Swimming and diving rallies out a win against Davidson

Photo: Brandon Warnock

Emily Arnold

Showing its strength as a team, the Georgia Southern University swimming and diving team came out with wins over Davidson College (180-173) and Howard University (300-35), but lost to No. 23 ranked Liberty University (220-129).

“We just told the team that you have to find a way to get it done,” Head Coach Nathan Kellogg said. “Good teams find a way to win close meets and we feel like we have a pretty strong team and it was up to them to find a way. That’s kind of what our mantra has been all year, just find a way to win.”

The meet was stretched out over a period of two days: Friday, Jan. 31, and Saturday, Feb. 1.  Some events took place on Friday evening and the rest were on Saturday morning.

“After the first day we were down to Davidson by six and then came back and rallied to win at the very end so having that extra day really kind of helped us to figure out where we were and what we needed to do to pull out a win,” Kellogg said.

The Eagle’s 200 freestyle relay team ended the meet with a second place finish to secure the win against Davidson

On Friday evening, the Eagle’s 200 medley relay team placed second and, along with that, there were seven other top-three finishes.

Junior Amber Juncker finished third in the 1000 freestyle, junior Elaina Lanson took second in the 50 freestyle and sophomore Christina Moran placed second in the 100 backstroke.  Sophomore Lauren Campbell secured third in the 200 IM and again in the 200 butterfly.  Senior Kristen Bates stole the first-place finish in the 100 breaststroke and broke Davidson’s pool record with her final time of 1:02.92.

The diving team completed Friday with a third-place finish from senior Sara Meisenhelder in the three-meter dive and a fourth-place finish from sophomore Emma Weisel in the same event.

“I thought we did pretty well,” Kellogg said.  “Coming off our last home meet, our senior meet, my concern was that we were going to come off a little flat being on the road and over a two-day meet. I was concerned we would not perform as well as we had at our previous two home meets. But I thought our energy was good, I thought our effort was good, and I thought our performances were good.”

The Eagles also held eight top-three finishes on Saturday starting with the third-place finish from the 400 medley relay team. Meisenhelder dove remarkably in the one-meter dive and finished in second place.

“We had some of our best events on Saturday and we just told the team that you have to find a way to get it done,” Kellogg said.  “Liberty was just a little too much for us to handle right now.  Davidson gave us all we could handle and we feel pretty lucky to come up there with a win.”

The CCSA Championship meet in Knoxville, TN is the big finale to a great season for the swimming and diving team, which has nerves and excitement surrounding it.  This meet will be held from Feb. 19-22.

“This meet is kind of how we measure ourselves,” Kellogg said.  “Dual meets aren’t really a big factor in our success, but we want to be our best at the conference championship meet. There’s a little bit of nervousness and a little bit of excitement, but I think we’re in a good position to be pretty successful.”