PORTSMOUTH — The Shawnee State swimming programs will participate in nine regular-season meets over the course of the 2021-22 season, with four of those meets being held inside the Warsaw Aquatic Center — as fans will be able to see SSU compete live for the first time in the sport.
While the swimming programs officially debuted last season, home events were closed off to all except essential workers — due to the COVID-19 virus.
This year, however, fans won’t have to wait long to get a glimpse of the Bears competing in the water.
The Bears open up their fall schedule with back-to-back home meets on Saturday, Oct. 2 (West Virginia Tech, 12 p.m.) and Saturday, Oct. 9 (Lindsey Wilson, 1 p.m.) inside the WAC, then get a two-week break before returning to action on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Cumberlands, Ky. (12 p.m.).
The latter pair of meets opens up the Mid-South Conference slate, while the season opener at West Virginia Tech serves as the Bears’ home opener and is part of the Homecoming festivities.
Shawnee State then returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 13 with another home meet, this time a tri-match with MSC foes Midway (Ky.) and Bethel (Tenn.) at noon.
The Bears then open the month of December with a return trip to West Virginia Tech on Saturday, Dec. 4 (12 p.m.), and a home meet against Campbellsville on Thursday, Dec. 16 (5 p.m.).
SSU concludes its season with a road tri-match at Lindsey Wilson — which also includes Bethel (Tenn.) in a 12 p.m. tilt on Saturday, Jan. 8 — a road meet at Union (Ky.) the following Saturday (Jan. 15) at noon, and a second January tri-match at Midway with Tennessee-Southern on Saturday, Jan. 22 (at 1 p.m.).
The Mid-South Conference Championships — which will again take place in Kingsport, Tenn. in 2022 — will be held from Thursday, Feb. 3 thru Saturday, Feb. 5.
Any NAIA provisional qualifiers will compete at the NAIA National Championships, which are set to be held in Columbus, Ga. from Wednesday, March 2 thru Saturday, March 5 after a one-year hiatus.
SSU’s women’s swimming team returns eight letterwinners from last year’s unit, including NAIA All-American Kenzie Pennington and fellow standout swimmers Wenjie Lu and Recie Spangler.
Hanna and Josie Tackett, Carissa and Cassie Link and Courtney Jones all return for the Bears as well — and are joined by freshmen swimmers Emily Boggs, Maggie Kayt Franks, Julie Kasberg and Jule Thamm.
As for the men’s swimming team, top swimmer Cody Borsini returns as does Peyton Bachstetter, Russell Humphrey and Connor Marcum.
Juan Contreras, Jose Enrique Rosado, Jacob Clark, Christian Keys, Austin Vaughters, Ethan Kramer and Evan Siberill are among the newcomers to the roster.
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