Newest addition wins six in historic first meet
The Liberty Flames women’s swimming team began their first season at home against the Campbell University Fighting Camels. This is one of only two meets being held at Liberty this season, so it was important for the Flames to take advantage of the home field. Under Coach Jake Shellenberger the Flames hoped to start the inaugural game on a positive note.
A capacity crowd filled the LaHaye Aquatics Center to see the first women’s swim meet as a part of Division I sports at Liberty.
Campbell University entered the new season starting off fresh from a number six ranking last year.
The Lady Flames won six out of 11 events which included both medley events. The 200-yard medley, which was made up of Dani Fletcher, Amber Kerico, Hannah Yacynch and Kati Masters was won by the Lady Flames as well as the 200-yard freestyle medley with the team of Lindsey Romkes, Sarah McCorkle, Emily Mudd, and Bethany Wakeley. Although the Lady Flames won many of events, they still were not able to defeat the Fighting Camels, losing 111-94.
“We did great today, but we need to work on getting depth for this team,” Coach Jake Shellenberger said.
In two individual events, sophomore Brye Ravettine finished first in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle events. Freshman Lindsey Romkes won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:55.87. Wakeley finished second in the 1,000-yard freestyle and won the 100-yard butterfly. The Lady Flames were very competitive and took the lead, 57-56 at one point.
“Getting first place is important, but they won because they placed more than we did,” Shellenberger said.
Throughout many of the events the Fighting Camels placed second and third, picking up crucial points that eventually help them to win meet.
“It’s going to take about four years to build up this program,” Shellenberger said. “We have a solid foundation here.”
The Lady Flames next meet is against Radford University and North Carolina A&T, Friday Oct. 8. Liberty’s next home meet is November 6.
BATTLE is a sports reporter.