with Jennifer Mooney. Newcomers Charli Reasons and Lauren Rafferty will finish off the backstroke events to make the Lady Tigers a wrecking force in the ACC and at the national level.
In the Individual Medley, the Lady Tigers again return a veteran group to lead the way. Leading the pack is senior Lisa Bartlett, who currently holds times that place her third all-time in the 200 IM and fourth all-time in the 400 IM. Bartlett looks to improve her times and shoot for the top of both lists in 1997-98.
Returnees Erin Schatz and Stacey Finner, both holding times in the all-time top-10 in the IM events, will round off the veteran corps of swimmers in these events. Clemson also has two great freshmen coming in this season to add depth to the IM events. Leslie Anderson and Danielle Goetz both have times that should place them on the all-time top-10 lists.
Diving This year’s diving squad returns two athletes of exceptional caliber. The Lady Tigers have two very good returning divers in Aly Susterka and Summer Ecker. They both return with the experience to move the Lady Tiger diving program to the next level and challenge for the top spot at the ACC Championships.
To add to that strength, Clemson has brought in two new freshmen divers for the 1997-98 season. Jillian OrRico and Betsy Potter, both high school All-Americans, ensure that Clemson will be strong in diving for this season and for years to come. Relays
Clemson’s depth was the key to all of the outstanding performances of one year ago. This depth also will be key to the relay performances of the 1997-98 season. With the return of swimmers who had some of the fastest times in Clemson history, this should be a great year for relays.
The addition of an outstanding freshman class, will lead Clemson into the ACC Championships in March and hopefully onto the NCAA Championships.
Schedule and Conference The Clemson schedule women’s schedule is also loaded with fierce competition, with top-25 teams top to bottom. The Lady Tigers will face national caliber competition, such as Auburn, Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and they add the Tennessee Lady Vols.
“We really feel the schedule prepares us for the tough competition at the end of the year,” says Marchionda. “Our Lady Tigers will use the competition during the regular season as a stepping stone to the ACC Championships and the NCAA’s.”
1998 NCAA Division IWomen's Swimming & Diving Championships Qualifying Standards 25-Yard Course 25-Meter Course 50-Meter Course A B A B A BEvent Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard50 Freestyle 22.85 23.53 25.01 25.75 25.97 26.74100 Freestyle 49.69 51.18 54.34 56.00 56.47 58.17200 Freestyle 1:48.22 1:51.46 1:58.41 2:01.95 2:02.29 2:05.95500 Freestyle 4:47.12 4:55.73 4:11.20 4:18.74 4:16.36 4:24.051650 Freestyle 16:20.68 16:50.10 16:14.84 16:44.08 16:40.70 17:10.72100 Butterfly 54.86 56.50 1:00.03 1:01.82 1:01.65 1:03.49200 Butterfly 2:00.29 2:03.89 2:11.61 2:15.55 2:15.16 2:19.21100 Backstroke 55.27 56.92 1:00.48 1:02.28 1:02.46 1:04.32200 Backstroke 1:58.19 2:01.73 2:09.32 2:13.19 2:13.55 2:17.55100 Breaststroke 1:02.33 1:04.19 1:08.20 1:10.24 1:11.65 1:13.79200 Breaststroke 2:14.30 2:18.32 2:26.94 2:31.34 2:32.62 2:37.19200 Individual Medley 2:01.44 2:05.08 2:12.87 2:16.85 2:18.01 2:22.14400 Individual Medley 4:17.50 4:25.22 4:41.73 4:50.18 4:50.97 4:59.69200 Freestyle Relay 1:31.93 1:34.86 1:40.59 1:43.59 1:44.47 1:47.60400 Freestyle Relay 3:20.82 3:26.84 3:39.72 3:46.31 3:48.21 3:55.05800 Freestyle Relay 7:15.73 7:28.80 7:56.73 8:11.03 8:12.36 8:27.12200 Medley Relay 1:41.85 1:44.90 1:51.44 1:54.78 1:55.61 1:59.08400 Medley Relay 3:41.27 3:47.90 4:02.10 4:09.35 4:11.16 4:18.691-Meter Diving - - Dual 255/ Championships 3753-Meter Diving - - Dual 270/ Championships 425Platform - - Eight dives 325/ 12 dives 405
March 17, 2019
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