ERIE, Pa. –For the second-straight day at the 2017 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship meet, the Franciscan Lady Barons broke a school record as junior Elizabeth McNulty brought home the first gold medal for the Lady Barons, Friday night.
Swimming in the first individual race for the Lady Barons, McNulty got off the blocks with an incredible start in the 100-yard butterfly and was neck and neck with defending champion Gwen Lowery for the first 50 yards. After the second turn, McNulty began to pull away and carried a slight lead into the final 25 yards after a great turn at the opposite end of the pool. McNulty pushed hard through the final 25 yards and edged out Lowery with a time of 1:00.61, beating her own school record by .27 of a second. Freshman Rachel Solomon won the "B" final of the 100-fly with a time of 1:05.99, shaving 1.01 off of her preliminary time. The freshman's time was her fastest of her career at Franciscan by just over six seconds.
Franciscan opened the day with a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay "A" final with a time of 2:01.29, the team's fastest time this season. Victoria Marshall got the Lady Barons off to a solid start with a 31.31 leg of the backstroke before Katie Cunningham went 35.25 in the breaststroke. McNulty swam an impressive 27.82 butterfly leg before Emily Wieszcsek anchored the team with a 26.91 freestyle leg.
The Lady Barons won the "B" final with a time of 2:07.21 behind strong swimming from Nicole Marshall and Anne Pivaranus in the first two legs. Rachel Solomon helped push the Lady Barons into second place after a 27.56 butterfly leg and Maris Bey finished it off with a 27.15 leg of the freestyle to close out the win.
In their next individual race, Franciscan once again won the "B" final, this time in the 100-yard breaststroke. Cunningham came into the race with the top seed in the final and took first by two full seconds. Cunningham swam her fastest time of the season as she touched the wall for the final time at 1:16.83.
The Marshall sisters closed out the third day of the championship meet with a pair of top finishes in the 100-yard backstroke "B" final. Victoria Marshall was the second swimmer to finish but the first of the sisters as she finished with a time of 1:07.67, her fastest time of the season. Her sister, Nicole, was close behind with a time of 1:08.69, also a season-best for the swimmer.
The Lady Barons currently sit at fourth place with 204 points with one more day of competition. The prelims begin at 10am tomorrow morning, followed by diving at 1pm and the finals at 6pm.