LATROBE, PA – When freshman Sara Basala walked off the soccer field following the final game of the season on Nov. 1, it wasn't the end of her athletic year at Saint Vincent. In fact, it wasn't even the end of her day.
While there have been hundreds of athletes over the years that have competed in two different sports during their time at Saint Vincent, Basala's accomplishment on Nov. 1, 2019 could very well be one that was unprecedented in the history of Bearcat athletics. Basala went right from the soccer field to the swimming pool that day and competed in both sports just hours apart.
After seeing time as a reserve in the women's soccer team's 3-1 victory over Thiel, Basala shifted gears and then took part in the 100 and 200 breaststroke in the Bearcats' matchup against Allegheny College.
"I only felt a little rushed getting from the field to the pool because my game ended at 2:45 p.m. and we had to be at the pool at 3:30," says Basala. "I ran back to my dorm room, picked up my swim stuff and went to the meet. After that, the meet went smoothly."
Basala, a biochemistry major from Somerset, Pennsylvania, didn't see it as anything special. "I never gave any thought to doing both sports in one day. I've done it before in high school with my club soccer and swim teams, so it didn't seem odd to me. I expected myself to do both since I made a commitment to both teams, so it was normal for me."
While she has done this odd "double" before, she says the transition takes some time getting accustomed to. "Since swimming and soccer are so different, it is tough to switch from one to the other. But I've been doing both for a long time, so it wasn't anything I didn't expect."
While it may now seem like business as usual for Basala, it's very uncommon at the collegiate level. It is a difficult piece of information to confirm, as records like that were not generally kept from decades gone by. But with few sports overlapping, there is a strong chance that she is the first Saint Vincent student-athlete to accomplish the feat.
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