National Championships underway in Indiana for Eagles

INDIANAPOLIS, IN. – Carson-Newman men's and women's swimming teams kicked off day one prelims of the NCAA Division II National Championships in Indianapolis, IN with pair of school records and finalists in the women's and men's 50 Free, men's 1000 free, and women's 200 Medley Relay Wednesday morning.

"Typically, the first swims of the meet have some nerves," Coach Jordan Taylor said. "But also, they just kind of move the cobwebs away and get the body primed and ready to race, we saw that with a lot of people this morning."

Each day, the top sixteen finishers of each swim move on to the finals in the evening and are split in half with the top eight competing in the A-Final and the rest in the B-Final.

The day started with freshman Meredith Ginn (Ocala, Fla.) and junior Caleb Howell (Easley, S.C.) both in the 200 IM Prelims. Ginn finished at No. 31 with a time of 2:05.60 while Howell set a school record with his 11th place finish at 1:47.79.

"Caleb got a school record on the 200 IM," Taylor said. "But unfortunately, he finished 11th and not 8th, just a couple tenths of a second make the difference between a good swim and a great swim on that event. I'm good with the start, I think he'll go faster tonight and show up well in the B-Final."

After the 200 was the 50 Free with seniors Elly Culp (West End, N.C.) and Lisa Postma (Leiden, Holland) competing for the women and Seth Hughes (Kingston, Tenn.) for the men. Culp and Postma both tied for 16th place finishing with the time of 23.36 and went head to head in a swim-off to determine who would move on. Culp edged Postma with a new time of 23.19 and will compete in the B-Finals this evening. 

"Elly went her best time in the prelims but even faster in the swim-off with Lisa, and we saw some good swims on the relay."

The women's 200 Medley Relay consisted of Culp, Postma, Ginn and Cecilie Jensen (Copenhagen, Denmark). They finished in 15th place moving them to the B-Final this evening with a time of 1:43.93. The men's relay was made up of Hughes, Howell, Chad Andoljsek (Slovenia) and Jonathan Goss (Heiskell, Tenn.). They finished in 20th place with a time of 1:30.05.

After the relays, the 1000 Free began with Marcelo Figueiredo (Porto Alegre, Brazil) competing for the men. Grabbing a school record, he finished in 8th place with a time of 9:17.33.

"Watched another school record today with Marcello on the 1000 Free," Taylor said. "Again, some real good positives to come from that which will take him in well for the 200-Freestyle tomorrow and 400-Medley relay but also leading forward towards the 500 Freestyle as he gets into the Championship further." 

"So, I think overall, it's just a solid morning and we'll get better swims tonight. The ones who didn't go today you can tell are itching to get in the water and start racing tomorrow." 

The finals of the races today will begin at 6 p.m. and competition will continue into day two on Thursday.

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