The Limestone College swim teams wrapped up competition at the Blue Grass Mountain Conference Championships on Saturday night. The Saint women finished 5th among 14 teams, while Limestone’s men’s team took 6th in its 12-team field.
“We had a great night of swimming to end a great weekend of swimming,” stated Limestone Head Coach Robert Gecan.
Marta Stepien won the 200 breaststroke with an “A” cut time of 2:20.26. Isabell Nystrom took second in the 1650-yard freestyle with an NCAA “A” cut time of 17:18.89. Jenna Arington and Renee Pouchet finished third and fourth, respectively in the 200 backstroke. Arington (2:07.13) and Pouchet (2:07.24) both recorded “B” cut times.
The women’s 400 freestyle relay team placed fifth (3:34.85) with contributions from Arington, Pouchet, Raquel Rudolph, and Nystrom.
Blake Schaeffer finished fifth in the 1650 freestyle (15:20.28) and was ninth in the 200 butterfly (1:54.52). Deniz Belgin finished fourth in the 200 breaststroke with a “B” cut time of 2:08.77.
The University of Tampa won the women’s event, with Johns Hopkins finishing second and Wingate taking third. Florida Southern finished fourth.
Wingate claimed first on the men’s side, followed by the University of Tampa, Johnson Hopkins, Washington & Lee, and Florida Southern.
The Saints will look to record more NCAA cut times in order to qualify for the national championships in March as the teams travel to Athens, Ga., for the Bulldog Invitational on February 27-28. The NCAA Championships are slated for March 10-11 in Canton, Ohio.
The Wingate University men’s swimming team captured its third straight Blue Grass Mountain Conference championship Saturday night, edging the University of Tampa by 12 points. The Bulldog women finished third, battling Johns Hopkins (Md.) University for second place until the final event.
The Wingate men completed the four-day event with 636 points. The Tampa Spartans had 624 points. The Bulldogs led by only six points entering the final event of the day, the 400 Freestyle Relay. Wingate head coach Kirk Sanocki was named the Bob Busby Award winner for men’s Coach of the Year. Bulldog senior Mason Norman (Duluth, Ga.) earned BGMC Swimmer of the Year laurels.
Tampa ran away with the women’s crown, posting 714 points. The second place JHU Blue Jays had 547 points, while the Bulldogs were a solid third with 539 points. Tampa head coach Ed Brennan was named the Bob Busby Award winner for women’s Coach of the Year. Spartan senior Jessie Bardin (St. Petersburg, Fla.) earned BGMC Swimmer of the Year laurels.
Wingate University men’s swimming
Saturday BGMC recap
The Bulldogs knew they had to beat the Spartans in the final event of the week, the 400 Freestyle Relay. Three seniors and a freshman made sure Wingate would take home its third overall team trophy, as the Bulldog quartet touched first with an NCAA Division II “A” Cut time of 3:00.51.
Wingate’s 400 Freestyle Relay team (in order of appearance) included senior Gus Chagas (Recife, Brazil), senior Daniel De Francisco (Cali, Colombia), freshman Rory Julyan (Cape Town, South Africa) and Norman. On Thursday, Norman swam the fastest 50 Freestyle in NCAA Division II this year with a 20.01. He swam his first relay 50 Saturday in 20.87.
Norman and Chagas made sure their final appearances on the BGMC stage would be remembered, as they finished one-two in the 100 Freestyle. Both Norman (44.25) and Chagas (44.95) recorded “A” Cuts in the race. Norman swam a morning-best 44.48 in the preliminaries.
The Wingate distance crew set the tone for a great night for the Bulldogs. In the 1650 Freestyle (the night’s first event), Wingate freshman Cole Dutton (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) and senior Gui Veiga (Vinton, Va.) finished one-two for the Bulldogs. Dutton earned an NCAA Division II “A” Cut with a time of 15:55.49. Veiga collected a “B” Cut with his 15:58.16. The duo also finished one-two in the 1000 Freestyle Wednesday. Both swimmers earned All-BGMC honors in the three distance races.
Wingate men win third straight BGMC title – 2/2/2
Two Bulldogs earned “B” Cuts in the 200 Backstroke. Sophomore Santino Viselli (Windsor, Ontario) was sixth with a time of 1:53.26, while classmate Lee Sousa (Cornelius, N.C.) was eighth with a time of 1:53.44. Sousa finished seventh in the 100 Backstroke Friday.
Wingate junior Marcello Machado (Recife, Brazil) finished third in the 200 Breaststroke with a “B” Cut time of 2:08.12. Three Bulldogs placed in the top eight of the 200 Breaststroke: freshman Spencer Waganaar (Satellite Beach, Fla.) was sixth (2:10.64), while senior Kevin Hennessy (Yorktown, Va.) was eighth (2:11.85).
Wingate University women’s swimming
Saturday BGMC recap
The Bulldog women made a big statement in the 1650 Freestyle, as two swimmers earned NCAA Division II “A” Cuts. Freshman Paige Schmidt (Clearwater, Fla.) earned her second distance gold medal, winning the race with a time of 17:16.42.
Schmidt will long remember her first BGMC week, as she won the 1000 Freestyle and placed second in the 500 Freestyle.
Wingate junior teammate Kelsey Trabue (South Lyon, Mich.) was third in the 1650 Freestyle, recording a time of 17:24.16. Trabue’s hard work and determination has paid dividends, as she joined Schmidt as an All-BGMC performer in the 1650, 1000 and 500 Freestyle events.
Bulldog sophomore Malin Kersmark (Malin-Bjarred, Sweden) finished second in the 200 Backstroke, posting an NCAA Division II “A” Cut with her time of 2:05.03.
Kersmark and her teammates finished the day with an “A” Cut in the 400 Freestyle Relay, posting a third-place time of 3:30.28. Kersmark swam the first leg; she was followed by junior Nicole Moody (Grovetown, Ga.), senior Samantha Vencl (Wickliffe, Ohio) and junior Cheryl Vaccaro (Charlotte, N.C.).
Wingate won two consolation finals Saturday. Junior Sarah Supcoe (Charleston, W.Va.) won the 200 Butterfly consolation race with a “B” Cut time of 2:10.54. Classmate Vaccaro won the 200 Breaststroke consolation race. She earned a “B” Cut by 2/100 of a second at 2:26.43.
Vaccaro also posted a “B” Cut in the 100 Freestyle, touching fourth with a time of 52.66. Moody followed suit, posting a “B” Cut in the same event. She finished sixth at 53.15. Freshman Elly Speer (Sydney, Australia) finished fifth in the 200 Butterfly, recording a “B” Cut time of 2:09.13.