BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern men's and women's swimming and diving teams both captured another Southern Athletic Association title on Saturday night, the third-consecutive conference crown for the women and the men's fifth-straight SAA championship.
Both Panther squads led the field heading into Saturday's final day of competition and neither looked back once they got into the pool.
The women finished the championships with 922 points, 89 points more than second-place Rhodes; the men ended the championships with 889 points, 243 points more than the runner-up Rhodes.
On the final day of competition, the BSC women won two championship finals: the 100-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Junior Becca Erwin (Duluth, Ga./Duluth HS) won the 100-yard freestyle with an NCAA invite time of 50.76.
Erwin joined teammates Chelsea Chamblee (Boaz, Ala./Boaz HS), Mary Katherine Stewart (Daphne, Ala./Daphne HS) and Anna Grace Pell (Madison, Ala./Bob Jones HS) in BSC's championship-winning 400-yard freestyle relay team, where the Panthers set a new program, meet and SAA record with an invite time of 3:28.47.
The men's team also captured two championship events on the final day. Nico Medina (Hollywood, Fla./American Heritage HS) won the very first men's event of the finals session, the 1650-yard freestyle. Medina finished the mile race in 16:18.81, almost five seconds better than the second-place finisher.
Hayden Henderson (Tupelo, Miss./Tupelo HS) was BSC's other men's individual champion. Henderson won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:05.40.
Over the course of the entire SAA meet, the Panthers, combined, won 15 championship finals out of 40 – eight event championships for the women and seven for the men.
The winning was not over for the Panthers once the last race was finalized, however. Erwin and Medina were named the SAA Swimmers of the Year for the second straight year, with Erwin named the women's Co-Swimmer of the Year alongside Rhodes's Allie Hill.
Freshman Anna Jordan Luth (Pensacola, Fla./Booker T. Washington HS) was named the SAA Women's Newcomer of the Year and freshman James Hughes (Huntsville, Ala./Grissom HS) earned Men's Diver of the Year honors.
Head coach Toby Wilcox was named the SAA Women's Coach of the Year.
2019 SAA Swimming and Diving Champions
Women's 800-yard freestyle relay: Mary Katherine Stewart, Anna Jordan Luth, Mary Beth Ronne, Becca Erwin – (7:33.06)
Women's 200-yard freestyle relay: Chelsea Chamblee, Mary Beth Ronne, Mary Katherine Stewart, Becca Erwin – (1:35.67)
Women's 500-yard freestyle: Becca Erwin – (4:49.51)
Men's 500-yard freestyle: Nico Medina – (4:33.57)
Women's 400-yard medley relay: Mary Katherine Stewart, Becca Erwin, Katherine Pepe, Chelsea Chamblee – (3:53.29)
Men's 400-yard medley relay: Nico Medina, Hayden Henderson, Wil Retersdorf, Ryan Emili – (3:24.76)
Men's 1-meter dive: James Hughes – (517.3)
Women's 400-yard IM: Anna Jordan Luth – (4:31.21)
Women's 200-yard freestyle: Becca Erwin – (1:48.72)
Men's 100-yard breaststroke: Hayden Henderson – (56.37)
Men's 3-meter dive: James Hughes – (521.25)
Men's 1650-yard freestyle: Nico Medina – (16:18.81)
Women's 100-yard freestyle: Becca Erwin – (50.76)
Men's 200-yard breaststroke: Hayden Henderson – (2:05.40)
Women's 400-yard freestyle relay: Chelsea Chamblee, Mary Katherine Stewart, Anna Grace Pell, Becca Erwin – (3:28.47)
SAA Women's Co-Swimmer of the Year: Becca Erwin
SAA Men's Swimmer of the Year: Nico Medina
SAA Women's Newcomer of the Year: Anna Jordan Luth
SAA Men's Diver of the Year: James Hughes
SAA Women's Coach of the Year: Toby Wilcox