A-10 meet for swimming

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McCoy tops podium, twice

Mark Stahl / Atlantic 10 Conference

Saint Louis University’s swimming and diving team wrapped up its season with the 2015 Atlantic-10 Conference Swimming and Diving Championships that began on Wednesday, Feb. 18, and ended on Saturday, Feb. 21. The men’s team finished in fifth place, earning 419 points, while the women’s team finished in eighth place, with a score of 189 points.

The biggest individual accolade went to freshman Ryan McCoy, who was named the Atlantic-10 Rookie of the Meet for finishing as the highest-scoring freshman, while winning two total gold medals. McCoy is the first Billiken to ever win the award.

 School records broken

Many Billikens also set school records and won A-10 records over the four-day championship meet, beginning with the very first event on the first day. The women’s 200-yard medley relay team, which was composed of Maggie Sheean, Melanie Bataglia, Morgan Peterson and JaLynn Gieseke, set a school record with a time of 1:44.08. The SLU record was good for eighth place overall in the event.

The women continued their strong performances in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:35.93, the second-fastest time in SLU history. The team consisted of Abbey King, Alexa Gross, Mina Glenesk and Whitney Gould.

The men’s team in the 800-yard freestyle relay, which consisted of McCoy, Brendan Huselman, Nick Jessee and Patrick MacArt, demolished the old school record by eight seconds, with a time of

6:35.37, and finished third overall in the event. In addition, McCoy led the 200-yard freestyle, with a time of 1:37.47, meeting an NCAA “B” cutline.

Day two continued with another impressive performance from McCoy, who finished the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:26.59, a school record time, placed third in the event.

The men’s 50-yard freestyle swimmers, Zach Billingsley and Huselman, both placed in the championship heat. Billingsley finished third with a time of 20.26 seconds, while Huselman tied for seventh with a time of 20.93 seconds.

Meanwhile, the women’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Peterson, Olivia Garrett, Sheean, and Gieseke swam the event in a school-record time of 1:34.57, finishing in seventh place. Peterson then swam for second place in the women’s 200-yard IM with a time of 2:01.88.

SLU finished the second day of the conference championships with the men’s 200-yard freestyle team of Pat May, Billingsley, MacArt and Hulseman, whom finished in a time of 1:20.49, breaking a school record they had previously set and placed second in the event.

Day three began with SLU’s first points coming from Austin Nguyenphu, who finished fourth in the 400-yard IM with a time of 3:57.14. Peterson continued the point-scoring trend with a sixth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly, with a time of 55.47.

McCoy then swam for his first gold medal, in the individual 200-yard men’s freestyle, with a time of 1:37.11.  He broke the school record and met the NCAA “B” cut. McCoy’s win in the event marked the first time a Billiken freshman had ever won an A-10 gold medal in an individual event.

Hulseman also made the championship heat of the 200-yard freestyle event, finishing seventh with a time of 1:39.20. Stephen Hansen fell just short of a three-peat in the men’s 100-yard breaststroke, finishing third with a time of 54.96 seconds. Billingsley, in the  100-yard breaststroke, finished sixth with a time of 55.01.

May finished the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 49.91, finishing in eighth place. The men’s 400-yard medley relay squad of May, Billingsley, Hulseman and  McCoy finished third, with a time of 3:16.69.

Day four began with a fifth place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke for Grant Alef, who clocked in at 1:47.61. Billingsley broke his own school record in the men’s 100-yard freestyle with a time of 44.31, good for second place. May took sixth in the  same event, with a time of 45.31.

In the women’s 200-yard breaststroke, Peterson finished second and hit the NCAA “B” cutline with 2:15.43. In the men’s event, Nguyenphu touched the wall in 2:01.46, setting a SLU record by just .06 seconds.

McCoy finished fifth in the men’s 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:48.77, shattering the old school record by three seconds. McCoy

SLU finished the meet with a strong performance in the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay, with the team of Billingsley, May, Hulseman and McCoy winning the event and setting a school record with a time of 2:56.99. The gold medal was McCoy’s second of the meet.

SLU will look to build on this performance next season, which will begin in late September.