CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – The Birmingham-Southern men's and women's swimming and diving teams competed at the Wabash Invitational over the weekend, beating out the competition to win the meet.
On the men's side, Birmingham-Southern won the meet with 2347.5 points, giving the Panthers a big cushion over the second-place finisher. The women's team won with 2097 points, winning by over 100 points.
On day one of the Wabash Invitational, BSC came out of the gate with a third-place finish in the men's 200-yard free relay with a time of 1:24.54.
In the next event, the women's 500-yard freestyle, Panthers Mary Katherine Stewart (Daphne, Ala./Daphne HS), Becca Erwin (Duluth, Ga./Duluth HS), and Mary Miller Goldberg (Memphis, Tenn./St. George's Independent School) finished third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. In the same event, Nico Medina (Davie, Fla./American Heritage HS) took first place for the men's team with a time of 4:37.76. Joe Swing (Huntsville, Ala./Huntsville HS) and Charlie Fountain (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview HS) were right behind Medina, taking second and third in the event.
Chase Bolding (Panama City Beach, Fla./Wyoming) was the next Panther to win a final, placing first in the men's 200-yard IM with a time of 1:52.56, setting a new meet record in the process.
Other notable performances on day one were a third-place and fourth-place finish by Connor Schwartz (New Orleans, La./Jesuit HS) and Sheridan Harder (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain HS) in the men's 50-yard freestyle. And the BSC women's 400-yard medley relay team – consisting of Stewart, Erwin, Anna Jordan Luth (Pensacola, Fla./Booker T. Washington HS) and Sabrina Morgavi (Madison, Ala./Bob Jones HS) – came in second in the finals with a time of 3:56.68.
At the end of the opening day, Birmingham-Southern men were in first place with 642 points and the women were in second behind Davenport University with 560 points.
To start day two of competition, the Panthers got right back to the podium in two relay events with both teams taking gold in their respective 800-yard freestyle relays. The women's relay team of Stewart, Luth, Erwin, and Mary Beth Ronne (Athens, Tenn./McMinn County HS) came close to setting a new meet record in the event – the record the four own from last season's meet – finishing with a time of 7:45.59.
The men's team in the 800-free relay – Schwartz, Medina, Bolding and Ryan Emili (Anchorage, Alaska/Cal Lutheran) – took first place with a time of 6:52.29.
The Panthers continued to perform well and win in the individual events on day two, as well. Medina and Erwin won their respective 200-yard freestyle races while Bolding and Fountain set new meet records in their events. Bolding's meet record-breaking swim came in the men's 100-yard fly where he finished with a time of 50.04. Meanwhile, Fountain cruised to a new meet record in the men's 400-yard IM, finishing in 4:04.9 and smashing the previous meet record by three seconds.
Other notable performances on Saturday were second-place finishes by Bolding and Birch Ely (Birmingham, Ala./Vanderbilt) in their respective 100-yard breaststroke events and a second-place finish by James Hughes (Huntsville, Ala./Grissom HS) in the men's 1-meter dive.
The men's and women's teams maintained their positions in the points standings at the end of day two. The BSC men led with 1316.5 points while the women stayed in second place with 1096 points.
On the third and final day of competition, the Panthers kept rolling. Hughes, who took second place in the 1-meter dive, got BSC started with a win in the men's 3-meter dive with a score of 431.95.
Charlie Fountain was the next Panther to take the top of the podium, winning the men's 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:09.73, winning by nine seconds.
Erwin picked up a first-place finish in the women's 100-yard freestyle on Sunday, too, setting a new meet record with her time of 51.71. Chase Bolding also set a new meet record, taking first place in the men's 200-yard fly. In the finals, Bolding's time of 1:51.6 set the new record by beating his previous time of 1:52.96, which broke the record in the prelims. His time set a new program record, as well.
Other notable performances by the Panthers on Sunday came in the form of multiple second and third-place finishes throughout the meet. Sheridan Harder and Ryan Emili went second and third in the men's 100-yard IM while Anna Jordan Luth placed third in the women's 100-yard IM, Mary Katherine Stewart took second place in the women's 200-yard backstroke, Hayden Henderson (Tupelo, Miss./Tupelo HS) finished second in the men's 200-yard breaststroke, and the women's 400-yard freestyle relay team came in second place in their final race.
BSC's performances on Sunday were enough to keep the men's team's standing in first place with 2347.5 points while the women surged to the top to win the meet with 2097 points.
With the Wabash Invitational serving as the final meet of the calendar year for the Panthers, BSC will go into 2020 with momentum after the victory. BSC's next meet will be at Sewanee on Friday, Jan. 10.
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