Claire Kenna, sophomore business management major, has started off the 2017 swimming season with a bang.
Last week, Kenna was named the PAC’s Women’s Swimmer of the Week for her performance in the team’s season opening win against Bethany College. She claimed three first place finishes to contribute to the teams 212 to 39 win over the Bison. Kenna won the 100 and 200 free, with times of 59.29 and 2:08.67, respectively. She also participated in the 200 medley relay team, which won first with a time of 1:56.42.
Kenna also swam as a member of the winning 400 free relay team on Saturday, Oct. 28 in the team’s historic 149 to 113 win over Grove City College. The win was the first time the Bearcats have ever defeated the Wolverines in women’s swimming.
Beating Grove City was a huge win for the team. Kenna expressed that it was one of the team’s goals for the season, and it is now her favorite memory of being on the team.
In the 2016 season, Kenna was an active member of the team and competed in the 50 and 100 free. She placed 10th in the 200 free at the PAC championships.
Kenna is originally from Chantilly, Virginia, and is a graduate of Seton School in Manassas where she swam for four years. Kenna began swimming at about five years old. Her whole family swam together every summer.
Kenna says she loves swimming so much because, “It’s unlike other sports. You don’t get to talk the whole time, you don’t get to breathe, but you still win together as a team.”
Kenna has set a personal goal to make the finals of the PAC championship this year. She would like to see the team take first place in the championship meet as well.
Josh Gurekovich, head coach, is confident in Kenna’s ability.
“Claire is a very athletic person. I am looking forward to see her to continue to improve this season and become one of the top sprint freestylers in the conference. I think what she is able to do that really stands out for me is to not get stressed or overwhelmed during practices and meets,” said Gurekovich.
Kenna noted that working hard in practice is what will make the team successful. A typical practice consists of a warm up, a rev-up set, a main set and a cool-down.
“Our practices challenge us everyday to be ready to race on Saturdays. We always push each other to work harder in practice,” said Kenna.
Gurekovich noted that Kenna leads by her hard work in practice, and is a very well respected member of the team.
Kenna is also a member of the Saint Vincent women’s lacrosse team. She plays defense and started 16 of the team’s 17 games last season.
Along with Kenna’s business management major, she has minors in operational excellence and entrepreneurship.
The swim team returns to action this weekend on Nov. 4 in a non-conference meet at The University of Pennsylvania at 11 a.m.
Photos: SVC Athletics