by Garrett Simpson
WILMINGTON, N.C. – Gardner-Webb traveled to the Port City on Saturday, with the Runnin' Bulldogs topping UNC Asheville on the women's side and dropping both matchup with UNC Wilmington at Seahawks Natatorium.
London Schumacher captured three individual victories in the 200 yard butterfly, 500 yard freestyle, and 200 yard individual medley to lead the lady 'Dawgs Saturday. She was accompanied with victories from Morgan VanderSchaaf (1650 Freestyle), Alina Gersib (100 Backstroke), and Lili Toth (200 freestyle) as Women's Swimming took down UNC Asheville (195-67) and fell to UNC Wilmington (168-126).
The Seahawks started out the meet strong by finishing 1-2 in the first event of the meet, the 200 yard medley relay. The Runnin' Bulldogs finished 3-4-5, sweeping the points against UNC Asheville.
Morgan VanderSchaaf and Lauren Oglesby got the 'Dawgs back on track with a 1-2 finish in the longest event of the meet, the 1650 freestyle. VanderSchaaf notched her first collegiate victory with a time of 17:32.68, while Oglesby touched second with a 17:37.21.
Gardner-Webb kept the momentum going thanks to victories by Junior Lili Toth and Sophomore Alina Gersib in the 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard backstroke, respectively. Toth touched first in a time of 1:54.69, while Gersib took the victory in a time of 59.88.
The Seahawks fought back by taking first and second in the 100 yard breaststroke, winning in 1:03.84, but the 'Dawgs regained momentum thanks to London Schumacher and Tessa Walsh finishing 1-3 in the 200 yard butterfly. Schumacher took her first victory of the day with a time of 2:07.11, while Walsh finished in 2:07.25.
Wilmington separated themselves after taking consecutive victories in the 50 yard freestyle, 1 meter diving, 100 yard freestyle, 200 Backstroke, and 200 Breaststroke. Gardner-Webb had strong performances in these events by Kelsey Williams (2nd, 100 free), Spencer Lucas (2nd, 200 back), and Toth (3rd, 200 breast), using these finishes to continue their dominant performance over Asheville.
The Runnin' Bulldogs bounced back as Schumacher took her second victory of the day in the 500 yard freestyle with a winning time of 5:08.43. Wilmington took a tight race in the 100 yard butterfly, with Tessa Walsh and Adel Kiss finishing second and third respectively for Gardner-Webb.
Schumacher completed her hat trick by touching first in the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 2:09.42, while teammates Toth and Lucas finished 2nd and 4th respectively. The Lady 'Dawgs finished off the day with a 2nd place finish in the 200 yard freestyle relay, falling to UNC Wilmington's 1:37.87 and topping UNC Asheville's 1:42.29.
Gardner-Webb will be back in action next Friday and Saturday in Davidson, North Carolina as they take on the Wildcats as well as conference foes Georgia Southern University and Liberty University.
The Seahawks started the day on a high note and never looked back as they took first and second in the day's first race, the 200 yard medley relay. This momentum was briefly interrupted by a victory for the 'Dawgs in the 1650 freestyle with Peter Wakeley touching in a time 16:13.02 followed by freshman Brandon Chason in third with a 16:47.08.
The next five events were all tight struggles with UNC Wilmington coming out on top. While this was a tough blow, the 'Dawgs saw gritty performances from Hal McKay (2nd) and Mason Hutchinson (3rd) in the 200 yard freestyle, Connor Bos (2nd) in the 100 yard backstroke, as well as Jordan Mintz (2nd) and Elliot Gayken (3rd) in the 100 yard breaststroke.
Freshman Zach Dingfield notched a victory for Gardner-Webb in the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 47.26. This event was followed up by a series of tough losses for the 'Dawgs, as John Baker (200 backstroke), Gayken (200 breaststroke), and Hutchinson (500 freestyle) all finished second by narrow margins in their respective races.
Wilmington took victories in the final three events of the day to seal off their victory over the Runnin' Bulldogs.
The Bulldog men will be back in action this Friday and Saturday as they travel to Davidson to take on the Wildcats in their final dual meet of the season.
HEAD COACH MIKE SIMPSON
"Just like last week, we had a ton of great races throughout the session. It's exactly what we needed heading into conference. Honestly, I thought we would be a tad sharper today, but it's nothing that rest won't cure. The team did a great job of immediately bouncing back from getting 1-2ed on the opening medley relays. We were really proud of how the kids battled back in the mile with Morgan getting her first collegiate win and Lauren getting second, as well as Peter and Brandon going 1-3.
"Our relays at both the beginning and end of the meet should have been better. We were not super aggressive like we usually are, and will correct that for next weekend at Davidson"