Knights come to Maddox Pool for lone home regular season meet
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The lone home meet of the season for the Carson-Newman swim program has arrived as the Eagles will host the Bellarmine Knights of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Saturday afternoon in Maddox Pool at 1 p.m.
The Knights and Eagles are a lot alike in regards to histories of each program. Bellarmine began its program in 2012 while Carson-Newman began swimming a year later in 2013. Although the two programs have been around for less than five years, they have both seen success. The Knights' best finish in conference is sixth while the Eagles advanced to the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships last season.
"They've got of a lot top-flight swimmers. They are not quite as deep because they are a smaller program, but they should have some good competition, specifically in the distance events and in the Butterfly," coach Paige McCord said. "There times are pretty comparable to us. We're both going to be broken down. It will be some good racing and we are looking forward to it."
Bellarmine enters the meet after a tri-meet with Findlay and Ohio Wesleyan a month ago. The women's team has set one school record this season as Ellen Neltner swam a 2:31.66 in the 200 Breast; her swim would be the fourth-quickest for C-N. The women have won 23 races this season for the Knights. Kathryn Vulich and Olivia Haskins have won 14 of the team's 23 races; Vulich swims the Fly and Back and Haskins swims the Fly and Individual Medley.
The Knights' men's team is led by freshman Evan Shive who has reset the Bellarmine record in both the 100 and 200 Fly. Shive owns the record with a time of 51.53 seconds in the 100 and a swim of 1:56.62 in the 200; neither swim is in the top-three for Carson-Newman. Other Bellarmine men's team members that have won in multiple events include Luke Dobson in the Free and Individual Medley, Trenton Mattingly in the Breast and Backstroke specialist Chris Owens.
In its last swim, Carson-Newman competed against Division I programs at the Georgia Tech Invitational and took home two top-10 finishes. Sophomores Margaret Stansberry (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Ryan Burcham (Lenoir City, Tenn.) each garnered Bluegrass Mountain Conference Swimmer of the Week honors after the meet.
Freshman Jon Lancaster (Ringgold, Ga.), junior Sam Schechter (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Burcham have been three of the top swimmers for the men's team. The trio owns eight of the 16 top times this season. Sophomore Davis Vincent (Loganville, Ga.), freshman Ryland Darling (Arlington, Tenn.), freshman Zeke Carnes (Maryville, Tenn.) and junior Josh Grover (Villa Rica, Ga.) own the other top times.
Stansberry owns four of the Eagles' top swims on the year in the 200 Free, 100 and 200 Back and the 200 Individual Medley. Junior Samantha Starnes (Knoxville, Tenn.), sophomore Maggie Melhorn (Knoxville, Tenn.), sophomore Lexy Raybon (Sarasota, Fla.), junior Nancy Claire Smith (Franklin, Tenn.)and junior Amanda Henderson (Hendersonville, Tenn.) own the other 12 fastest swims. Melhorn reset her school record in the 100 Breast in Atlanta.
Culp had the best swim of her short career during the Georgia Tech meet. She swam her quickest times in the 50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Individual Medley and 100 Fly. Each of her times ranks in the top-three of the team and her swim of 57.66 seconds in the Fly leads the team.
" The key for everyone is putting the work in the pool. We've really been on Elly this entire semester to work on her underwaters and it has showed off in a big way. Lancaster is additionally working on his underwaters and they are coming along; where he has shown is his work ethic and it has shown," McCord said. "They had some good races for us. We've had some other people with best times as well. Carson Knox came up and dropped 17 seconds in the 500 Free. There are a lot of individual stories like that."
Carson-Newman and Bellarmine begin the meet at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon in Maddox Pool. A recap, interviews and full results will be available following the conclusion of the meet.