CBU swimmer becomes championship finalist, earns ranking

Petrenko is force to be reckoned with in final meets.

Sofia Petrenko, senior business administration major, was ranked fifth in Swimming World Magazine’s top ten women swimmers to watch.

At the NCAA Division II Championship March 14-17, she was a two-time finalist in both the 200-yard butterfly and 400-yard individual medley events. She also participated in the 400-yard freestyle team relay, in which they took 14th place in the first round. In the final round, Petrenko and the Lancers took 11th place.

Petrenko, a Russian national, has attended CBU for the last year after transferring from Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina.

For Petrenko, swimming has been a journey that started 20 years ago.

“I come from a small town so there weren’t a lot of extracurriculars to choose from,” Petrenko said. “You could play hockey, swim, or be a country skier.”

Petrenko chose to swim.

“I couldn’t quit,” Petrenko said. “(Swimming) has been the love of my life since then. Swimming gave me so much.”

At the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship meet, Feb. 14-17, Petrenko placed first in both the 200-yard butterfly and the 400-yard individual medley, helping lead the Lancers to victory. She also placed second in the 200-yard individual medley.

Petrenko said she is grateful for the recognition from Swimming World Magazine.

“This kind of acknowledgment is the sign of me moving in the right direction in life,” Petrenko said. “Swimming has taken me far and I am thankful for it. I am excited to work on my future ultimate goals.”

Rick Rowland, head coach of swimming and diving, said Petrenko was very experienced.

“She knows what it takes to be successful,” Rowland said. “She brings a vast number of years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to her team.”

Jenna Washburn, freshman film production major, said Petrenko is an encouraging teammate.

“At our conference meet, she lifted me up when I was feeling a little discouraged and she helped me finish the rest of the meet strong.

Petrenko said she is thankful for her coaches and time spent at CBU, and is happy with how the season ended.

“All the hard work that we put in this season paid off and I am happy to finish my athletic college career on this note,” Petrenko said.

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