Women’s Swimming and Diving Wins Fifth Championship

The Zips win an astonishing fifth consecutive MAC Swimming and Diving Championship


(Photo courtesy of Zips Swimming and Diving)

By A.J. Fagerlin, Sports Contributor

At the end of the 2018 swimming and diving season, the Zips’ ladies have taken yet another step in establishing themselves as the queens of the pool in the Mid-American Conference by their winning fifth consecutive conference title.  

Since current Head Coach Brian Peresie took over the program in 2013, no one has been able to steal the MAC title away from Akron. This year is no different, as Akron entered the final day of competition with a commanding hold on first place with 539.5 points. The closest competition for the Zips entered Saturday’s competition with just 363.5 points. Eastern Michigan is the only MAC program that was able to defeat Akron this season.  

The Zips went to Athens eager for the opportunity to once again defend their MAC title.

“This is always the most exciting time of the year and I know everyone will be giving their best efforts,” Peresie said. “A single star does not win a team championship. It takes a collective effort and investment in helping those around you succeed.”

The final standings are Akron with 827.5, Eastern Michigan with 590.5 and Buffalo with 573.

Akron has an extremely well-rounded squad, with strong contributions coming from members in each and every event and from freshmen to seniors. This season, Akron returned 22 letter winners from the 2017 team including its five All-MAC recipients from a year ago. Leading the squad again this season in the lanes are senior Paloma Marrero Munoz, juniors Ragen Engel, Sadie Fazekas, and Madison Myers, and sophomore Jackie Pash. On the boards, junior Karly Crail and sophomore Katelyn Applin head the Zips march for a fifth consecutive title.

In addition to the veteran leadership, Akron’s freshmen have been incredibly impressive this season. Freshmen Paula Garcia, Brooke Lamoureux, Annie Lochridge, Paulina Nogaj, and Ally Wharton all now hold top program records in their respective events.

Akron’s team took home a plethora of postseason awards including Co-Most Outstanding Swimmer Paloma Marrero, Freshmen Swimmer of the Year Paulina Nogaj and 10 All-MAC honors.  

A lot of credit and recognition must be given to Coach Peresie for leading the Zips to a MAC title in each of his seasons at the helm of the program. In addition to five MAC titles, Coach Peresie has also won five MAC Coach of the Year awards.  But this season’s group of women accomplished something that had never been achieved in program history, a top 25 national ranking. The College Swimming Coaches Association of America honored Akron with the 24th spot of their rankings released on Jan. 31.

While they may go under the radar on campus at Akron, the swimming and diving team has been one of the most dominant programs that the University has to offer. Akron’s home meets are held right on campus at Ocasek Natatorium. If you happen to see a member of the team congratulate them on their incredible accomplishments, and plan to fill the stands at home meets next season to witness the history that the swimmers and divers are making.