Gardner-Webb opened Saturday's meet with a 200 medley relay win and closed it with a win in the 400 free relay, highlighting a dominant performance for the Runnin' Bulldog women in a 136-69 win over the visiting Davidson Wildcats on senior day.
GWU (3-0) came out racing hard early, winning key races throughout the meet to record its third straight dual meet victory in 2013.
Gardner-Webb claimed a victory in the meet-opening 200 medley relay. Laurenn Singleton (26.90), Charity Byrum (30.39), Mary O'Doherty (25.23), and Christina Clayton (24.77) teamed up for the 1st place finish and a time of 1:47.29.
The quartet of Kaylee McCallan (27.25), Samantha Shelley (33.14), April Niccolai (25.42), and Liz Van Halsema (25.43) tacked on a 3rd place finish in 1:51.24 as the Runnin' Bulldogs built a nine point lead on the Wildcats early.
Freshman distance specialist Madi Dinsmore won the 1000 free, keeping GWU's momentum rolling by pulling away in 10:39.75. Sophomore Jenna Ballinger stepped up for the Runnin' Bulldogs, finishing 2nd in the event with a 10:43.87 clocking.
GWU continued its blazing start with another 1-2 finish in the next event, the 200 free. Freshman Giorgie Graves led from start to finish for a time of 1:54.53, and junior Faith Kempf closed fast to overtake Davidson's Jessica Miller to take 2nd with a time of 1:56.24.
O'Doherty, a sophomore from Charlotte, N.C., added an individual win in the 50 free. The Charlotte, N.C. native sprinted to a win on the outside of the pool in lane six by punching the wall first at 24.85. A GWU freshman came in 3rd in the event, as Clayton claimed the 3rd best time in the event at 25.20.
Gardner-Webb won its fifth straight event in the meet's next event, the 400 I.M. Niccolai, a freshman from Naperville, Ill., and Van Halsema, a senior from Charlotte, N.C., combined for a 1-2 finish by touching the wall at 4:39.52 and 4:40.10 in the event respectively.
A win from Graves in the 100 fly helped GWU pull away further, with the freshman pulling away for a time of 57.24 in the event. McCallan, a sophomore from Melbourne, Fla., added a 3rd place finish (59.80) out of heat 1 for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Davidson ended GWU's win streak with a 1st place finish in the 100 free from Meredith Nakano. Byrum, a sophomore from Winston-Salem, N.C., took 2nd in the event with a time of 53.46.
Senior Laurenn Singleton led a GWU charge in a tight race in the 100 back. Singleton claimed the top of a 1-2 finish for the Runnin' Bulldogs with a time of 59.42, and was followed by McCallan, who held off the Wildcats' Lauren Malachowski (59.63) to claim 2nd place in the event with a time of 59.52.
Dinsmore picked up her 2nd individual win of the day in the 500 free, pulling away with a time of 5:15.74. Ballinger held on despite a late charge from Davidson's Miller, taking 2nd place in the event after finishing the race in 5:16.07.
Nakano (1:06.28) edged Byrum (1:06.42) in the 100 breast for Davidson's 2nd win of the day. Byrum led a 2-3-4 finish for the Runnin' Bulldogs in the event. Robinson, a sophomore from Aiken, S.C., was 3rd with a time of 1:08.41, and Shelley, a junior from Wilmington, Del., took 4th in 1:10.01.
Gardner-Webb closed Saturday with a fitting end, winning the 400 free relay in an event it led from start-to-finish. Graves (53.26), Kempf (54.91), Singleton (53.43), and Ballinger (53.95) combined for a time of 3:35.55 to win the meet's final event.
Gardner-Webb also took 3rd in the event, thanks to a strong effort from the combination of Allie Petersen (1:00.21), Sarah Singleton (55.56), Taylor Jones (1:01.85), and Michelle Palacio (57.99).
Saturday's win for the Runnin' Bulldogs helped seal a historic first for the men's and women's swim programs. Gardner-Webb had never defeated Davidson in both men's and women's swimming in program history prior to Saturday.
Prior to Sunday's meet, seniors Annie Bosacco, Kristen Michal, Taylor Jones, Michelle Palacio, Laurenn Singleton, Liz Van Halsema, and Stephanie Wild were honored for their contributions to Gardner-Webb, both in and out of the pool.
Gardner-Webb women's swimming will compete at home for the final time in the 2013 season on Saturday, Feb. 1 as the Runnin' Bulldogs try to make it four wins in a row against visiting Georgia Southern. GWU's dual meet versus the Eagles is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m.Gardner-Webb jumped out to an early lead over the visiting Davidson Wildcats and was able to hang on for a 107-98 win on senior day.
GWU (2-1) got a huge win late in the meet from senior Drew Ellwanger, who sprinted to a win in the 100 breast to seal the meet for the Runnin' Bulldog men. Ellwanger finished the race in 58.03, touching out Davidson senior Drew Onken (58.16).
Ellwanger's nail-biting performance came with Gardner-Webb clinging to a 13 point lead and in need of a win. A 2nd place finish (and a 1st place finish by Onken) in the event would have cut GWU's lead to 3 points heading into the meet's final event, the 400 free relay. Davidson would go on to win that event.
The Runnin' Bulldog men opened Saturday's dual meet with a win in the 200 medley relay. Colin James (23.60), Ellwanger (25.85), Brandon Searle (22.97), and Tate Warden (21.28) teamed up to pull away with a time of 1:33.70.
Adding a 3rd place finish in the event was the quartet of Taft Kallam (25.95), Mitch Turner (27.74), Matt Anderson (22.99), and Phil Leonard (21.91), who combined for a time of 1:38.59.
Davidson countered with a win in the 1000 free from Dylan Ludwick. Freshman Luke Denman achieved a time of 9:46.64 in taking 2nd in the event. Junior Sam Wilson followed in 3rd with a time of 9:53.85.
A 1-2 finish in the 200 free helped the Gardner-Webb men increase its early lead. Warden, a freshman from Charleston, W.Va., closed strong to finish 1st in 1:44.17. Junior Jordan Denmark finished 2nd, right behind Warden with a time of 1:44.35.
In the 50 free, Anderson showed off some outside smoke from lane 6 to earn a close win against Davidson's Brandon Kegley (21.86). The "Brazillian Bomber" gave Gardner-Webb a huge win early, finishing with a time of 21.85.
James, a sophomore from Greensboro, N.C., and Joe MacGregor took 4th (22.45) and 5th (22.47) in the event respectively to score valuable points for the team.
In the 400 I.M., Onken pulled away from Gardner-Webb's Nathan Lile late to finish 1st in the event. Lile took 2nd (4:07.33), junior Cody Meyers was 4th (4:15.99), and senior Tyler Nuss finished 5th (4:18.39) in the event.
Davidson was able to cut into the Runnin' Bulldogs win again in the 100 fly thanks to a win from Will Fox. Senior DJ Hughes paced GWU in the event with a time of 52.44, good enough for 2nd. Searle was 3rd (53.06) and Meyers took 5th (53.84) in the event.
The visitors continued their rally with a win in the 100 free from Kegley. Warden took 2nd for the Runnin' Bulldogs in 47.89, and great racing from GWU's Leonard and MacGregor in the event earned them 3rd (48.87) and 4th (49.43) place swims.
GWU was able to make a statement in the 100 back, adding much-needed cushion to its lead with a 1-2 finish from Denmark (51.93) and James (52.96). Searle added a 4th place finish in the event by finishing in a time of 53.96. The performance from the trio of Runnin' Bulldogs put GWU's lead at 18 points with three events (500 free, 100 breast, 400 free relay) remaining.
In the 500 free, Ludwick's second win of the day tightened the pressure on Gardner-Webb, as the Davidson freestyler was able to hold off a late charge from GWU's Lile to hang on for the win in the event. The season best performance from Lile (2nd, 4:40.04) was complemented by 4th and 5th place finishes from Denman (4:50.20) and Wilson (4:50.22) respectively.
GWU got a win in the last individual of the night from Ellanger, who charged late to finish 1st in the 100 breast. Ellwanger, who trailed at the midpoint of the race, completed a comeback win which meant an 11 point swing in favor of the Runnin' Bulldogs and mathematically clinched the meet for Gardner-Webb.
With the outcome of the meet already determined, Davidson pulled out a dramatic win in the meet-closing 400 free relay with a time of 3:10.59. For Gardner-Webb, Denmark (48.55), Hughes (47.22), Lile (47.05), and MacGregor (48.38) combined for a time of 3:11.20, 2nd best in the event.
The Runnin' Bulldog quartet of Turner (49.53), Andy Watts (50.13), Cole Hickey (47.56), and Wilson (50.47) teamed up to finish 3rd (3:17.69) in the event.
Saturday's dramatic win for the Runnin' Bulldogs helped seal a historic first for the men's and women's programs. Gardner-Webb had never defeated Davidson in both men's and women's swimming in program history.
Prior to Saturday's meet, seniors Seth Carter, Drew Ellwanger, DJ Hughes, John Kempf, Tyler Nuss, and Mitch Turner were honored for their contributions to Gardner-Webb, both in and out of the pool.
Gardner-Webb's men's swim team turns its attention to preparation for next month's CCSA Championship meet. The Conference Championships will take place in Athens, Ga., on the campus of the University of Georgia, February 21-23.
Five different Wildcats picked up first-place finishes, but it wasn't enough to give the Davidson swimming & diving teams the wins, as both squads fell to CCSA rival Gardner-Webb on Saturday afternoon.
The men's team fell in a tightly scored contest by a score of 107-98, while the women suffered a 136-69 defeat at the hands of the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Dylan Ludwick and Drew Onken, both of whom set pool records, as well as Brandon Kegley and Will Fox, each grabbed a win for the Wildcats. Meredith Nakano added in a pair of first place finishes on the women's side.
Ludwick started things off by touching first in the 1000-yard freestyle, swimming a 9:42.05 in the event. Ben Stewart-Bates and Spencer Gill took third and fourth in the 200-yard freestyle, clocking in at 1:45.81 and 1:46.32, respectively.
Kegley was the runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle, touching the pads in 21.86. He was closely followed by Cameron Bard, who swam a 22.23 for third place.
Swimming a pool-record time of 4:01.72 in the 400-yard IM was Onken, who cruised to the win with a six-second cushion in front of GWU's runner-up. Teammate Grant Smith picked up points for the Wildcats with a third place finish, finishing with a time of 4:10.05.
Fox earned the win in the next men's event, taking the 100-yard butterfly with a 51.33. Kegley matched his feat in the 100-yard freestyle, earning a .02 victory with a mark of 47.87.
Taking third in the 100-yard backstroke was Luke Burton, who swam to a time of 53.59.
Ludwick grabbed his second win of the day, taking the 500-yard freestyle in 4:38.71 for the Wildcats' second pool record of the meet. Smith took third for the second time at the meet, swimming a 4:48.13.
Davidson grabbed three of the top four spots in the 100-yard breaststroke, with Onken's second place finish in a time of 58.16. Spencer Gill claimed third place in 1:00.39, followed by brother Drew Gill who clocked in at 1:01.67.
The men's 400-yard free relay team of Kegley, Onken, Ludwick and Stewart-Bates also picked up a win, touching in 3:10.59. Earlier in the meet, the 200-yard medley relay quartet of Bard, Smith, Ethan Levinson and Quinn Waggoner claimed second place by touching the pads in 1:37.08.
For the women, the team of Kelsi Hobbs, Caroline Vrana, Liz Mace and Meredith Nakano touched second in the 200-yard medley relay with a mark of 1:50.18. Mace later teamed with Lauren Malachowski, Jean DeOrnellas and Angie Healy for another runner-up finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The quartet touched in 3:37.93.
Anna Blair Bullock and Lillie Seifart took third and fourth, respectively, in the 1000-yard free. Bullock swam a 10:55.12, while Seifart touched in 10:58.82. In the 200-yard freestyle, Jessica Miller was the ‘Cats' top finisher in third place with a 1:57.00, while Healy was a close fourth in 1:57.51.
DeOrnellas touched as the runner-up in her first individual event of the day, the 50-yard freestyle, in a time of 25.13. Vrana took fourth in the event with a mark of 25.40. Meanwhile, Emily Covert grabbed points in the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:42.08 for a third-place finish.
Mace took second in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing in 59.78. Hobbs and Emma Tobey also scored points, taking fourth and fifth places, respectively.
Nakano recorded her first victory of the day in the 100-yard freestyle, touching the pads in 53.34. DeOrnellas was third in the event with a time of 54.46. Nakano later added in another win in the 100-yard breaststroke, clocking in at 1:06.28.
Malachowski placed third in the 100-yard backstroke, touching the wall in 59.63, while fellow rookie Miller took third in the 500-yard free in a time of 5:16.13. Bullock was next up for the ‘Cats, taking fourth in the 500 in 5:18.44m, followed by Healy, who also scored points with a fifth place finish.
The Wildcats will return to Cannon Pool on February 2 to host the CCSA Duals. Georgia Southern, Liberty, Howard, Radford and North Carolina A & T will compete for the women, while the men's team will face off against Howard at 1 p.m.