Gardner-Webb Swimming Continues Strong Effort On Day 2 At 2017 CCSA Championships

Tim Cowie Photo |
Tim Cowie Photo |

By Garrett Simpson
Special Correspondent

ATHENS, Ga. – Gardner-Webb wrapped up the second day of the 2017 CCSA Championships Thursday night, continuing with more record performances and great finishes.

The Gardner-Webb distance group of Mason Hutchinson, Peter Wakeley, Brandon Chason, and Joshua Clarke started night two with several strong performances for the 'Dogs in the 500 freestyle. Hutchinson led the way, touching fourth en route to a new GWU school-record time of 4:28.84. That time beat his old school record of 4:30.95, which was set at last year's CCSA Championships. Wakeley finished eighth (4:34.57), while Chason and Clarke each cut time from their preliminary swims to finish in 16th (4:37.19) and 18th (4:38.32) respectively.

Junior Lauren Oglesby, sophomore Morgan VanderSchaaf, and freshman Laura Siebrecht combined to set a new milestone for the 'Dogs in the women's 500-yard freestyle. The distance trio became the first in school history to all break the five-minute barrier in the same meet. Oglesby led the way, finishing 11th in 4:59.41, closely followed by VanderSchaaf in 12th (4:59.66) and Siebrecht in 17th (4:59.79). Spencer Lucas and Kate Arceneaux also had strong showings for the 'Dogs, finishing 18th (5:01.15) and 21st (5:05.48).

A freshmen duo led the way for the Bulldogs in the men's 200 individual medley. Jordan Mintz and Elliot Gayken both improved on their morning swims, touching in fifth (1:50.51) and seventh (1:51.67). They were followed by teammates Jason Smith (11th- 1:52.71), Cameron Pou (12th- 1:52.80), and Andrew Knudsen (15th- 1:53.73). Each of those swims was at least .3 seconds faster than the morning.

In the women's 200-yard individual medley, juniors London Schumacher and Lili Toth led the Runnin' Bulldogs' effort. Schumacher touched fifth in 2:02.43, which was a full second faster than her swim from the preliminaries, while Toth swam a 2:03.94 which was good enough for eighth place. Tessa Walsh had a strong performance in the 'B' final, swimming a 2:05.37 and touching 12th. In the 'C' final, Anna Banick went a 2:06.94, which earned her an 18th place finish. Whitney Peters swam a 2:11.02 for 23rd place

The Runnin' Bulldog sprinters had a very strong showing in the men's 50 freestyle. Connor Bos swam a 20.36 to get onto the podium in third place. Bos was joined in the 'A' final by freshman Zach Dingfield, who finished seventh with a lifetime-best 20.67. Hal McKay won the 'B' final in a 20.63, while Jake Ennis and Tyler Gomez also broke the 20-second barrier by going 20.95 (12th) and 20.98 (14th). Andrew Linzie and Josh Hanson represented the Bulldogs well in the 'C' final. Linzie touched in 20.93 and Hanson touched in 21.06 which earned them 18th and 19th place, respectively.

The women's 50 freestyle was led by strong performances from Kesley Williams and Alina Gersib. Gersib was the top finisher, touching 19th with a time of 23.75, while Williams finished 24th with a time of 24.02.

The final event of the night was the 200 freestyle relays, and both the men's and women's squads had strong performances.

The men's team of Connor Bos, Zach Dingfield, Josh Hanson, and Hal McKay touched second in 1:23.58, narrowly missing a school record by .13. The relay consisted of strong performances by each member, with the three seniors and one freshman racing to a silver-medal finish. On the women's side, Alina Gersib, Lili Toth, Kelsey Williams, and Mackenzie Ropka finished in 1:34.56 in fifth place.

The Runnin' Bulldogs will continue their quest in Athens on Friday morning.

Friday Events:
400 Individual Medley
100 Butterfly
200 Freestyle
100 Breaststroke
100 Backstroke
400 Medley Relay

Check out @gdubbswimming on Twitter for Coach Mike Simpson's thoughts on tonight's session.

Follow: @gdubbswimming and @gwu360