Jack Hoagland and Matej Dusa Shine On Night One Of Inaugural Atlantic Sun Championships

2024 ATLANTIC SUN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

  • Dates: Wednesday, February 21 – Saturday, February 24
  • Location: Allan Jones Aquatic Center, Knoxville, TN
  • Combined men and women
  • Defending Champions: N/A (inaugural meet)
  • Live Results
  • Live Video: ESPN+
  • Championship Central: men’s site ׀ women’s site
  • Psych Sheet
  • Teams: Bellarmine, Florida Atlantic (men), Gardner-Webb, Liberty (women), North Florida (women), Old Dominion, Queens, SMU (men), UNC Asheville (women)

The first day of the inaugural 2024 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship is a wrap, with four swimming events and a diving event contested for both men and women. The Queens women and SMU men showcased their depth on the first night, both securing leads heading into the remaining three days of action.

Women’s Recap

Queens put on a dominant performance during the first finals session, winning every single swimming event on the docket. Senior Sophie Lange kicked things off with a decisive 500 free victory, where she touched in 4:48.12. She won by nearly two seconds, and was just shy of her 4:46.58 best time from the 2023 CSCAA National Invitational Championship. This conference championship is an inaugural meet, meaning there are no defending champions, but Lange did win the 2023 CSCAA Conference meet in 4:47.58. Lange will feature in the 200 free (#5 seed) and 1650 free (top seed) later in this competition.

Florida Gulf Coast’s Jasmin Kroll (4:50.05) secured 2nd place while sophomore Shelby Kahn of Liberty punched a time of 4:52.04 for 3rd place. Kroll, a German native, undercut her previous best time of 4:50.64 from the Magnus Invite in November.

Freshman Abigail Zboran (1:58.39) and sophomore Annika Huber (2:01.24) produced a 1-2 finish for Queens in the 200 IM. Zboran’s time of 1:58.39 is a new lifetime best by over a second, bettering her 1:59.42 time from the Queens Fall Frenzy in November. Huber’s mark is also a new personal record, topping her 2:01.91 from last year’s CCSA Championships.

A pair of Liberty juniors, Kate Baker (2:01.52) and Grace Isaacs (2:01.72), had a tight battle for 2nd place. Baker ultimately got her hand on the wall 0.20 ahead of Isaacs, with the two combining for 31 valuable points.

Queens Senior Danielle Melilli scared the 22-second barrier en route to 50 free gold, touching in 22.07. It was also a new best time, taking down her previous standard of 22.09 from this time last year. It was another 1-2 clocking for Queens, as junior Ryley Heck sprinted to a runner-up finish in 22.69. UNC Asheville senior Abby Parks made it three swimmers under the 23-second barrier, stopping the clock in 22.78 for 3rd.

Liberty gave Queens a great race in the 200 medley relay, ultimately coming within a second of them at the finish. Queens finished in 1:38.86, with their foursome comprised of Maren Patterson (25.37), Annika Huber (27.38), Madeline Foster (23.73), and Ryley Heck (22.38).

Kamryn Cannings of Liberty posted the fastest butterfly split of the day (23.35), which really narrowed the gap heading into the anchor leg, but they ultimately finished in 1:39.55. The Lady Flames’ 200 medley relay time (1:39.55) ranks 7th in program history.

In diving action, Liberty was simply dominant. They soared to a 1-2-3 finish on the 3-meter, with senior Maddie Freece (292.70) out-scoring a pair of freshmen: Caroline Stamps (270.95 points) and Shannon Icard (269.40 points). The diving points here were critical, as it situates Liberty just 12.5 points outside the lead after Queens swept the day one swimming events.

Women’s Team Scores After Day 1:

  1. Queens — 216 points
  2. Liberty — 203.5 points
  3. Florida Gulf Coast — 162.5 points
  4. UNC Asheville — 136 points
  5. Gardner-Webb — 47 points
  6. North Florida — 41 points
  7. Bellarmine — 27 points

Men’s Recap

The SMU Mustangs made their presence known immediately, winning the first two events on the schedule. Jack Hoagland, a graduate student who swam for Notre Dame during his undergraduate years, clocked 4:15.61 to obliterate the 500 free field. Hoagland has been as quick as 4:11.26 in the event, which he posted at the 2021 ACC Championships. He led a 1-2-3-4-5 sweep for the Mustangs, with Jack Forrest (4:18.56), Christopher Mykkanen (4:20.50), Hunter Lund (4:23.53), and Harold Lockhart (4:25.34) finishing 2nd through 5th.

It was more of the same story in the 200 IM, where the Mustangs punched a 1-2-3 finish. Grad student Jack Easton (1:44.70) secured victory by just over a second, besting teammates Kristaps Mikelsons (1:45.92) and John Culver (1:46.14). The next highest placing finisher was Yannick Plasil from Queens, who hit the touchpad in 1:46.30 for 4th. Of note, SMU’s Angus Corbeau touched in 1:45.91 to win the ‘B’ final, which was the 2nd fastest time of the finals session.

Queens put their sprint prowess on display in the 50 free, where Matej Dusa led seven swimmers under the 20-second barrier. Dusa touched in 19.35 for the win, with SMU’s Lance Butler touching 2nd in 19.47. Queens sophomore Daniel Meszaros rounded out the top three, finishing in 19.73.

SMU 5th year Danny Kovac (19.75), Queens freshman Nien Levy (19.81), Florida Atlantic graduate student Jacob Rubin (19.84), and SMU sophomore Sage Sungail (19.90) all posted sub-20 clockings.

Butler and Kovac would later lead SMU to the 200 medley relay title, where they touched in 1:25.31. Splits are available for the relay, but there was a clear touchpad error for SMU so splits are not accurate.

50 free champ Dusa anchored Queens to a 2nd place finish, splitting a scorching 18.74. Andreas Marz led them off in 22.57 on backstroke, Balazs Berecz split 24.10 on breaststroke, and Conner Wang clocked 21.00 on butterfly.

SMU had a strong showing in 1-meter diving, taking 1st and 2nd. Tyler Coffey scored 344.50 points to take the win, while teammate John Dymond earned 340.95 points for runner-up status. Florida Atlantic freshman Trevor Kuhn checked-in with 285.25 points, which secured him 3rd place.

Men’s Team Scores After Day 1:

  1. SMU — 296 points
  2. Queens — 156 points
  3. Florida Atlantic — 132 points
  4. Old Dominion — 61 points
  5. Gardner-Webb — 57 points
  6. Bellarmine — 35 points

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Seth
1 month ago

I swam against Jack Hoagland in 2018, man has he become fast.

Swimmin in the South
1 month ago

Not sure if this has been covered in the swimming news world yet, but Eddie Sinnott passed away earlier this week.

Bob Goldberg
Reply to  Swimmin in the South
1 month ago

Thanks for posting. Had not heard.

thezwimmer
1 month ago

I think legally, the conference name is “ASUN” not Atlantic Sun anymore

Admin
Reply to  thezwimmer
1 month ago

That was true 2016-2023, but they’ve revered to Atlantic Sun, with ASUN as an abbreviation.

thezwimmer
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Good. ASUN sounded horrible

Liberty Bibberty
1 month ago

For all the complaints about the ACC announcers, they ought to take a page out of the ASUN announcer’s book. He knew a competitor played cello at Carnegie Hall for goodness sake. IDK who he is, but he definitely did his research! He talks about swimmers with a lot of intelligence.

(G)olden Bear
1 month ago

Angus Corbeau nearly pulling a Shaine from the 200 IM B final…

Queens
1 month ago

Go Royals! 💪🏼🦁

Jacob Rubin
1 month ago

Come on SwimSwam. Make my name red

Swimmer
Reply to  Jacob Rubin
1 month ago

Gotta earn it

Reply to  Jacob Rubin
1 month ago

You’d be too powerful if we did. It would be irresponsible of us