Story first appeared in the Feb. 26, 2015 edition of the Edinboro University Spectator.
Senior Staci Schrecongost was seeded extremely high in multiple events heading into the PSAC Championships, making her the likely favorite to win.
Despite the prior knowledge, Schrecongost was still shocked when she took home some first place finishes.
The New Kensington, Pennsylvania, native earned two conference titles during the four-day championship meet at the York YMCA Aquatic Club in York on Feb. 19-22.
“It is still kind of sinking in for me,” Schrecongost said Monday afternoon. “I’ve never been seeded that high [and] I’ve never done so well. When I received my awards, they went straight home with my dad. It is still sinking in and it is kind of taking me back. This is my final year so it is just a great way to end my season.”
That fantastic finish included winning the 200-yard freestyle on Friday with a time of 1:50.23, which is an NCAA provisional mark. Additionally, she took first in the 100-yard freestyle on Sunday, with at time of 51.27, another NCAA provisional qualifying time.
To add the icing on the cake, Schrecongost finished second in the 500-yard freestyle.
Redshirt-senior Tony Romanini had the strongest outing of any member of the men’s swim team. The Port Matilda, Pennsylvania, native won the 200-yard backstroke with an NCAA provisional time of 1:50.22. The health promotion/recreation administration major finished second in the 100-yard backstroke with a second-place finish and another NCAA provisional qualifying mark, as he posted a time of 50.18 seconds.
“It was exciting to get back to the top,” Romanini said of his finish in the 200-yard backstroke. “I won that event my junior year and won the 100 my sophomore year. To take a year off and get the surgery that I had and to come back to where I was, I was really excited.”
The successful trip to York last week for Romanini capped off a decorated career in the pool here at Edinboro as he became a 17-time All-PSAC performer and a four-time PSAC champion, counting up all his accolades.
Another individual who walked away with some hardware was Micah Cattell of the men’s swim team. The junior was named the PSAC Men’s Swimming Champion Scholar. Cattell is an early childhood and special education major with a cumulative 4.0 GPA.
At the championship meet, the Port Matilda native helped the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard relay teams to their fourth place finishes. He also logged top-15 finishes individually in the 100- and 50-yard freestyles.
The State College High School graduate marks the second Fighting Scot in three years to receive the honor. Jeff Schleicher was the 2013 recipient.
Cattell’s teammate, Josh Beabout made some noise on day one of the championship by setting a new-school record in the 1,000-yard freestyle. The junior finished seventh in the event posting a time of 9:32.82. Additionally, that mark was an NCAA provisional qualifying time.
Both the men’s and women’s teams finished seventh in their respective team races. The women tallied 241 points while the men finished with 186. West Chester won both the women’s and men’s titles, the ninth straight for the women and the 17th straight for the men.
The national qualifiers now prepare for the NCAA D-II National Championships, which are March 11-14 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
200-yard IM – Holly Stein – 8th (2:11.28); Breanna Purnell – 12th (2:10.44); Charlotte Drozda – 21st (2:13.29)
1,000-yard Freestyle – Mary Rosati – 12th (10:34.55); Kara Thorp – 20th (10:56.47)
50-yard Freestyle — Morgan Joseph – 30th (25.24); Cheyenne Kressley – 36th (25.38); Natalie Gilley – 42nd (25.57); Courtney Kuyer – 52nd (25.97); Megan Gaza – 58th (26.19)
200-yard Medley Relay – 6th place (Morgan Joseph, Holly Stein, Breanna Purcell, Staci Schrecongost) – 1:47.90
200 Yard Freestyle Relay – Morgan Joseph, Breanna Purnell, Cheyenne Kressley, Charlotte Drozda (1:39.47) 10th
100 Yard Butterfly – Breanna Purnell (58.85) 13th
200 Yard Freestyle – Staci Schrecongost (1:50.23) 1st, Charlotte Drozda (1:55.49) 11th
400 Yard Medley Relay – Morgan Joseph, Holly Stein, Breanna Purnell, Staci Schrecongost (DQ) DNF
Women 500 Yard Freestyle – Staci Schrecongost 2nd (4:59.06) (NCAA-B); Mary Rosati 11th (5:05.29) (NCAA-B); Charlotte Drozda 12th (5:05.67)
Women 100 Yard Backstroke – Morgan Joseph 12th (59.41)
Women 100 Yard Breaststroke – Holly Stein 3rd (1:04.96) (NCAA-B)
Women 800 Yard Freestyle Relay – 5th Place (Staci Schrecongost, Charlotte Drozda, Kara Thorp, Mary Rosati) (7:45.70) (NCAA-B)
100-yard Freestyle – Staci Schrecongost – 1st (51.27 – NCAA B); Breanna Purnell – 16th (53.77)
200-yard Breaststroke – Holly Stein – 5th (2:21.92)
1,650-yard Freestyle – Mary Rosati – 11th (17:42.08)
400-yard Freestyle Relay — 4th (3:33.27 – NCAA B) — Staci Schrecongost, Morgan Joseph, Charlotte Drozda, Breanna Purnell
200-yard IM – Luke Frederick – 25th (1:58.39); Michael O’Polka – 38th (2:04.47)
1,000-yard Freestyle – Josh Beabout – 7th (9:32.82); Jacobo Morazan – 19th (10:09.29); Ryne Fromholzer – 21st (10:11.28)
50-yard Freestyle — Justin Ransel – 10th (21.45); Micah Cattell – 15th (21.61); Chris Karcher – 38th (23.58)
200 Yard Freestyle Relay – Micah Cattell, Tony Romanini, Luke Frederick, Justin Ransel (1:25.59) 4th
200 Yard Freestyle – Joshua Beabout (1:43.17) 9th
400 Yard Medley Relay – Tony Romanini, Luke Frederick, Justin Ransel, Micah Cattell (3:27.26) 4th
Men 500 Yard Freestyle – Josh Beabout 6th (4:37.80) (NCAA-B)
Men 100 Yard Backstroke – Tony Romanini 2nd (50.18) (NCAA-B); Nicholas Wilkinson 16th (54.40)
Men 800 Yard Freestyle Relay – 6th place (Jacobo Morazan, Nicholas Wilkinson, Dylan Cerroni, Ryne Fromholzer) 7:19.48
100-yard Freestyle – Micah Cattell – 13th (47.74)
200-yard Backstroke – Tony Romanini – 1st (1:50.22 – NCAA B); Nick Wilkinson – 16th (1:58.10)
200-yard Breaststroke – Luke Frederick – 14th (2:10.85)
1,650-yard Freestyle – Josh Beabout – 8th (16:12.82); Ryne Fromholzer – 19th (17:10.18)