by Garrett Simpson
Friday Results / Scores (PDF)
DAVIDSON, N.C. – The men's and women's swim team traveled to Davidson, North Carolina for their final meet before the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Championships in February.
On the women's side, it was a quad meet between host Davidson, Gardner-Webb, Georgia Southern, and Liberty. The men competed in a dual meet against the Wildcats.
Friday night's session was the first of two, as the meet will conclude Saturday.
In the first race of the evening's quad meet, the Flames of Liberty took the victory in a time 1:45.83, while Gardner-Webb finished fourth in a 1:49.23. The Lady 'Dawgs lost a tight race to Davidson and just out-touched the team from Georgia Southern.
In the women's 1,000-yard freestyle, sophomore Morgan VanderSchaaf fought off a fierce comeback from Davidson's Leah Hubert to secure valuable second-place points in 10:38.28, while Kate Arceneaux finished fifth in a time of 11:01.27.
Junior Kelsey Williams and Freshman Lara Siebrecht were the top finishers for the Lady 'Dawgs in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing in eighth and ninth respectively. Sophomore Mackenzie Ropka led the team in the 50-yard freestyle, touching eighth in 25.34.
Captain London Schumacher swam a tough race for the 'Dawgs and secured crucial points while falling just short of first by .18 touching in 2:09.04. Siebrecht and Sophomore Alina Gersib were the top finishers in the 100-yard backstroke, touching in fifth (1:00.02) and sixth (1:00.18).
Junior Lili Toth led the charge for the Bulldogs in the 100-yard breaststroke, swimming a 1:07.80 which was good enough for seventh place. Sophomore Tessa Walsh swam a great race in the 200 yard butterfly, touching second with a 2:08.15.
The final race of the night was the 400 yard freestyle, where the Lady 'Dawgs finished fifth in a 3:37.70.
In the first race of the evening, the 'Dawgs took the lead and never looked back thanks to a strong first leg from Senior Connor Bos, who touched in 23.05 seconds. Bos was followed by splits of 25.70 from Freshman Jordan Mintz, 23.85 from Junior Andrew Knudsen, and 20.86 from Senior Hal McKay.
Davidson bounced back from a tough loss in the 200 medley with a 1-2 finish in the 1,000 yard freestyle. Peter Wakeley and Brandon Chason put up a tough fight for the 'Dawgs and came up just short, finishing in second and third.
The Wildcats maintained their momentum with a sweep of the first four places in the 200-yard freestyle, but the 'Dawgs battled back as freshman Zach Dingfield tied with Davidson's Chris Cardwell for first place in the 50-yard freestyle. Dingfield and Cardwell touched in a time of 21.76 with Hal McKay just behind in 21.78.
Freshman Elliot Gayken secured a much needed win for the Bulldogs by overcoming a two-second deficit in the second half of the race. Gayken touched in 1:56.34 to secure first place points.
In the 100-yard backstroke, Connor Bos left no question who the best backstroker in the pool was as he used an explosive front half to secure the victory in 50.30 – more than three seconds in front of the next competitor. He was followed by teammates Andrew Linzie and Josh Clarke as they finished 3rd and 5th respectively.
Freshman Jordan Mintz kept the momentum going for Gardner-Webb with a victory in the 100-yard breaststroke. Mintz used a strong second half to overtake Davidson's Taylor Willenbring touching in a 57.63. Senior Josh Hanson secure a fourth place finish, touching in 1:00.95.
Davidson regained momentum in the 200-yard butterfly, touching 1-2-3 over the Bulldogs, but Gardner-Webb finished off the night with a bang – as the 400 yard freestyle relay team of Zach Dingfield, Connor Bos, Andrew Linzie, and Hal McKay took the victory in .21 over the Wildcats. Dingfield and Bos got the 'Dawgs off to a strong lead, while Linzie and McKay narrowly fought off a fierce comeback from the Davidson team. McKay overcame a slight deficit on the final lap with an explosive finish to secure the victory.
The meet will conclude tomorrow with the second session beginning at 11:00 am.