The droplets of water that bead on Kile Aukerman’s goggles don’t obscure his vision, they hone it, crystalizing a view that still features plenty of open water and limitless opportunities beyond the pool wall.
But the liquid lining his sight this afternoon might make things a bit fuzzier when he and the other five seniors on the Wright State men’s and women’s swimming teams navigate the emotional, reflective ceremony that is Senior Day prior to their 2 p.m. dual meet against Cleveland State.
“I’m trying to treat it like any other meet, but I know that’s probably going to be hard to do,” said Aukerman, a Cincinnati native from Anderson High School. “Most of my family is coming, and there will be a lot of people locally who will show up, along with some of the athletes from the other teams on campus. It’s going to be special.”
Aukerman, Greg Evershed, Mark Johnson, Marisa Melchior, Kortney Mullen and Sarah Weidner all have made an impact on the WSU program that will ripple for years. But Aukerman’s legacy could be especially lengthy after setting five — and counting — school records.
“When I was in high school, I wasn’t super serious about swimming,” said Aukerman, a biological science major who has designs on med school.
“I knew I enjoyed it, and I figured if I could get some school paid for, that would be cool,” he added. “But I ended up improving a lot, and toward the end of my sophomore year I had it in the back of my mind I could maybe get my name up on the board. I thought maybe I’d get lucky and set one of those records, but I never figured I’d do it five times.”
Aukerman set the 200-yard medley record of 1:48.07 last year and also was a member of the record-setting 200 medley relay (1:29.24) and 400 medley relay (3:16.14) teams. This year he set marks in the 100 breaststroke (54.93) and 200 breaststroke (2:00.63).
His current target is winning his first Horizon League championship and the team’s first since 2008, as well as possibly qualifying for the NCAA national championships, none of which he could have imagined when he arrived on campus four years ago.
“The time has flown by, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come and how far our program has come in the years I’ve been here,” Aukerman said. “It’s going to be a little upsetting to leave because it’s been a good time in my life. It’s been awesome.”
Women’s basketball: Senior guard Tay’ler Mingo was named the Horizon League Player of the Week by College Sports Madness for her performance in a pair of road victories at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Valparaiso.
Mingo had a combined 54 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals to help the Raiders improve to 14-4 overall and 3-1 in league play.
Mingo added 30 points Thursday night, but it wasn’t enough to extend the team’s winning streak as host Youngstown State prevailed 75-70.
Courtney Boyd added 13 points, and Breanna Stucke grabbed 10 rebounds for the Raiders, who return to action today at 2 p.m. against Cleveland State.
Women’s soccer: The Raiders have added two transfer students who will play for the team in the fall.
Kaeli Studebaker is a Centerville High School graduate who played at Concord University. She is a defender who has three years of eligibility.
Midfielder Niki Romero, who is a member of the U.S. U18 National Team, comes to WSU from North Carolina with two years of eligibility.
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