The Ashland University swimming & diving teams each finished in fifth place at the GLIAC Championships, which wrapped up Saturday (Feb. 17) at the Jenison High School Aquatic Center.
The AU women moved up three spots from last year's eighth-place finish while the men climbed one spot from sixth to fifth.
"It's been like a night and day change from last year," said second-year head coach Ron Allen. "We've really seen the team buy into the system we've put in and this week we saw the payoffs. We had twice as many people getting into the top 16 and top eight over last year. We got the momentum rolling for this program going into the future."
Allen could not have been more pleased with the way his team came together and achieved their successes.
"It wasn't even the individual swimmers," he said. "It was the team camaraderie, the yelling, cheering and support for each other. That support helps create an atmosphere that can take people to the next level. We had our team move up a notch and a lot of that is due to the high energy of the team."
On Saturday, five Eagles grabbed podium spots in individual events and senior Grace Reichard reached her third NCAA "B" standard of the meet.
Junior Daniel Callis had the highest placement for the Eagles on the day, coming in fourth place in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:01.19. He missed the NCAA "B" cut by just 0.31 seconds.
Reichard's "B" swim also came in the 200 breaststroke as she came in fifth place with a time of 2:19.70. She also met the standard in the 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle earlier in the meet.
The final AU swimmer to rank in the top eight on Saturday was freshman Dylan Nasser, who finished in sixth place with a time of 1:50.37 in the 200 backstroke. His time missed the NCAA provisional standard by just 0.35 seconds.
Other Ashland scorers included junior Erin Staley (1,650 freestyle, 14th), senior Maddie Olander (1,650 freestyle, 16th), Grady (100 freestyle, 16th), junior Chris Martucci (1,650 freestyle, 15th), senior Christopher Georgiadis (1,650 freestyle, 16th), Goeke (200 backstroke, 15th) and junior Matthew Bernsdorf (200 breaststroke, 12th).
Overall, the Eagles had six NCAA "B" cuts at the GLIAC Championships, up from two last season. Reichard had three, Nasser had two (200 IM, 400 IM) and Doepke had one (1,000 freestyle).