ASHLAND, Ohio – The AU women's 200 freestyle relay won its second straight national championship in the 200 freestyle relay on Thursday (March 10) at the Palo Alto Natatorium in San Antonio.
The squad of sophomore Julie Widmann (Littleton, Colo./Heritage), senior Kristyn Benter (Big Prairie, Ohio/East Central), sophomore Mary Cargill (Wadsworth, Ohio) and senior Allison Morgan (Strongsville, Ohio) touched the pad with a time of 1:32.08 – more than a full second better than their previous team record.
AU came in as the second seed in the race behind Wayne State. The Eagles finished 0.03 seconds ahead of Drury. Wayne State clocked in third. Ashland earned 40 points with the win.
As a team through 20 events, the AU women are in third place with 152 points, behind Drury and Wayne State.
It is the fourth national championship in the AU women's history. The 200 freestyle relay won the national title last year with a time of 1:32.88. Widmann and Morgan were a part of that team along with sophomore Rachel Ausdenmoore (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) and Jenn Knight.
Also in 1998, Jamie McDaniel won the national crown in the 50 and 100 freestyle races.
With the national championship swim as the first race of the finals session, the Eagles also had a couple other solid finishes.
The 400 medley relay team was sixth with a time of 3:48.52, picking up 26 points. That squad had Widmann, junior Maura Anderson (Lakewood, Ohio), freshman Gabriela Vergugo Arzaluz (Chihuahua, Mexico) and Cargill.
Anderson earned the Eagles 13 points with a sixth-place finish in the finals of the 100 butterfly in a time of 55.80 seconds.
On the men's side on Thursday (March 10) night, the Eagles had three races earning points. The men are 13th at the meet with 61.5 team points.
The 400 medley relay squad of senior Matt Cook (Olmsted Falls, Ohio), sophomore Cheyne Fisher (Durban, South Africa/Westville), senior Brian Worhatch (Youngstown, Ohio/Boardman) and sophomore Tyler Bailey (Westlake, Ohio/University School) finished with a time of 3:16.81. The team finished ninth in the race for 18 points.
The Eagles also had two top 13 finishers in the 200 freestyle race. Freshman Alex Sheil (Sydney, Australia/Trinity) was 12th with a time of 1:39.39. He was seeded 14th entering the meet. Bailey tied for 13th in the finals with a time of 1:39.82. The pair combined to pick up 8.5 points.
The national championships continue on Friday (March 11) and Saturday (March 12) with preliminaries starting at 10:30 a.m. with the finals at 6 p.m.
With nearly half the meet over, following are the team standings through 20 events:
- Drury – 267
- Wayne State – 176
- ASHLAND – 152
- UC-San Diego – 151
- Clarion – 125
- Drury – 316
- Grand Canyon – 172.5
- UC-San Diego – 162
- Wayne State – 160
- Bridgeport – 128