2024 Sun Belt Conference Champs: Madison Cottrell Pulls Off 100 FL/100 BK Double on Day 3



  1. James Madison – 766
  2. Marshall – 550
  3. Georgia Southern – 443
  4. Old Dominion – 321

At the conclusion of the 3rd day of the 2024 Sun Belt Conference Championship, James Madison has built a huge lead over Marshall as they continue to barrel towards the team title.

As was the case on day 2 of the meet, JMU won the majority of the events. Senior Madison Cottrell was on fire on Friday night, winning both the 100 fly and the 100 back. She kicked things off in the 100 fly, where she ripped a 52.93, winning the race by 1.68 seconds. The performance also marks a new James Madison program record in the event. Cottrell then went on to take the 100 back in 53.47, establishing a new Sun Belt Conference record, in addition to another JMU program record. The 100 back was a huge event for James Madison, as Cameron Gring came in 2nd with a 54.07 and Sydni Diehl took 3rd with a 54.86.

James Madison also would go on to crack the Sub Belt Conference record in the 400 medley relay at the end of the session. Gring led off in 54.09, and was followed by Riley Bridgman with a 1:01.99 breast split, then Cottrell clocked a 52.93 on the fly leg, and Jamie Cornwell anchored in 49.45. The JMU squad’s overall time of 3:38.46 came in more than a second under the conference record of 3:39.50, which was set by Western Kentucky way back in 2010.

The 200 free was another huge event for JMU, seeing Grace Bousum win in 1:48.43. Teammates Katelyn Fitzgerald (1:49.10) and Jamie Cornwell (1:49.24) were 2nd and 3rd respectively, and were the only other swimmers under 1:50 in the final.

James Madison’s Jess Pryne claimed victory in the 400 IM, swimming a 4:15.65. She was great on the front half of the race, splitting 59.11, then clocking a very speedy 1:03.42 on back, for a 2:02.53 on the opening 100. Pryne then tacked on a 1:15.03 breast split and came home in 58.09 on free.

JMU picked up yet another win in 1-meter diving, seeing Alexa Holloway rack up a final score of 332.10 to win comfortably.

Marshall’s Paige Banton was the only swimmer not from James Madison to win an event on the day. Banton clocked a 1:01.36 to win the 100 breast, setting a new Sun Belt Conference record in the process. It was a heck of a race, as Banton touched out JMU’s Riley Bridgman by just 0.01 seconds. Banton was out in 28.86, hitting the 50-yard turn exactly 0.1 seconds ahead of Bridgman. She managed to just hold on at the finish and get her hands on the wall first.

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5 months ago

Having your championship meet at that Orlando pool is just wrong! That pool is trash

5 months ago

Maybe don’t need to specify Sun Belt meet records in events when this is the first Sun Belt championships

Reply to  oxyswim
5 months ago

But it’s NOT the first Sun Belt Championships. Sun Belt last held a conference meet in 2013. Then it folded because all but two teams left. Now it’s back, with none of the teams previously in it!

Reply to  oxyswim
5 months ago

Sun Belt sponsored women’s swimming and diving from 2001 through 2013 😉