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Wheeling, W.Va. – For the first four meets of the year, the Wheeling University men’s and women’s swim teams have been working to reduce their pool times. On Thursday, they’ll take their first big test to see how their training has gone as they compete in the three-day Oberlin College Invitational. It will be the final game of the 2022 portion of the Cardinals’ schedule as they try to put their low points of the year behind them before preparing for what awaits them in the 2023 portion of their schedule.
In their last meeting, both teams saw their own levels of success when they hosted Salem University in a dual meet, their second traditional dual meet of the 2022-23 season. While the men only had two swimmers competing that day, they did quite well in their individual events, taking one win and three bronze medals on the day. While they didn’t win the competition, they put on a strong showing in their final taper with Ethan Banks and Nathan Yost each doing a PR post that day. For the women, it was not only a great match individually, but also in the team effort. The Cardinals would win eight of the 13 races they competed in on the night and earned their second straight double win by defeating Salem 116-90.
On the women’s side, sophomore Jade Miller and freshman Gabby Baiano led the field and both swimmers had great days. Miller would compete in three individual events on the day, winning all three. She swam in the 100 Fly (1:00.58), 200 Backstroke (2:10.73) and 200 Breaststroke (2:37.67), establishing PR in both the 100 Yard Fly and 200 Yard Breaststroke. Baiano did her job during the distance events, swimming in the 1000-yard and 500-yard freestyles and notching a pair of wins. She finished with a time of 11:24.10 in the 1000 and added a strong 5:41.32 in the 500 Freestyle to round out her day.
The men won an individual race that day, and young Ethan Banks took home gold in the 200-yard freestyle, his second event of the day. Banks finished two seconds ahead of the next closest swimmer, posting a time of 2:17.79 on the day. He also earned a pair of third-place finishes on the day, setting a PR in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:01.18 and finishing in 2:17.79 in the 200-yard backstroke. Nathan Yost also swam in the event and took one second and two third places on the day. His best performance came in the 500-yard freestyle, where he set a new personal best of 5:19.95.
The Oberlin College Invitational is a three-day event spanning Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with two sessions each day. Preliminary events will take place in the morning with finishers advancing to the afternoon swim. This is the midseason meeting the Cardinals have prepared for all fall and early winter and will be a springboard into the second half of the season. The Cardinals will have the opportunity to watch some of the best Division II swimming competition, including some of their own Mountain East Conference (MEC) opponents, over the three days. Wheeling looks to continue to reduce their times as they continue to build the program.
The Oberlin College Invitational will last three days and eight sessions and will be held in the Carr Pool at Oberlin College. Preliminaries for each event will take place at 9am over the three days with each runner competing in their events. Then there will be three heats featuring the top 24 swimmers in the morning as they compete in the championship, consolation and bonus final races in the evening. The Cardinals swam in the Oberlin College Invitational last year and finished ninth in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
The women were led by Jade Miller, who took home two first places and two more top-five finishes in the three-day event. Ethan Banks added solid performances over the three days of competition, and his highest finish was a 14th place finish when he competed in Pool B on the final day of competition.
The first day of the Oberlin College Invitational is scheduled for 9 a.m. with preliminaries and 6 p.m. for finals inside the Carr Pool on the Oberlin College campus. You can watch the match live by clicking HERE or follow the results live by clicking on HERE.