ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Carson-Newman swim teams capped the best Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championships in program history on Saturday night at the Rock Hill Aquatic Center with two top-five finishes, five All-BMC plaudits and three new school records.
The Eagles finished the 18th-annual BMC Championships with 23 All-BMC honors and reset 13 school records.
The 17th-ranked women's team finished third, which is the best finish for the program, while the men's team received its first top-five finish in the program's three years with a fifth-place ranking.
"I am very proud to see our program have this kind of success in just three years," coach Paige McCord said. "Winning a trophy at conference and being in the top-10 nationally has been a goal since the very beginning.
"It is hard to believe how far we have come, although I always knew we would do great things if we trusted in Christ, built the program with the right people and worked diligently with integrity. We are celebrating tonight."
Freshman Olivia Winkler (Marietta, Ga.) placed sixth in the 200 Back and picked up All-BMC honors with a time of 2:04.73. Junior Amanda Henderson (Bartlett, Tenn.) placed 11th in the event while freshman Ksenia Naydenova (Stary Oskol, Belgorod Oblast, Russia) finished in 13th-place.
Sophomore Margaret Stansberry (Knoxville, Tenn.) recorded her sixth All-BMC swim of the week with a second-place finish in the 100 Free; Stansberry swam a 50.61 second time during Saturday night's finals. The Knoxville-native set the school record during the prelims with a time of 50.27 seconds. Junior Samantha Starnes (Knoxville, Tenn.) and freshman Lisa Postma (Leiden, Holland) tied for 11th in the event with an identical time of 52.29 seconds.
Freshman Maggie Melhorn (Knoxville, Tenn.) placed sixth in the 200 Breast with a time of 2:18.35 to garner All-BMC honors; Melhorn missed resetting her school record in the event by three-tenths of a second. Junior Nancy Claire Smith (Franklin, Tenn.) placed seventh with a swim of 2:21.63. Freshman Alexandra Nuyianes (Clearwater, Fla.) placed 15th.
Sophomore Lexy Raybon (Sarasota, Fla.) recorded a third-place finish in the 200 Fly and reset her school record by one-hundredth of a second with a time of 2:03.68. Raybon also received All-BMC plaudits. Sophomore Courtlyn Fields (Anderson, S.C.) placed ninth with a time of 2:07.46.
The 400 Free Relay team of Melhorn, Stansberry, Postma and Starnes reset the school record with a third-place time of 3:26.89 to garner All-BMC honors. The 400 Free Relay team capped a perfect week for the women's team, which received All-BMC plaudits in every relay.
Sophomore Davis Vincent (Loganville, Ga.) placed eighth in the 200 Back to lead the men with a swim of 1:50.99. Freshmen Seth Hughes (Kingston, Tenn.) and Carson Knox (Plant City, Fla.) placed 18th and 19th respectively, while freshman Robert Griswold (Freehold, N.J.) recorded a 24th-place finish.
Freshman Jonny Goss (Heiskell, Tenn.) led the Eagles with a ninth-place finish in the 100 Free with a time of 46.00 seconds. Junior Sam Schechter (Knoxville, Tenn.) and freshman Garrett Stelling (Eads, Tenn.) finished in 17th and 18th-place, respectively.
Freshman Ryland Darling (Arlington, Tenn.) placed 12th in the 200 Breast with a swim of 2:05.71. Sophomore Landis Cranford (Greensboro, N.C.) finished closely behind his teammate with a 16th-place showing.
Junior Josh Grover (Villa Rica, Ga.) placed eighth in the 200 Fly with a time of 1:53.69. Junior Tommy Bourgeois (Kingsport, Tenn.) placed 13th.
The 400 Frelay Team consisting of freshman Jon Lancaster (Ringgold, Ga.), Stelling, Schechter and Goss placed fourth with a time of 3:02.83.
The Eagles now await their fate in regards to the NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships. For updates on the Carson-Newman swim programs, check cneagles.com and on Twitter at @cnathletics or @CNswim.
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