2020 AAC Championships: ECU’s Santos Sets Meet Record with 45.6 100 FL on Day 3

2020 AAC SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

On day 3 of the 2020 AAC Championships, UConn’s William Kearsey won another title in a Meet Record. Kearsey raced to a dominant 46.08 in the 100 back. That took down the former mark of 46.60 set by SMU’s Sam Straughan in 2015. Kearsey later broke that record again as he led off the 400 medley relay in 45.93. UConn’s relay was ultimately disqualified, however, for an early start on the fly leg.

East Carolina took down a Meet Record in that relay. Marek Osina led them off in 47.31. Lyubomir Epitropov (breast- 53.10) and Gustavo Santos (fly- 45.95) took on the middle legs. James Ward then anchored them to victory in 43.17 as they won in 3:09.53. Santos won the individual 100 fly in a new Meet Record time of 45.64.

In the 400 IM, Osina took the lead on the front half, but was run down by SMU freshman Colin Feehery and Cincinnati freshman Spencer Sehlhorst. Feehery charged to the lead on the breast leg to win it in 3:46.53. Sehlhorst took the silver in 3:48.42, while Osina held on for 3rd in 3:48.97. SMU also got a win from Caleb Rhodenbaugh in the 100 breast as he out-touched Cincinnati’s Dominic Polling, 53.12 to 53.13, by a hundredth. Epitropov took bronze there in 53.29.

There was another freshman win in the 200 free. Cincinnati’s Michael Balcerak, who won the 500 free on day 2, dropped 2 seconds in the 200 freestyle throughout the day. He won the final in 1:35.15 as he moved ahead of ECU’s Blaz Demsar (1:35.76) on the back half.

On the women’s side, Peyton Kondis and Erin Trahan narrowly missed Meet Records. SMU’s Trahan put up a 51.68 in prelims of the 100 fly, just off the mark of 51.42 set by the Mustangs’ Marne Erasmus in 2017. She went on to repeat as champion with a 52.02 in the final. Houston’s Kondis won the 100 breast in 59.34, just 2 tenths shy of the record held by SMU’S Tara-Lynn Nicholas from 2015.

Tulane’s Olivia Johnson was the first winner of the session in the 400 IM, snapping the streak as the first event of the meet not won by a Houston woman. Johnson won by nearly 10 seconds in 4:07.72. Before this meet, she had never broken 4:10 in the event. Johnson should safely qualify for NCAAs with that time.

Houston’s Zarena Brown, the 500 free champion, and Mykenzie Leehy, the 50 free champion, battled in the 200 free.  They were closely matched at the halfway point, but Brown pulled away on the back half to win in 1:44.33 to Leehy’s 1:45.59. That was a breakthrough swim for Brown, as she set a lifetime best in the event for the first time since 2017. Houston swept the podium as Samantha Medlin was 3rd in 1:47.34.

Teammate Laura Laderoute set a Meet Record with a 52.61 in the 100 back prelims before going on to win the final in 52.75. That was a 3-win streak for Houston. Laderoute then played a role in their 4th-straight win of the session. She led off the 400 medley relay in 53.17, handing off to Kondis (59.29) for the breast leg. Katie Higgins came through with a 53.00 split on the fly. Brown anchored in 48.65 as they won in 3:34.11.

TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 3 – WOMEN

  1. Houston, University of          644.5   2. Southern Methodist University   438.5
  3. Cincinnati, University of         362   4. Tulane University                 310
  5. East Carolina University        290.5   6. Connecticut, University of      264.5

TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 3 – MEN

  1. Cincinnati, University of         562   2. East Carolina University        558.5
  3. Southern Methodist University     510   4. Connecticut, University of      386.5

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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