Chapmanville Regional High School graduate Connor Marcum has been making waves with the newly formed Shawnee State University swimming team this season.
Marcum, a freshman and one of the founding members of the Shawnee State Bears men’s swim squad, recently took part in the NAIA Mid-South Conference Swim Championships on Feb. 4-6 at the Kingsport Aquatic Center in Kingsport, Tenn.
The Shawnee State men’s and women’s teams made their first appearance at the conference meet, rounding out their first year of competition within the conference.
Marcum took part in the competition in five events over the three days of swimming and performed well.
He participated in men’s 100-yard butterfly, the men’s 200-yard individual medley, the men’s 200-yard backstroke, the butterfly leg of the men’s 400-yard medley relay, and was the anchor for the men’s 800-yard freestyle relay.
In the 100-yard butterfly contest, Marcum finished 17th with a time of 1:15.90. This was the first season for Marcum swimming the butterfly.
In the 200-yard individual medley contest, Marcum finished 16th with a time of 2:37.77.
In the 200-yard backstroke, Marcum finished in 12th place with a time of 2:35.46. Although Marcum participated in the backstroke in high school and throughout the first season at SSU, this was his first time swimming the backstroke in the 200-yard distance.
“My first experience at a college conference meet was great,” Marcum said. “It was exciting to compete with so many schools. My performance wasn’t quite what I would like, but I’m looking forward to next year when Shawnee State will return to the conference meet with more experience and ready to compete.”
The Shawnee State men’s 400-yard medley relay team finished in fourth place with a time of 4:41.56. The SSUU men’s 800-yard freestyle relay team finished in seventh place with a time of 9:09.38.
The standout performance for the SSU women’s team came from sophomore Kenzie Pennington, a native of Ashland, Ky. She finished in third place in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:28.96 and earned Third-Team All-MSC honors.
The Shawnee State men finished the meet in seventh place with a total of 158 points, while the SSU women’s team finished the meet in sixth place with a total of 206 points.
As a first-year program, this appearance and performance at their first conference meet was laudable and points to a bright horizon for the fledgling squads.
“Being our first year I am proud of how our team performed this weekend. We had a lot of athletes set personal bests for the season. (I am) Looking forward in building this team stronger for next year,” Shawnee State coach Gerald Cadogan said.
Shawnee State University is located in Portsmouth, Ohio.
The NAIA National Swimming Championship meet for 2021 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 concerns, so the season has come to and end for Shawnee State University swimming.
Spectators were not permitted at the Mid-South Conference meet also due to COVID-19 concerns.