ATHENS, Ga. – Gardner-Webb swimming moved much closer to the team leads on both sides with an outstanding effort Friday at the 2017 CCSA Championships at the University of Georgia.
Two school records fell, and two Gardner-Webb swimmers earned individual titles.
The Runnin' Bulldog IM group got the meet started on the right foot on Friday night. Peter Wakeley broke his own school record in the event, touching in 3:55.93. That time was good enough for a fourth-place finish, while Mason Hutchinson finished in eighth place with a 4:02.53. In the 'B' final, Christopher Raymond used a strong front-half and a gritty win the heat, touching in 4:03.88, while fellow freshman Brandon Chason used a blazing last 100 to finish fifth in the heat.
In the women's race, London Schumacher became the first individual conference champion for the 'Dogs, touching first in a 4:19.94. With her victory, Schumacher became the first woman in conference history to win the event more than once in her career, and the first back-to-back winner. She was joined in the 'A' final by Spencer Lucas, who touched the wall sixth in a time of 4:31.39. Hope Saunders managed to take second place in the 'B' final with a 4:31.22, followed by Miranda Johns in third at 4:33.13.
Tyler Gomez had a strong showing for Gardner-Webb in the 'A' final of the men's 100 butterfly. Gomez touched in 48.96, which was good for fourth place. In the 'B' final, Andrew Knudsen touched in sixth place with a 50.32, closely followed by teammate John Baker in 51.10. In the women's race, Tessa Walsh was the top finisher for the 'Dogs, touching in seventh with a 54.66. Adel Kiss had a solid showing in the 'B' final with a fifth place 56.31, while Mackenzie Ropka was second in the 'C' final with a 57.87.
The men's 200 freestyle was a strong event for the Bulldogs. Zach Dingfield finished seventh overall in the event with a 1:40.75, while Hal McKay, Josh Clarke, and Cameron Pou finished 2-3-4 in the B final of the race. McKay touched in a 1:40.25, followed by Clarke in 1:41.04 and Pou in 1:41.22. Lili Toth led another strong effort by the women in the 200 freestyle. Toth used a strong second-half to pass competitors on her way to a fifth place 1:50.24. In the 'C' final, Kelsey Williams finished sixth in 1:54.02, followed by Blake Broulliere in seventh with a 1:54.64.
The freshman duo of Jordan Mintz and Elliot Gayken had a strong showing for the second night in a row for the Runnin' Bulldogs in the 100 breaststroke. Mintz took the silver medal, touching in 54.74, while Gayken finished eighth in 55.90. In the 'B' final, Jake Ennis took the victory in a 56.42, followed by Josh Hanson in third with a 57.15.
On the women's side, Toth was once again the top Bulldog finisher, touching in fourth place with a 1:03.42. Whitney Peters finished eighth overall in a 1:03.43, while Anna Banick won the 'B' final and finished ninth overall 1:03.42. Morgan VanderSchaaf showed versatility in the 'C' final of the event, as the distance freestyler finished second in the heat with a 1:06.96.
Men's team captain Connor Bos earned his second individual podium finish of the week and the second conference title of his career by taking the victory in the men's 100 backstroke. Bos bounced back from a tough second-place finish in 2016 with a victorious time of 47.61 on Friday. Jason Smith also competed in the championship final of the event, touching seventh with a 50.25. In the 'B' final, three 'Dogs had solid showings. John Baker was second in the heat with a 50.19, while Andrew Linzie (50.62) and Christopher Raymond (51.56) touched in sixth and seventh respectively.
The momentum on the men's side of the meet was cut short in the last event of the evening. The Bulldogs team of Bos, Mintz, Gomez, and Dingfield swam a time fast enough to finish second place, but were disqualified in the event.
The downed Bulldog spirits were quickly by the women's effort in the 400 medley relay, as the Bulldog team managed to reach the podium for the first time this week. The group of Siebrecht, Banick, Walsh, and Toth swam a 3:45.20 to finish in third place, outracing Georgia Southern in the last 100 to take bronze.
400 Freestyle Relay
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