Springfield, Ohio- The Wittenberg University men's and women's swimming & diving teams opened the home portion of their 2019 schedule with a double-dual meet against NCAA Div. I member Indiana State and NAIA member The University of the Cumberlands. The women's team dropped both ends of the dual, falling to Cumberlands, 190-74, and Indiana State, 247-41, while the men's dropped a 170.50-87.50 decision against the Cumberlands men team.
The women's team notched six total top-five finishes in the highly competitive meet against Div. I Indiana State and NAIA-power University of the Cumberlands. Junior Marita Banta-Long picked up a third-place finish in the pool for the Tigers, while sophomore Kateleigh Lorimer finished third in both diving competitions on the women's side. Banta-Long finished third in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:17.48, while Lorimer's third-place finishes came by scores of 129.30 on the three-meter board and 167.50 in the one-meter competition. Banta-Long also finished fifth overall in the 100 fly with a time of 1:01.23, while senior Morgan Siefert logged a fifth-place finish in the 500 free with a time of 5:42.83. The Tigers also opened the night with a fifth-place finish in the 400 medley relay as the team of freshman Jessica Crowder, junior Annelise Gibson, Banta-Long and junior Claire Bergefurd combined for a time of 4:22.50. Gibson and Crowder both added sixth-place finishes on the day in individual events, with Crowder posting a time of 1:06.88 in the 100 back and Gibson finishing the 200 breast with a time of 2:47.83.
"We had a great meet. The loss does not show the significant improvements we have made throughout the season in race preparation, focus, and technique." said interim head coach Noah Moran. "Across the board we swam better races. A couple of season best times, a couple of personal bests, and a lot of getting ready for NCAC Championships."
On the men's side, three different athletes combined for five individual event titles for the Tigers, highlighted by junior Bradley Barren and sophomore Trey Gregory each winning two individual events apiece. Barren swept the sprint freestlyle events, touching first in the 50 in 22.40, before notching a winning time of 49.47 in the 100 a few events later. Gregory continued to excel in the butterfly events, first posting a winning time of 2:00.37 in the 200, before outpacing the field in the 100 with a time of 53.23. Freshman Benjamin Hongell opened the day with a win in the 100 breast in a time of 1:03.64, before capping off the day with a third-place showing in the 100 free (50.62) and a second-place finish in the 200 breast (2:18.19). Junior Nick Angeli also finished as the runner-up in the 500 free with a time of 5:24.68, while freshman Noah Miller also checked in at second in the one-meter diving competition with a score of 142.50. Finally, the men's squad wrapped up the day with a second-place finish in the 400 free relay as the team of Gregory, Hongell, Barren and junior Drew Suffoletta combined for a time of 3:24.20.
The Tigers will now hit the road next Friday, January 18, for a 6:00 p.m. non-conference dual meet at Anderson University in Indiana.