The Patriots maintained their lead on the men’s and women’s sides at home, finishing on top of the standings with five individual victories as well as wins in the final relay.
Steff Maurer and Dorothy Reilly provided a 1-2 Patriot punch on the women’s side, each dropping significant time to finish in 2:00.62 and 2:01.88, respectively. Melody Bush rounded out the top three, posting a 2:02.32 for Seton Hall.
UNC Wilmington’s Valtteri Halonen dropped big time from prelims, going from 1:51.54 this morning to a thunderous 1:46.91 for the win. He was a mere .52 seconds away from the NCAA ‘B’ cut, and broke the 8-year-old meet record as well. Following in 2nd and 3rd were prelims top seed Zoha Suslovich of Seton Hall (1:51.17) and Halonen’s teammate Chase Copeland (1:51.64).
The only swimmer to break 51 seconds in the meet on the women’s side was George Mason’s Sydney Fisher, whose time of 50.97 was good enough to hold off Chelsea Tomko of UNC Wilmington, who was not far behind in 51.37. Tomko’s teammate Katie Grose was third in 52.20.
Prelims top seed Travis Lauri of George Mason was out fast in 21.66, and was nearly run down by UNC Wilmington’s Adam Salzman at the wall. Lauri posted a 45.37, just .01 ahead of Salzman. Salzman’s teammate Alex Labonge was close behind, finishing in 45.54.
UMBC’s Emily Escobedo, who broke the meet record in prelims, dropped another 1.75 seconds in finals for the come-from-behind victory. She was out third at the 100 mark, but had a great back half (1:09.82) to finish in a 2:15.20, achieving the only NCAA ‘B’ cut of the session. Jenson Engen of UNC Wilmington was second in 2:17.00, dropping over three seconds from prelims, followed by George Mason’s Sarah Brallier (2:18.28).
Johann Shim of George Mason had a big drop of 2.38 seconds from prelims to finals, posting a 2:03.87 for a commanding victory. The race for 2nd was extremely tight, with George Mason’s Will Clenendin and UMBC’s Leo Endres and Niko Trajkovic finishing within .12 of each other. Their final times were 2:07.10, 2:07.12, and 2:07.22, respectively.
Reilly, the 2nd place finisher in the 200 back, returned to take the 200 fly in 2:01.52, followed by George Washington’s Carly Whitmer (2:03.12) and Richmond’s Melissa Rose (2:03.51).
Goran Koprivnjak dropped over 2.5 seconds from prelims to win the men’s event in 1:50.20. George Mason teammates Brandon Nester (1:51.61) and Matthew Lynch (1:52.48) followed in 2nd and 3rd.
400 FREE RELAY
The George Mason women went out with a bang, winning the final event by more than two seconds over UNC Wilmington. The Patriots were led by 50 and 100 freestyle champion Fisher, whose anchor split of 51.33 was the fastest of the field, and finished in 3:27.37. UNC Wilmington posted a 3:29.50, anchored by a quick 51.34 from Tomko. George Washington was third in 3:32.63.
The Patriot men also finished strong with a thrilling victory over UNC Wilmington. Going into the final leg, George Mason was back by .14, making for a great battle between George Mason’s Lauri, winner of the 100 free, and UNC Wilmington’s Salzman, who finished .01 behind Lauri in that final. Lauri’s huge split of 44.06 was enough to give them the win in 3:01.57. Salzman also had an impressive time of 44.81, with UNC Wilmington finishing in second in 3:02.18. UMBC was third in 3:05.86.
FINAL TEAM SCORES
George Mason 811
UNC Wilmington 733
George Washington 484
Seton Hall 467
George Mason 1065
UNC Wilmington 811.5
Seton Hall 448
George Washington 390