While it’s not that unusual for DI schools to compete at USA meets during the season, it is a little more out of the ordinary for DIII schools to face off against the best of the best, nationally and internationally. The Emory Eagles took a trip down to Austin, TX for a chance to do some racing against athletes who would give them serious competition.
With athletes like Katie Ledecky and Ryan Lochte competing, you know it’s going to be a big meet.
Considering the high level of competition, the Eagles fared extremely well in the long course meet. They had a number of athletes return for second swims in finals.
On the first day of the meet, the two Eagles who returned for finals were junior Andrew Wilson and senior Hayden Baker. Wilson competed in the long course Phillips 66 this summer, so is no stranger to big long course events. He claimed 14th place in the finals of the 200 meter breaststroke with a time of 2:20.90. That added a trifle to his prelims time of 2:18.81. (At Summer Nats, he was 2:15.76, to give an idea of where he stands in regards to his best shaved/tapered time currently.)
Baker took 24th place with a 56.39 in the 100 meter butterfly. In prelims, he swam a 55.64.
Other Eagles competing on Thursday included sophomores Christian Baker (400m freestyle, 4:04.19) and Claire Liu (100m freestyle, 59.84), junior Elizabeth Aronoff (200m breaststroke, 2:43.24), and seniors Eric Ruggieri (200m breaststroke, 2:30.27), McKenna Newsum-Schoenberg (400m freestyle, 4:30.79) and Nancy Larson (100m freestyle, 59.68).
On day two of the Grand Prix, C. Baker and junior Ellie Thompson returned for finals. Thompson competed in the 200 meter backstroke and claimed 29th place overall with a 2:20.07 in finals. C. Baker earned himself a 23rd place finish in the 200 meter freestyle with a 1:55.26 in finals. During the preliminaries, he posted a 1:54.28.
Also competing on Friday were sophomores Liu (50m freestyle, 27.82) and Mitchell Cooper (400m IM, 4:40.83), and seniors Newsum-Schoenberg (200m freestyle, 2:09.77), Larson (200m freestyle, 2:09.31) and H. Baker (50m freestyle, 25.18).
On the third day of the meet, the Eagles were led by Wilson in the 100 meter breaststroke. He finished 5th overall in the event, posting a lifetime best in the event with a 1:02.51, which is also an Olympic Trials qualifying time.
In the 1500 meter freestyle, sophomores Cooper and C. Baker posted 22nd and 26th place times. Cooper was a 16:29.80 and C. Baker was 16:33.72.
Also competing were sophomore Liu (100m backstroke, 1:07.09), junior Aronoff (100m breaststroke, 1:14.62), and seniors Ruggeri (100m breaststroke, 1:08.24), Newsum-Schoenberg (200m butterfly, 2:22.10; 800m freestyle, 9:24.25) Larson (200m IM, 2:25.17), and H. Baker (200m butterfly, 2:09.34).
For complete results from the Austin Grand Prix, click here.
The Eagles will return to competition when they host Darton College and the University of West Florida on Saturday, January 24th.