ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Carson-Newman swim team broke five school records and picked up eight more All-Bluegrass Mountain Conference plaudits during Friday night's BMC Championship finals at the Rock Hill Aquatic Center in Rock Hill, S.C.
The 17th-ranked women's team remained in third-place in the team competition after the third day of competition and trail two of the top-five teams in the nation in Queens (N.C.) and Wingate. The men's team fell from third to fourth after three days but it is still on pace to record its best finish at the BMC Championships.s
"The meet has been a breakthrough for the Carson-Newman swim program," coach Paige McCord said. "Their hard work and commitment for all three years is paying dividends now. They have earned their success tonight. We had an impressive nights at finals."
The men's 200 Free Relay team registered the best finish by an Eagle during the week with a second-place finish with a time of 1:21.92. The relay team comprised of freshman Jonny Goss (Heiskell, Tenn.), Pijus Mackevicius (Kaunas, Lithuania), freshman Garrett Stelling (Eads, Tenn.) and junior Sam Schechter (Knoxville, Tenn.) missed the Carson-Newman record by just over one second.
Freshman Jon Lancaster (Ringgold, Ga.) set a new Carson-Newman record in the 400 Individual Medley with a time of 4:01.75 and placed 10th. Junior Josh Grover (Villa Rica, Ga.) followed his teammate closely in 12th-place with a swim of 4:02.82.
Mackevicius and sophomore Ryan Burcham (Lenoir City, Tenn.) each picked up All-BMC plaudits in the 100 Fly. Mackevicius placed fourth in the event with a time of 49.32 seconds, while Burcham placed sixth with a swim of 49.45 seconds. Sophomore Andrew Wheeler (Newnan, Ga.) placed 16th after swimming the event in 51.92 seconds.
Junior Tommy Bourgeois (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Stelling finished in 17th and 18th-place respectively in the 200 Free. Bourgeois swam the team's fastest time in the event with a time of 1:41.70, while Stelling finished behind his teammate with a swim of 1:42.72.
Freshman Ryland Darling (Arlington, Tenn.) placed 10th in the 100 Breast with a swim of 56.28 seconds; Darling missed the school record by six-tenths of a second. Sophomore Landis Cranford (Greensboro, N.C.) placed 15th in 57.75 seconds.
Freshman Seth Hughes (Kingsport, Tenn.) placed seventh in the 100 Back after swimming the event in 50.71 seconds. Sophomore Davis Vincent (Loganville, Ga.) placed 10th in the event with a time of 51.40 seconds.
The women's team opened the evening with its fourth All-BMC accolade in a relay. The 200 Free Relay consisting of sophomore Margaret Stansberry (Knoxville, Tenn.), freshman Lisa Postma (Leiden, Holland), freshman Elly Culp (West End, N.C.) and junior Samantha Starnes (Knoxville, Tenn.) set a new school with a time of 1:33.74 and a third-place finish. The relay team missed an automatic A-cut time by just over one second.
Freshman Olivia Winkler (Marietta, Ga.) set a new school record with a fourth-place finish and an All-BMC honor with a time of 4:28.64 in the 400 Individual Medley. The freshman obliterated the previous school by nearly three seconds. Junior Amanda Henderson (Bartlett, Tenn.) placed eighth in the event with a swim of 4:35.00. Previous school record holder Nancy Claire Smith (Franklin, Tenn.) finished in 11th-place while freshman Alexandra Nuyianes (Clearwater, Fla.) finished in 14th.
Culp picked up her second All-BMC accolade of the evening in the 100 Fly with a fourth-place showing. She finished with a time of 55.78 seconds, which is the second-quickest time in school history. Sophomore Courtlyn Fields (Anderson, S.C.) placed 15th with a swim of 58.20 seconds. Starnes and freshman Emily Loftis (Hendersonville, Tenn.) finished in 17th and 18th-place, respectively.
Stansberry placed second and reset her own school record with a time of 1:49.10 to finish second; the sophomore missed the BMC title in the event by one-tenth of a second. Postma finished 12th with a swim of 1:55.02.
Sophomore Maggie Melhorn (Knoxville, Tenn.) picked up another All-BMC honor in the 100 Breast with a sixth-place finish with a time of 1:04.07; during Friday's prelims, the sophomore reset her own school record with a time of 1:03.89. Nuyianes and freshman Bethany McNabb (Newport, Tenn.) placed 13th and 14th, while freshman Gillian Cline (Estill Springs, Tenn.) finished in 16th-place.
Freshman Ksenia Naydenova (Stary Oskol, Belgorod Oblast, Russia) placed 12th in the 100 Back with a time of 58.97 seconds; Naydenova swam her career-best time in the prelims with a swim of 58.38 seconds. Loftis finished three-tenths of a second behind her classmate for a 14th-place finish in a swim of 59.24 seconds.
The final day of the BMC Championships begins on Saturday at 10 a.m. with the prelims and the fourth-day finals starting at 6 p.m.
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