Swimming earns two conference titles

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Swimming earns two conference titles

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The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams made history in the last three days of the four-day Atlantic 10 Conference Championships in Geneva, Ohio, Feb. 18-20.  They smashed a staggering 12 school records and medaled in several events.  The men finished in fourth place, and the women came in at 11th place.  This is the best the men have ever finished in SLU history.

Sophomore Mina Glenesk started things off for the Bills at the start of the second day, and she won the consolation heat in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:57.47.  Junior Olivia Garrett slid into 16th place in the 50-yard freestyle for the Billikens.  The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Garrett, sophomore Maggie Sheean, junior Bre Anderson and Glenesk came in ninth place.

On day two, sophomore Ryan McCoy began the day by setting a new school record in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:24.84.  In the same race, freshman Grant Gamroth, sophomore Jeremy Goodison and junior Nick Jessee all placed in the consolation heat.  Junior TJ Decker landed in seventh place in the 200-yard IM with a time of 1:51.27.  He was followed by junior Austin Nguyenphu, who came in 12th place.  The team of freshman Brian North, McCoy, and seniors Shane Cano and Brendan Hulseman turned in a sixth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:21.50.

Day three brought just as much excitement and just as many outstanding performances from the Billikens.  The men kicked things off with an impressive third-place finish from Nguyenphu in the 400-yard IM, who swam a time of 3:56.45.  Freshman Isaiah Williams kept the Billikens’ performance consistent with a sixth-place finish (3:58.85) in the same race.  McCoy came out strong yet again in the 100-yard butterfly.  A new school record of 47.72 earned him second place.  Hulseman swam into seventh place with a time of 49.79.  Jessee continued the men’s success in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:39.40 to earn a fourth-place finish.  Decker and senior Jack Kane snuck into the final two spots in the championship heat in the 100-yard breaststroke with times of 55.54 and 55.74, respectively.  Cano broke a record of his own in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 49.34 and a seventh-place ending.  The 400-yard medley relay team of Cano, Decker, McCoy and Hulseman earned fifth place with a time of 3:16.82.

Sophomore Riley Kirby turned in a time of 56.23 on the 100-yard backstroke to earn seventh place for the SLU women’s team.  The team of Kirby, sophomore Nora Gartland, Garrett and sophomore Elaine Mahon came into 10th place in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:50.56.

The women started off on a stronger foot on the fourth and final day of competition.  Glenesk set a new school record for the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 17:12.68.  She tied for seventh place to push the Bills ahead in the standings.  Kirby came out hot again in the 200-yard backstroke to snag seventh place with a time of 2:03.63.  They improved in the relay competition and smashed the school record in the process, getting eighth place in the 400-yard freestyle relay with the team of Garrett, junior Alexa Gross, Mahon and Glenesk (3:26.28).

Goodison answered Glenesk’s new record with one of his own in the same event, the 1650-yard freestyle.  He took an eighth-place finish with a time of 16:00.91.  Cano finished in eighth place in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:50.35.  SLU’s first gold medal of the day came from McCoy in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 44.18.  He also set a new school record for SLU.  Hulseman also competed well in the race, earning fourth place with a time of 45.17.  Nguyenphu surpassed yet another SLU record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:59.88, giving him third place.  Decker was close behind in seventh place with a time of 2:02.62.  The men finished out an impressive day by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 2:59.00, swam by the team of Hulseman, Cano, McCoy and Jessee.