ASHLAND, Ohio – Heading into this week's NCAA Swimming and Diving National Championships, Ashland coach Paul Graham stressed the importance of peaking at the right time in preparation for the high-stakes meet. The Eagles are certainly doing that, posting their fastest times to date at the Palo Alto Natatorium in San Antonio.
The AU women rank fifth (190 points) after three days of competition, while the men's squad is in 11th place (117.5 points). Both are in position to climb a little higher in those rankings on the final day of the meet on Saturday (March 12).
On Friday (March 11), the AU women had two top-7 individual finishers to highlight the evening's finals.
Sophomore Julie Widmann (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) finished third in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.65 seconds. She entered the event ranked fourth in the country, but came away with the bronze medal in the finals, giving the Eagles 16 points.
Junior Maura Anderson (Lakewood, Ohio) was seventh in the 100 breaststroke, also improving her national standing in the meet. She swam in a time of 1:03.82.
The women's 800 freestyle relay team finished 12th nationally, earning AU 10 points with a time of 7:37.04. That team consisted of Widmann, freshman Gabriela Verdugo Arzaluz (Chihuahua, Mexico), Anderson and sophomore Jenna Lindner (Westerville, Ohio/South).
The men placed in five events in Friday's session, piecing together their best overall performance of the meet.
Sophomore Cheyne Fisher (Durban, South Africa/Westville) led the squad by finished third in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 54.26 seconds. That gave the Eagles 16 points. Sophomore Tyler Remmel (Hubertus, Wis./Hartford Union) was 11th in the event, clocking in at 55.96 seconds.
The men's 800 freestyle relay team finished sixth at the meet with a time of 6:39.88. They entered the meet as the seventh seed. The squad consisted of freshmen Alex Sheil (Sydney, Australia/Trinity), Johnny Kleinhenz (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills), sophomore Mauricio Uranga (Chihuahua, Mexico) and sophomore Tyler Bailey (Westlake, Ohio/University School). The sixth-place finish earned AU 26 team points.
The Eagles had two scorers in the 100 backstroke. Senior Matt Cook (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) was 12th with a time of 50.10 seconds. Uranga finished 14th just 0.08 seconds behind his teammate.
There is one more day of competition on Saturday (March 12). Prelims will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the finals held at 6 p.m.
- Drury – 363
- Wayne State – 252
- UC-San Diego – 247
- Clarion – 192
- 5. ASHLAND – 190
- Drury – 463.5
- UC-San Diego – 254
- Wayne State – 220
- Grand Canyon – 208.5
- Wingate – 193