By Nick Valentin
On February 15, the King University men’s and women’s swim team journeyed to Kingsport, Tennessee, hoping to win a Conference Carolinas championship. After a grueling season, the feat did not come easy. While both teams have struggled throughout the season, it is truly anyone’s ballgame when it came down to the conference tournament. Furthermore, the Tornado had come into the event as underdogs, fueling the fire to the team’s flame. That said, the results were not what either team had desired, but there was no quit this past weekend.
The ladies would kick things off in the event with the 1000-yard freestyle, followed by the men’s 1000-yard freestyle. The two students that shined in these events were junior Fanny Legros of the women’s team and sophomore Samuel Osowiecki of the Men’s team. Legros would earn 5th place out of 20 with a time of 11:02.06, and Osowiecki would make an impressive 3rd out of 11 with a time of 9:56.45.
These events were followed by both the men’s and women’s 200-yard medley relay, with the women’s team beginning first. Seniors Samantha Davis, Michelle Morlock, Madison Matthews, and junior Abbie Erme would lead the charge for the Tornado as they placed 7th out of 8 with a time of 1:52.39. On the men’s side of the pool, sophomores Samuel Osowiecki, Kessler Dayton, Luke Hunt, and freshman Caelen Sutton led the team, placing 6th out of 6 with a time of 1:36.16. To finish things off, there was the 800-yard freestyle relay. The women’s team sent out junior Fanny Legros, and sophomore Elizabeth Rehkopf, with freshmen Cassie Lowe and Reese Lauletta as the group, placed 5th out of 8 with an overall time of 8:03.55. And the best performance came in the men’s 800-yard freestyle as the Tornado placed 1st out of 5, thanks to seniors Jan Kuljak, Dale Bruce, junior Gideon Bezuidenhout, and sophomore Samuel Osowiecki. Their total time was 6:49.03. As the sun set on the tournament and the results were announced, the women’s team would finish 5th out of 8 with a total of 331 points, and the men would finish 6th out of 6th with a total of 350 points. Overall, Emmanual College would hold its heads high, winning both the men’s and women’s Conference Carolinas championship.
Although the results were not what either team had hoped for, there was nothing for either side to put their heads down for. Both sides showed immense heart and compelling sportsmanship. The competition was furious, but the Tornado held their own until the end. There is still a lot left on the table for these teams, and the future is bright. The Tornado will be seeking redemption come the 2023-2024 season.