| Swimmers Make a Splash at Nationals
Several Berea College swimmers recently qualified for the NAIA competition in San Antonio, T.X. beginning February 26 and ending March 1.
Student Britin Ellard was one of several ladies to make it to nationals.
Britin Ellard, Maggie Heffernan, Katie Bell, Kaylee Kirby, Clarin Ellard, Alaina Winters and Abby Cohen all participated in various events including the 200 and 400 meter relays, the 100 and 200 meter breast stroke, 100 meter back stroke, the 100 meter fly stroke and one-meter diving.
The ladies took the pool at nationals by storm placing in three events and breaking four relay times that have been uncontested at Berea College since 1988. Abby Cohen placed fourth in the one meter diving competition while Britin Ellard came in at 17 in both the 100 Breaststroke and 200 IM events. Ellard is no stranger to the national competition, but said that this year was better than before. “The past two years I went just individually and yes, those two years were wonderful and I would not give that up, but this past year we qualified a team to go to Nationals and that experience was ten times better than even one of my individual events! I love my team and I feel privileged to have competed in the National Championships with them,” Ellard stated.
Heffernan, a senior Biology major, has been swimming since the age of five and went to nationals her freshman year but was the only female to compete for Berea. "This is the first time in about 20 years that Berea has had a relay team go to nationals, so it was great to share the experience with other teammates," she said.
Four relay records were broken as well. In the 200 Medley Relay with a time of 1:59.72 were Kaylee Kirby, Alaina Winters, Maggie Heffernan and Britin Ellard. Britin Ellard, Kaylee Kirby, Katie Bell and Maggie Heffernan completed the 200 Free Relay at 1:48.47. Participating in the 400 Medley Relay were Clarin Ellard, Alaina Winters, Maggie Heffernan and Britin Ellard who came in at 4:30.93. Finally, Britin Ellard, Clarin Ellard, Kaylee Kirby and Maggie Heffernan completed the 400 Free Relay with a time of 4:01.09.
Berea College finished the competition ranked 15 out of 22.
Coach Barrett is already optimistic about next season, asserting, “I see even more swimmers and divers going next year. It’s up to them! Hard work will show results!”