George Washington Extends A-10 Conference Win Streaks; Even More A-10 Records Fall on Day 4

2024 ATLANTIC 10 CHAMPIONSHIPS

FINAL TEAM SCORES 

MEN

  1. George Washington – 844
  2. UMass – 455.5
  3. St Bonaventure – 435
  4. George Mason – 422
  5. Davidson – 408.5
  6. Fordham – 386
  7. La Salle – 347
  8. Saint Louis – Saint Louis – 185

WOMEN

  1. George Washington – 890
  2. Richmond – 470
  3. Fordham – 413.5
  4. Duquesne – 404
  5. George Mason – 306
  6. Davidson – 303.5
  7. UMass – 296
  8. St Bonaventure – 234
  9. La Salle – 165
  10. Rhode Island – 148
  11. Saint Louis – 95

the 2024 A-10 Championships is in the books. This year’s A-10 meet was incredible, so many records were broken on the backs of some really spectacular performances. When the dust settled, George Washington swept the team titles, winning their 4th-straight men’s title and their 3rd-straight women’s title. Of course, we would be remiss not to mention that George Washington has approved plans to fill in their pool in order to add more basketball facilities. So, moving forward, a program which has become one of the top mid major swimming and diving programs in the NCAA will have to practice off campus in a smaller pool. I try to be objective to the best of my ability but, frankly, the way George Washington University is treating some of their top student athletes in this situation is embarrassing.

MEN’S RECAP

Moving back to the swim meet at hand, it won’t come as a surprise that there were more fantastic races on the last day of the meet. Let’s start at the end, because why not? George Washington closed out the meet with a win in the men’s 400 free relay. Toni Dragoja (42.67), Ganesh Sivaramakrishnan (43.68), Djurdje Matic (42.30), and Connor Rodgers (44.60) combined to clock a 2:53.25, shattering the A-10 Conference record of 2:55.48, which had stood since 2014. Impressively, GWU wasn’t the only team to go under the record, as Fordham came in 2nd with a 2:54.59, nearly a second under the previous record. Alex Shah (44.04), Christian Taylor (43.46), Alex Wilhelm (43.82), and Guy Gropper (43.27) teamed up to earn that silver medal for Fordham.

Out of that winning George Washington relay, two of the members also won individual events on the day, and they both set new conference records as well. Toni Dragoja, a sophomore, won the men’s 100 free in 42.71. At the time, Dragoja’s swim marked a new A-10 Conference record, though, he would, of course, go on to lead-off the GWU relay in 42.67, lowering the record again.

Junior Connor Rodgers had won the men’s 200 fly prior to anchoring the Revolutionaries’ relay to victory. In the 200 fly, Rodgers posted a 1:44.36, setting a new A-10 record with the performance. He was locked in a tight race with St Bonaventure junior Alexander Behr, who was leading Rodgers by 0.03 seconds at the 100 mark. Behr actually expanded his lead to 0.08 seconds at the 150 turn, however, Rodgers held on much better on the final 50, and Behr ended up taking 2nd in 1:44.97.

George Washington also saw freshman Ralf Roose earn a victory on the day, taking the men’s 200 breast in a speedy 1:56.12. The first year swimmer got out to a big early lead, splitting 55.17 on the opening 100, then came home in 1:00.95, which was more than enough for him to hold the lead. His 1:56.12 marks a new conference record as well, meaning George Washington broke another 4 A-10 Conference records on the final day of the meet.

Davidson sophomore Dylan Felt continued to light up the pool on the final day of the meet, breaking another conference record in the process. After an awesome 500 free earlier in the meet, it felt like Felt had a big 1650 in him, and, boy, did he deliver. Felt sped to a 14:55.89 in the mile on Saturday, winning the race by more than 16 seconds. In addition to his Davidson and A-10 records, Felt will have an outside chance of earning an invite to the NCAA Championships next month with that performance. It took a 14:53.54 last year to earn an invite but, naturally, the invite time can fluctuate by several seconds from year-to-year in the mile because of how long of a race it is.

George Mason also earned a win on the night, seeing sophomore Tate Anderson clocked a 1:44.52 in the men’s 200 back. Anderson got out to the lead, splitting 50.38 on the opening 100, then expanded his lead through the 3rd before holding on coming home.

WOMEN’S RECAP

The final session of the meet kicked off with a huge swim in the women’s 1650 free, where George Washington sophomore Ava Topolewski threw down a 16:08.48. Not only did Topolewski break the A-10 Conference record in the event, her 16:08.48 will assuredly earn her an invite to the NCAA Championships next month. Her performance currently ranks 21st in the NCAA this season, while the majority of conferences have now completed their championship meets. Additionally, Topolewski swam the race incredibly well, splitting 5:22.12 on the first 550 yards, 5:24.25 on the 2nd 550, then came home in 5:22.11 on the final 550, marking a phenomenally consistent race.

The night also saw George Mason junior Ali Tyler rip a new A-10 Championship record in the women’s 100 free, winning the event in 48.84. She clocked the fastest splits in the field on both 50s, going out in 23.34 and coming home in 25.50.

Fordham junior Ainhoa Martin took down the conference record in the women’s 200 breast, winning the race in 2:09.55. Martin is another swimmer who will stand a chance at earning an invite to the NCAA Championships next month, depending on how the conference championships this week shake out. She put together a fantastic race on Saturday, splitting 29.56 on the opening 50, then going 32.30, 33.84, and 33.85 the rest of the way on her 50s.

George Washington picked up a few more wins on the night after Topolewski’s mile. Junior Moriah Freitas took the 200 fly in 1:57.71, narrowly missing the A-10 Conference record of 1:57.60, which was set in 2020. It was a 1-2 punch for the Revolutionaries, as junior Molly Smyers came in 2nd with a 1:59.38. Notably, Topolewski was in the ‘A’ final of the 200 fly as well, where she took 8th in 2:00.72 after clocking a 1:58.77 in prelims.

In 3-meter diving, GWU sophomore Olivia Paquette won decisively with a final score of 325.20.

The 400 free relay saw George Washington’s Chloe Hernandez (49.85), Phoebe Wright (49.40), Olivia Tighe (49.67), and Marlee Rickert (49.23) combine for a 3:18.15, winning the race by over a second. They just missed the conference record of 3:17.94, which George Mason set at last year’s meet.

Duquesne junior Haley Scholer earned a victory in the women’s 200 back, swimming a 1:55.48. It was a very tight race between Scholer, George Washington sophomore Phoebe Wright (1:55.59), and UMass senior Megan Mitchell (1:55.83). Wright had a slim lead at the 100 mark, and she would actually expand that lead through the 3rd 50 of the race. Mitchell had the fastest closing 50 of the trio, but it wasn’t quite enough for her to pass either Scholer or Wright.

2
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

2 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Save the Smith Center
1 month ago

To set the record straight, the GW swimmers and divers had a VERY different weekend than their basketball counterparts, who lost to St. Louis and extended their conference ranking to only 3 wins and 11 losses this season. I would like to reiterate that this decision is an absolute disgrace to a mid-major program that will send at least 1 female and 1 male performer to NCAAs. It is beyond shameful that their historic run is not appropriately recognized with the bare minimum — A POOL — and the administration will need a complete overhaul after witnessing these results and reflect on the following lines of their fight song: “… All our lives we’ll be proud to say, we hail from… Read more »

HereForTheMems
1 month ago

So where is Brian going?