GWU won three of four relay events, and got individual wins from Giorgie Graves, Charity Byrum, and Samantha Shelley, en route to a 1st place finish at the Friday-Saturday Wingate Quad Meet.
For the weekend, GWU tallied 905.5 points to finish atop the women's team standings. Queens (736.5) and Wingate (714) finished 2nd and 3rd respectively, followed by Washington & Lee (4th, 379) and Catawba (5th, 321).
The Gardner-Webb women finished Friday's session with a meet-high 422 points, distancing themselves from the second-place team Wingate (341) to secure a comfortable lead on day one.
GWU opened the night with a win in the 200 free relay. Christina Clayton led off in 24.97, the fastest lead-off split of the event, setting the stage for Charity Byrum's event-best relay split at 24.21. Alaina Mattix and Faith Kempf held the lead, splitting 24.67 and 24.88 respectively to help the 'A' relay finish 1st with a time of 1:38.73.
Led by Byrum's 2:10.34 performance, Gardner-Webb scored 3rd, 4th, and 5th place finishes in the 200 IM. Following Byrum's 3rd place finish was freshman April Niccolai (Naperville, Ill.), who took 4th with a time of 2:13.60. Junior Faith Kempf finished 5th, closing fast to record a time of 2:13.89.
The Runnin' Bulldogs got a collegiate best time and 3rd place showing in the 500 free from freshman Madi Dinsmore, who raced to a time of 5:12.63 to secure the Top 3 finish. Clayton, a freshman from Brentwood, Tenn., took 8th place in the event in 5:23.01, and fellow freshman Caroline Andrews closed fast to finish 11th with a time of 5:26.46.
In the 100 breast, GWU continued to rack up the points, earning a 1-2 finish in the event. Byrum, a sophomore from Winston-Salem, N.C., pulled away to win with a season best time of 1:05.15, and junior Anna Springer closed fast to take 2nd in a season best 1:08.62.
Sophomore Jessica Robinson added a 7th place finish (1:11.49) in a strong event for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
The 200 back proved to be a number good event for GWU with the Runnin' Bulldogs occupying 3 of the top 7 spots in the event. Niccolai paced the team in 4th (2:10.54), sophomore Kaylee McCallan finished 6th in a season best (2:10.76), and sophomore Jenna Ballinger was 7th (2:11.15) in the event.
In the 100 free, Mattix, a freshman from Loganville, Ga., sprinted to an early lead en route to a 2nd place finish, clocking a time of 54.10. Senior Liz Van Halsema added a 7th place finish (54.86), and Ballinger tacked on a 12th place showing (55.90) for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Graves, a freshman from Riverview, Fla, gave GWU its third win of the day, using a fast start to her 200 fly to secure 1st place in the event with a time of 2:07.01. Kempf took 4th in the event at 2:13.68, and freshman Sarah Singleton finished 5th in a time of 2:14.07 in another strong event for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
GWU closed the night with its four win of the session, taking 1st in the 400 medley relay. Laurenn Singleton (1:00.88), Byrum (1:05.23), Graves (56.58), and Mattix (53.03) combined to help Gardner-Webb finish day one on a high note.
To open day two on Saturday, Gardner-Webb continued its run of 1st place finishes in the relay events, winning the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:48.10. Laurenn Singleton (28.06), Byrum (29.86), Graves (25.59), and Kempf (24.59), with the latter three split times representing the meet's fastest breast, fly, and free splits respectively.
Van Halsema led GWU in the 1000 free, finishing in 11:03.53 for a 4th place finish in the event. Michal was next for the Runnin' Bulldog women, securing a 5th place finish with a time of 11:07.03.
In the 50 free, Graves continued a standout weekend, pacing GWU by tying for 2nd in a season best 24.74. Clayton followed closely in 4th (24.97), and Mattix was 5th (24.98) to give Gardner-Webb sprinters under 25.00 in the event.
Laurenn Singleton's 4th place showing (1:00.13) in the 100 back to pace her team. Ballinger (6th, 1:00.85) and Niccolai (8th, 1:00.99) also recorded top finishes for Gardner-Webb in a strong event.
Shelley won the 200 breast, getting her first individual collegiate win at an invitational thanks to a time of 2:27.89. Springer continued her stellar weekend with another Top 3 finish, taking 3rd in the event with a 2:30.15 clocking. Senior Michelle Palacio grabbed 6th for the Runnin' Bulldogs in the event with a time of 2:32.10.
In the next event, Graves won the 100 fly for the second time this Fall, as the freshman pulled away for the win with a time of 57.67. Laurenn Singleton completed a 1-2 finish for GWU, finishing 2nd in 1:00.11. Clayton tacked on a 5th place finish with a time of 1:00.70.
A 2nd place in the 200 free from Kempf led the Runnin' Bulldogs, as the junior raced home for a time of 1:56.19, a season best. Dinsmore (6th) and Mattix (7th) added times of 1:59.81 and 1:59.91 respectively.
In the 400 IM, Van Halsema and Palacio gave Gardner-Webb 3rd (4:43.13) and 4th (4:43.49) place finishes respectively. Dinsmore used a fast last 100 free split to move up and take 6th place in 4:47.18.
Gardner-Webb closed the meet with a 2nd place finish in the 400 free relay. Graves (52.70), Byrum (53.52), Mattix, and Kempf teamed up to finish with a time of 3:34.41.