Gardner-Webb 177.5, College of Charleston 168.5
Gardner-Webb won ten events, highlighted by Charity Byrum's and Giorgie Graves' three individual wins each, to take a 177.5-168.5 in the two day dual meet win at College of Charleston Friday-Saturday.
With the win, GWU (2-0) triumphs in its second consecutive dual meet to open 2013.
Over the weekend, the Runnin' Bulldogs won eight individual events, and used a monumental 1-2-3 in the 200 breast on Saturday to help overcome 29 diving points and prevail over the Cougars.
After earning an 87.5 - 73.5 lead after day one on Friday, Gardner-Webb started right where it left off, racing to the win in the 200 medley relay. Laurenn Singleton (31.30), Byrum (33.95), Mary O'Doherty (29.03), and Graves (27.07) teamed up for the fast start on day two.
In the next event, the 1500 m free, freshman Madi Dinsmore led GWU with a 2nd place finish, turning in a time of 18:10.45. Sophomore Kristen Ellison added a 5th place finish (19:13.14) in the event for GWU.
The Cougars kept the pressure on GWU, taking a 1-2 finish in the 50 free. O'Doherty and junior Anna Springer finished 3rd and 4th in 27.95 and 28.25 respectively.
College of Charleston continued to swing momentum in its favor, closing the gap further with a win in the 100 m back. Singleton, a senior from Elkin, N.C., took 2nd place with a time of 1:07.67 in the event.
Needing an emphatic showing in one of its strong events, the 200 m breast, the Gardner-Webb women responded, sweeping the event's Top 3 spots to reclaim control of the meet. Byrum took 1st in the event with a time of 2:43.14, and Samantha Shelley and Jessica Robinson followed in 2nd and 3rd by finishing in 2:47.83 and 2:50.94 respectively.
Graves, a freshman from Riverview, Fla., picked up her third individual win of the weekend in the 100 fly, pulling away from the Cougars' Sarah Boyle to take 1st with a time of 1:03.88. College of Charleston would occupy the next three finishers, however, to minimize Graves' win.
A great showing in the 200 m free eased the pressure for the Runnin' Bulldogs heading into day two's final two events. Junior Faith Kempf won with a time of 2:09.67, sophomore Jenna Ballinger added a 3rd place finish at 2:11.67, and Dinsmore closed fast for a time of 2:12.77 and a 4th place finish.
Seniors Liz Van Halsema and Michelle Palacio took 1st and 2nd in the 400 I.M. in another key event for Gardner-Webb, as the pair of veterans achieved times of 5:12.06 and 5:19.31 respectively in helping to seal the win for GWU.
GWU took 2nd in the meet-closing 400 free relay, as Christina Clayton (1:03.35), Ballinger (1:00.43), Van Halsema (1:01.37), and Kempf (1:03.18) teamed up for a time of 4:08.33. Gardner-Webb also picked up 3rd in the event thanks to the quartet of Alaina Mattix (1:01.00), Taylor Schwartz (1:01.67), Stephanie Wild (1:05.28), and Caroline Andrews (1:01.53).
Gardner-Webb picked up five wins during the first day of competition on Friday.
The Cougars took the early lead with a win in Friday's first event, the 200 free relay, on day one. O'Doherty (27.96), Mattix (28.30), Van Halsema (27.91), and Clayton (28.15) teamed up to take 2nd in the event.
Byrum helped GWU change the momentum swing with the first of two 1-2-3 finishes for the Runnin' Bulldogs on the weekend. The sophomore spearheaded the effort with a 1st place finish (2:26.68). Freshman April Niccolai took 2nd in the event with a time of 2:27.45, and Kempf was 3rd in 2:27.66 in what looks to be a strong event for the GWU women looking forward.
In the 400 m free, Graves showed off her versatility in taking 1st place in the event, cruising to a time of 4:27.36. Dinsmore added a 2nd place finish in 4:33.62, and Van Halsmea was 4th in 4:37.46 for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Byrum picked up her second individual win of Friday night in the 100 breast, swimming a time of 1:14.26 in the short course meters facility. Springer tied for 2nd with the Cougars' Taylor Hollingsworth at 1:16.45.
After Niccolai and Singleton took 2nd (2:23.69) and 3rd (2:26.99) in the 200 m back, College of Charleston got a 1-2-3 finish of its own in the 100 m free, cutting into the Runnin' Bulldogs' lead.
Gardner-Webb would respond in the 200 fly, getting 1st and 3rd place efforts from Graves (2:21.44) and Kempf (2:22.88). GWU closed the night with a win in the 400 m medley relay, getting a great closing effort from Kaylee McCallan (1:08.19), Byrum (1:13.49), Graves (1:03.57), and Kempf (59.49) to finish first with a time of 4:24.71 in day one's final event.
With the win over the Cougars, Gardner-Webb improves to 9-2 all-time versus College of Charleston.
GWU will turn its attention to another CCSA rival this weekend, as it hosts Davidson on Saturday on the Runnin' Bulldogs' senior day.