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Athens, Ga. - Gardner-Webb finaled in 14 individual events and earned Top 3 finishes in both relay events to earn a third place team standing on day one of the 2012 CCSA Championships.

GWU is currently in 3rd place, tallying 212.5 points on Thursday. College of Charleston (275) leads while Davidson (240) is in 2nd place.

The GWU men set themselves up for a successful finals session by getting the job done during morning prelims. Collectively, Gardner-Webb secured a total of 14 finals swims, with 8 of those times placing in the Top 8.

In Thursday night's first event, Gardner-Webb's A 200 Free relay took 3rd place with a time of 1:23.03. Samuel Woods, Cole Hickey, Colin James, and Phil Leonard teamed up to race to a season best time in the event.

Hickey's relay split of 19.98 during the event marked the fastest ever by a Gardner-Webb swimmer.

In the 500 Free, sophomore Sam Wilson (New Bern, N.C.) established a new school record, earning All-CCSA honors with a 3rd place finish in a time of 4:32.44. Wilson lowered his own school record set at last year's CCSA's.

Sophomore Taft Kallam (Randleman, N.C.) grabbed 7th place in 4:44.68 for the Runnin' Bulldogs, giving the team two top 8 finishes in the event. Kallam established a personal best time of 4:40.85 during prelims of the event.

Junior Tyler Nuss (Hamilton, Ohio) won the event's consolation heat, finishing 9th in a personal best time of 4:38.09. Senior Derek Gore (Madison, Ala.) finished 11th in a personal best 4:43.47, and senior Christopher Musco (Fleming Island, Fla.) was 14th for Gardner-Webb in a season best time of 4:45.83.

Gardner-Webb put four swimmers in the Top 8 of the 200 IM just as it did a season ago. Sophomore Jordan Denmark (Raleigh, N.C.) led GWU's charge with a third place finish in a school record time of 1:49.60, earning All-CCSA honors with his performance.

Collin Burchins (Lilburn, Ga.) took 5th place for Gardner-Webb with a time of 1:53.42. The senior set a personal best time of 1:52.72 in prelims, good enough for third all-time for GWU in the event.

Sophomore Phil Leonard (Greenville, S.C.) dropped over six seconds off his personal best to earn a Top 8 finish in his premier CCSA Final, placing 7th in a personal best time of 1:54.16. Junior DJ Hughes (Snellville, Ga.) finished 8th for Gardner-Webb in the event, clocking in at 1:55.85. Hughes set a season best time of 1:53.81 during prelims.

Sophomore Cody Meyers (Mobile, Ala.) moved up to finish 11th in finals. His time of 1:55.69 in the 200 IM marked a personal best.

In the 50 Free, sophomore Cole Hickey (Charlotte, N.C.) set the third GWU school record of the meet with a time of 20.81, earning All-CCSA honors with a 2nd place finish. Hickey became just the second GWU 50 freestyler to ever break the 21 second barrier and became the fastest in program history.

Senior Samuel Woods (Clemson, S.C.) raced to a 8th place finish with a time of 21.64 in the event. The senior recorded the sixth fastest 50 Free time in GWU history during prelims in a personal best time of 21.27.

Colin James and Drew Ellwanger finished 9th and 12th in the event, finishing in 21.32 and 21.79 respectively. James' performance set a new personal best and marked the fourth fastest 50 Free performance all-time by a GWU freshman, while Ellwanger's time also set a new personal best.

Gardner-Webb closed day one with a 2nd place finish in the 400 Medley relay, as Denmark, Ellwanger, Hughes, and Hickey combined to finish in a time of 3:22.69. The quartet's swim was a Gardner-Webb season best, and ranks 2nd fastest all-time for the school.

CCSA Championships will resume tomorrow morning, with Day 2 prelims scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Fans can follow all the action via live video streaming and live results, which can be accessed at the links found above.


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