Canton, OH - The University of Findlay men's and women's swimming and diving teams began competition in the first ever Great Midwest Athletic Conference and Mountain East Conference Swimming and Diving Championships on Wednesday, February 14. The Oilers competed in nine events on the night and were able to take at least one podium spot in each of those events.
The men and women are both in first place after day one. The women accumulated 493 points, 192 ahead of second place Hillsdale. The men sit at 407 points, 147 points ahead of second place Malone.
When asked about their performance, Oiler head coach Andrew Makepeace said the following:
"The first day is always a mixed bag of results. There is competition rust we need to knock off before we find our groove for the rest of the week. We are excited about getting back in the pool for day two."
Findlay began the finals with second place finish from Sydney Zimdars in the women's 1000 yard freestyle race with a time of 10:34.01.
A victory from Ben Rath in the men's 1000 yard freestyle gave the Oilers their first gold of the day. His time of 9:31.43 led the field and achieved the B Standard qualifying mark and also set a new school record in the event, breaking his own mark from last season by just three-tenths of a second.
The women took first and second place in the 200 yard individual medley, with Hanna Cederholm taking gold with a time of 2:04.48 and Emma Barnes with the runner-up time of 2:06.63. Cederholm's time was B Standard qualifying.
The men followed up by sweeping the top three spots on the podium for their 200 yard individual medley race. Mark Billeaud took first with a time of 1:52.63, Nathan Bourne snagged silver with a time of 1:54.52, and Parker Bull claimed bronze with a 1:56.36 time.
Next up was the 50 yard freestyle race, and the women took the gold and silver on the podium. This time taking first was Amanda Stiegal at a B Standard time of 23.76, and coming in second was Lauren Blanchard with a time of 24.23.
Trent Williams earned silver in the men's 50 yard freestyle final, recording a time of 21.03.
The men followed suit by also taking first in their 200 yard medley relay with a time of 1:31.66. The team was made up of Williams, Trae Gulgin, Isaac Stretch, and Janko Radmanovic. Their time broke the school record in the event.
The Oilers will continue on in the GMAC championships tomorrow, February 15th, when they will compete in 11 more events. Prelims are set to begin at 10:00 AM, men's one meter diving is at 1:45 PM, and finals will start at 6:30 PM.
On the diving board, Findlay took the top two spots with Hannah May earning the championship crown on the 3-meter board with a score of 384.40. Alicia Solis finished runner-up in the event with a score of 376.35 points to round out the scoring for the Oilers.