Eagles Dominate; 5-1 In Weekend Meets

Jack Magruder

Over the weekend the Georgia Southern University swimming and diving team dominated the competition away, returning home with a weekend record of 5-1.

The Eagles are now 11-3 in the season.

On Friday evening, the GSU swimming team handed Gardner-Webb University its first dual-meet loss, taking home the win with a score of 104-101 after clinching the final event.

After placing second in the 400-medley relay, the Eagles won three straight events. Sophomore Amber Juncker started off that streak in the 400 individual medleys with a finishing time of 4:35.13.

Freshman Kylee Parsons added a first place finish of her own in the 200 freestyle finishing in 1:55.29, followed by sophomore Elaina Lanson who won her first event of the day, finishing the 50 freestyle in 24.41.

The Eagles were able to sweep the top three in the 400 medley when sophomore Rikki Babuka 4:39.79 and senior Lindsay Mullican 4:40.13 finished third and fourth respectively.

The next five events became a back and forth battle as the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs claimed the 200 individual medley, butterfly and backstroke.

The Eagles answered back as Lanson and Parsons once again showed their dominance in freestyle events, claiming wins in the 100 free (Lanson, 53.67) and 500 free (Parsons, 5:09.63). The Eagles claimed number two finishes in both of those events as well with junior Devan White finishing right behind Lanson in 54.58 and Juncker touching the plate a few seconds after Parsons in 5:11.07.

The Eagles went into the final event trailing Gardner-Webb, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs were not able to hold onto the lead.

The Eagles 400 freestyle relay team outraced the Runnin’ Bulldogs to claim the final points needed for the win. Parsons, freshman Christina Moran, freshman Becca Alves and Lanson teamed up to win the final event of the day with a 3:34.14 finish, good for a new Gardner-Webb pool record and an Eagles win.

On Saturday, the GSU swimming and diving team had a successful final rehearsal against six different conference opponents in a dual meet hosted by Davidson.

The Eagles bested four out of five conference opponents, losing only to Liberty University, last year’s Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Championship runner-up.

The Eagles beat Davidson College 151-149, Radford University 234-65, Howard University 250-43 and North Carolina A&T 254-34, but lost to Liberty University 165-129.

“It was certainly a tough and emotional two days. We were not very sharp through the first seven events, but we rallied and started to compete for each other and we were much better,” head coach Nathan Kellogg said in a news release.

Juncker led the Eagles, claiming those two wins of the day in the 1000 freestyle, 10:39.19 and 500 freestyle, 5:10.96. Parsons finished second both events, touching the plate in times of 10:44.70 and 5:11.48 respectively.

More second place finishes came from Moran in the 200 backstroke finishing in 2:06.23, junior Sara Meisenhelder in the one-meter dive with a score of 243.05 and Lanson in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.38.

Meisenhelder and Lanson both added third place finishes to their scores in the three-meter dive with a score of 255.05 and 100 free, finishing in 53.98.

Junior Megan Ostrom swam the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.53 and the 200 breaststroke in 2:26.57, good for two third place finishes. Other Eagles finishing third were sophomore Sarah Schwartz in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:10.91 and Alves in the 200 individual medley, finishing in 2:11.85.

The Eagles now have a little less than three weeks without competition and will turn focus to the CCSA Championships on Feb. 21 through the 23.