The men's swimming and diving team bounced back with a fourth-place finish at the “Big Al” Open while the women's team made an impression in Knoxville, Tenn., at the U.S. Winter National Championships.
The men's first day of competition in Princeton, N.J., was highlighted by a dominant performance in the 200-yard medley relay. The team of junior David Jakl, senior Andrew Wood, senior Philip Gaissert, and junior Andrew Ngan finished with a time of 1:22.59 to capture fifth place.
On Day 2, the men's relay teams again had the strongest performance with the 200 medley relay taking sixth and the 800 freestyle relay taking fifth. The quartet for the 200 medley, which finished with a time of 1:32.84, was comprised of juniors Michael Fox-Moles, Stanley Wong, Kevin Quinn, and Ngan. The 800-yard freestyle relay team of Jakl, first-year Terry Li, sophomore Alex Mango, and first-year Nikita Bondarenko earned a top-five finish with its time of 6:47.97.
Quinn led the way to close out the weekend, finishing third in the championship finals of the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:48.25. Additionally, he managed a sixth-place finish in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:50.75.
Down in Knoxville for nationals, women's swimming celebrated first-year Gabbie Toback's fastest 100 back split in program history, clocking in a time of 54.12. Toback's time managed to break her own record of 54.52, which the rookie set two weeks ago at Uris Pool. The relay team of Toback, first-years Jennifer Shahar and Trudi Patrick (a Spectator sports writer) and junior Mikaila Gaffey were able to land a spot in the top 10 of the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:42.02.
Day 2 for the women saw more solid performances: Toback, Shahar, Gaffey, and sophomore Christina Ray who grabbed eighth place in the 200 medley relay with a tie of 1:41.96, securing them a spot in the finals. The quartet managed its best performance of the year in the finals, getting seventh place with a time of 1:41.35.
As it was a national competition, the Lions were able to watch recent graduate Katie Meili, CC '13, swim her way to a terrific performance, participating with the SwimMAC Carolina club team. She took second place in the 100 breast, finishing with a time of 1:02.43. She was behind only Ali Atkinson, who set a meet record with a time of 59.03.
The Light Blue men will be in action again during break, when they head to Lewisburg, Penn. to take on Bucknell on Jan. 4. The women will hit the pool again after break when they host Cornell on Jan. 18.
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