Ronayne wastes no time making noise
Seton Hall Athletics
By land, many freshman athletes have made a positive impact for Seton Hall athletics this season, but we cannot forget about the athletes making their mark in the water, and swimmer Kylene Ronayne has done just that.
Ronayne, a freshman from Springfield, Pa., was a four-year letter winner and senior captain at Springfield High School on the swimming team. She earned the school’s Most Valuable Player award all four years of her high school career in addition to having All-Delaware County Honors in each year at Springfield, too. When Ronayne graduated from Springfield she held many swimming records in freestyle and high times in the 100-meter butterfly as well as the 100-meter back stroke. She also qualified for the State Championship during her time in high school and swam for the Springfield Swim Club and Ridley Area YMCA.
With that glowing resume, Ronayne decided to continue her swimming career at Seton Hall. The transition from high school to college can be difficult for some, but in the pool it seems that Ronayne has not missed a beat. However, that does not mean there have not been adjustments that she has had to make.
“The biggest difference between high school and college athletics would be the mindset of the team,” Ronayne said. “It is definitely much more competitive but everyone is trying to score points for their team rather than for themselves.”
During her young career as a Pirate, Ronayne has certainly accumulated good times and made contributions to the women’s swimming and diving team. As a freshman, Ronayne has not only taken a leadership role by example on the team but she has defeated veterans on other Big East squads.
In the first home meet on Oct. 25, Ronayne won the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:01:23 and defeated Providence senior Moira James at the very end by 72 hundredths of a second. Ronayne believes her composure has really helped during this great start.
“The key is being able to stay focused, but at the same time trying to stay relaxed.” Ronayne said. “Before each race, it’s important to remember that no matter what happens in the pool, I will still have my teammates, and coaches to support me.”
On the Connecticut trip on Jan. 25, Seton Hall had 11 top-three finishes in individual events and Ronayne had three of them.
Many students in college experience the difficult academic transition, but many do not take part in the changes in athletics. Ronayne has used her poise and teammates for support.
“I think that all of the older girls on the team have been great in helping me to get better and learn more about the college experience,” she said. “It is good to know that I can always go to them with anything- whether it’s helping me with swimming, school, or even little things like where in town are the best places to eat.”
At the Nov. 8 quad meet against the likes of Georgetown, Rutgers and Villanova, Ronayne was part of a group of three Pirates who led the way for the Hall. The freshman had the fourth quickest conference time in the 200-meter intermediate event and had the best time in the 200-meter freestyle for the blue and white with a finishing time of 1:55:26.
Ronayne did not stop there. She had a time of 2:08:40 in the 200-meter intermediate and came within .2 seconds of winning in the final at the Patriot Invitational. That time of just over two minutes was the second-fastest in the Big East at that point in the season.
“My favorite accomplishment in my college career so far would have to be improving my 200 IM time at the Patriot Invitational,” she said. “Coming to Seton Hall with a 2:11 in the event and then dropping down to a 2:08 made me really happy.”
Despite all of the success that Ronayne has had with the intermediate events, the 200-meter backstroke is her favorite event because it is “a hard race to swim” and the event “has grown” on her over the years of competing in it.
With victories at the Marist and Iona events to add to the resume as well, it is safe to say the Ronayne has burst onto the Seton Hall swimming scene in her first season in South Orange, but the freshman does no plan on stopping there.
“I just want to keep improving my times and contribute as many points to the team as possible,” Ronayne said. “I hope to one day be honored with a record breaking race or championship title, but I mostly just want to improve.”
It has been an impressive start to Ronayne’s swimming career and the Pirates’ swimming and diving team have a lot to look forward to in their talented freshman. The future looks bright for yet another Seton Hall newcomer.