Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Bonaventure are well-known Division-I schools across the country. But to the Fairmont State men's swim team, they're just regular opponents.
"I know that when we went into that meet, we had a good chance of at least placing very well in a couple of our freestyle relays," Fairmont State Swimming Head Coach Pat Snively said. "Looking at schools like Cincinnati and St. Bonaventure have put up so far this year, we thought we could contend with them."
The Fairmont State 400 Freestyle Relay team came away with the first place finish last weekend in Pittsburgh, knocking off all three Division-I opponents in the process.
"It says a lot," Falcons senior swimmer David Dent said. "It shows that we work just as hard as they do. We have the same goals as them. We're just trying to prove that we're up there at the same level."
"We go up there as a D-II school and a lot of people count us out," Fairmont State senior swimmer Ryan Radcliff said. "But once we started swimming and people started noticing us, it was just cool to see people kind of come up to us and ask, 'Where's Fairmont?' You know, I just think that's kind of neat."
Fairmont State's main pool inside of the Feaster Center has been undergoing renovations since the end of the summer, which means the Falcons have been forced to use the pool inside of the Falcon Center, which is significantly smaller than the other one.
But it hasn't really mattered. The Falcons are ranked number one in all of Division-II swimming in the 200 Freestyle Relay with a time of 1:21.62.
"Time wise, and the times don't lie. We could put this team up against any team we've had here at Fairmont State," Snively said.
That is high praise regarding one of the best college swim programs in the entire state.