Dominant day paves way for Eagles' win

Dominant day paves way for Eagles' win

Paige McCord Interview 

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — The men and women's Carson-Newman swim teams took care of business Saturday afternoon in the lone home meet Maddox Pool had to offer this season as the Eagles outmatched the Bellarmine Knights with a combined score of 387-131.

"We love being at home. I think the main thing is the athletes don't have to travel, which is definitely a benefit, and we look forward to having more home meets next year," coach Paige McCord said. "I think the greatest benefit was having the athletes being able to interact with their families."

The 11th-ranked women's team tallied 197 points to go along with the 18th-ranked men's squad's 190 points for a combined dominant showing for Carson-Newman. The two squads only surrendered two combined losses on the day and went on to account for the other 26 victories.

"I think the major thing is that our athletes are on the right mindset right now. They are here on campus, all of their peers have left, and they want to get better," coach Paige McCord said. "When athletes have that type of mindset, the scores are going to take care of themselves."

The only events that the Eagles failed to win were in the men's 1000 Free and the women's 100 Back. Bellarmine's Marc McCormick and Kathryn Vulich were the only Knights to earn first-place finishes for their team on the afternoon.

Three straight first-place showings kicked off the day for Carson-Newman as both the men and women came out on top for the 200 Medley Relay and Lexy Raybon (Sarasota, Fla.) won the women's 1000 Free with an 11:00.69 time. Emily Loftis (Hendersonville, Tenn.), Maggie Melhorn(Knoxville, Tenn.), Elly Culp (West End, N.C.) and Margaret Stansberry (Knoxville, Tenn.) combined for a 1:50.02 time in the 200 Medley Relay while Seth Hughes (Kingston, Tenn.), Garrett Stelling (Eads, Tenn.), Pijus Mackevicius (Kaunas, Lithuania) and Sam Schechter (Knoxville, Tenn.) joined efforts for a 1:35.43 time on the men's side.

Mackevicius and Hughes would go on to pick up victories in the men's 200 Free and 100 Back with 1:46.63 and 51.16 times respectively while Ryan Burcham (Lenoir City, Tenn.) took home a first-place showing in the 200 Fly after accumulating a 1:57.74 time. Schechter would also go on to win two more individual events as the junior All-American won both the 50 and 100 Free withs swims of 20.29 and 45.84 seconds.

Davis Vincent (Loganville, Ga.) won the 200 Back after posting a time of 2:00.92 and Joshua Grover (Villa Rica, Ga.) came out victorious in the 200 Breast with a time of 2:12.00. Grover and Mackevicius picked up more wins in the 200 Individual Medley and 100-yard fly, and freshman Jon Lancaster was atop the leaderboard in the 00-yard fly after posting a time of 4:49.02.

One final victory would be enough for the Eagles' men team as Jonny Gross (Heiskell, Tenn.), Lancaster, Schechter and MacKevicius all teamed up for a  swim of 3:14.23 in the 400 Free Relay.

Jon Lancaster Interview 

For the women, Melhorn and Olivia Winkler (Marietta, Ga.) each picked up two individual victories. Melhorn tallied swims of 1:08.84 and 2:27.47 in the 100 and 200 Breast while Winkler won both the 200 Backstroke and 200 Individual Medley with 2:08.31 and 2:11.56 times in each respective event.

Freshman Lisa Postma (Leiden, Holland) and Kerry Holding (Bacup, Lanchahire U.K.) each picked up wins in the 50 and 200 Free; Postma swam a 24.77 time in the 50 Free while Holding posted a time of 1:57.81 to win the 200 Free. Sophomore Courtlyn Fields (Anderson, S.C.) took home a first-place finish in the 200-yard Fly.

Junior Samantha Starnes (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished the 100 Free in atop the standings following a time of 54.26 seconds and Raybon contributed a 5:21.28 time in the 500 Free to win the event. Culp also had a strong showing in the 100 Fly as the freshman won her first competitive individual race with a time of 59.99 second.

The Carson-Newman women also finished the meet on a high note by finishing first in the 400 Free Relay. Postma, Culp, Stansberry and Starnes all teamed up for a 3:41.78 finish and completed the event seven seconds faster than the second-place finishers, which was Carson-Newman's B team.

Kerry Holding Interview 

"In our sport, we focus almost everything towards conference [meet]," McCord said. "We are putting everything we can into swimming hard, lifting hard and just trying to get into the best shape we can. These athletes have really done everything they need to be doing up until this point and we are going to just keep adding on more and more. These meets are helpful to see how far the training has come, but I think the main thing is that it shows us how good we can be after such a good performance today."

Carson-Newman will take about a month off for the Christmas holidays before diving back into action on Jan. 16th for a tri-meet against Emory & Henry and King in Kingsport, Tenn.