Marshall Swim & Dive succumbs to Liberty on senior day


Richard Crank

Marshall seniors pose poolside after their final home meet. Pictured (L-R): Emma Lockyer, Madi Pulfer, Savannah Ruedt, Anna Lynch, Rachel DePietro, Lauren Cowher, Shir Wasserman.

Marshall University Swim and Dive fell to the Liberty University Lady Flames Saturday at the Frederick A. Fitch Natatorium in its final home meet of the season.

After losing to the Lady Flames 160-140 last week in a tri-meet at Liberty, the Lady Flames outscored Marshall 177-123 again in Saturday’s dual-meet, completing the season sweep. The Herd dropped to 3-5 with the loss.

“It doesn’t really matter what team we’re swimming—national champions or the worst team on the planet,” head coach Bill Tramel said. “Every time we get in the water, we try to get better than we were last time.”

Despite the loss, Marshall dedicated the day to its departing athletes, who are on track to graduate after this season. The eight women received a special introduction before the meet, during which time, family met them poolside with a bouquet of flowers—a senior day tradition. Madi Pulfer and Shir Wasserman—who are from Canada and Israel, respectively—were honored with national anthems of their home countries before their final home meet.

“It’s really an emotional day,” Tramel said. “I certainly never like to graduate people, but it’s part of the game and part of the process.”

Marshall achieved four individual wins in the meet. Sophomore diver Maddie Young was responsible for half of those, as she placed first in the one-meter dive (242.15) and the three-meter dive (234.15).

Anna Lynch, a junior on track to graduate this season, had another standout freestyle performance in her final meet at Fitch Natatorium. She was responsible for the other half of the Herd’s four first-place finishes. In the 1,000-yard freestyle, Lynch placed first with a time of 10:10.94. Later in the meet, Lynch produced another first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle, boasting a time of 5:00.62.

“(Lynch) is doing a great job,” Tramel said. “She did a very good job last week at Liberty and was way better this week.”

In the final event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle relay, Tramel allowed his departing athletes an extra chance to swim together as a team.

“It was a fun thing we did at the end there,” Tramel said. “We did a senior-only relay on the last relay to send them out the best we could.”

Marshall will travel to Athens, Ohio on Friday to compete in its final dual-meet in of the season.

“Friday night at Ohio, it’s always a rival meet,” Tramel said. “They’re a very good team. We got them last year, so it’s going to be a battle.” 

Rick Farlow can be contacted at [email protected].