GREENVILLE, Pa. (pacathletics.org)–Grove City College claimed the top spot in this year’s Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Women’s Swimming and Diving Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The league announced the results of its preseason coaches’ poll along with its annual swimmers and divers to watch list Thursday afternoon.
Voted on by each of the conference’s eight head coaches, the league’s preseason coaches’ poll has been in place since the 2014-15 season.
Grove City, directed by 14th-year head coach Dave Fritz, earned six of eight first-place votes and 76 total points.
Saint Vincent College was second in the poll with one first-place vote and 69 points.
Allegheny College finished third with one first-place vote and 66 points. Allegheny announced its return to the PAC on August 23, 2021 after a 38-year run as a founding member of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). Allegheny was a PAC member from 1958 through the spring of 1984 and reentered the PAC as its 11th full-time member on July 1, 2022.
Westminster College was fourth (61 pts.) and was followed by Chatham University in fifth (51 pts.), Washington & Jefferson College in sixth (48 pts.), Franciscan University in seventh (411 pts.) and Bethany College in eighth (36 pts.).
Grove City secured its third-straight PAC title last February. It was the program’s PAC-best 19th team title. Grove City paced the seven-team field with 1,048 points.
This year’s swimmers and divers to watch list includes 18 returning All-PAC selections, including 12 All-PAC First Team honorees. Of the 20 events contested at last year’s championships, the winners of 11 individual events are mentioned on the list.
Headlining this year’s list are Saint Vincent senior Lauren Connors (Pittsburgh, Pa. | Upper St. Clair) and Westminster sophomore Christina Loewe (Austin, Texas | Veritas Academy). Connor was honored as last year’s PAC Swimmer of the Year while Loewe earned the PAC Newcomer of the Year award.
Connors was Saint Vincent’s first-ever women’s PAC Swimmer of the Year honoree. She won the 200 backstroke for the third-straight year with a time of 2 minutes, 28.35 seconds. She also led off Saint Vincent’s second-place 400 freestyle relay (3:41.47). She anchored Saint Vincent’s winning 200 freestyle relay (1:35.66), won the 200 IM (2:12.94) and swam backstroke on the second-place 400 medley relay (4:00.37). Connors swam backstroke on Saint Vincent’s second-place 200 medley relay (1:46.82) and won the 100 backstroke (58.37).
Loewe posted runner-up finishes in both the 100 backstroke (59.78) and the 200 backstroke (2:09.33) and added a sixth-place finish in the 100 butterfly (1:00.90). She anchored Westminster’s runner-up 800 freestyle relay (8:13.50) and swam backstroke on both the third-place 200 medley relay (1:53.73) and the third-place 400 medley relay (4:08.91).
The programs at Allegheny, Chatham, Grove City, W&J and Westminster were honored in June by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) as Scholar All-America teams for the spring 2022 semester.
The swimmers and divers to watch list also includes 11 members of the PAC’s Spring 2022 Academic Honor Roll, which recognizes student-athletes who have earned a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.6 or higher on a 4.0 scale during their semester of competition.
Grove City will once again host the PAC Championships at the James E. Longnecker Competition Pool. Longnecker Pool has been the home of the PAC Championships since 1990. The four-day event is scheduled for Wednesday-Saturday, February 15-18.
The NCAA Division III Region 4 (Northeast/South) Diving Championships are slated for Friday-Saturday, February 24-25.
The Division III Championships are scheduled for Wednesday-Saturday, March 15-18 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. The event will be hosted by the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).