Courtesy: Oklahoma Christian Athletics
Oklahoma Christian University, under the direction of Olympian Josh Davis and his three new coaches, assistant head coach Trevor Loomis, and graduate assistants Patrick Waggoner and Marizel van Jaarsveld, hosted their 6th annual Gray vs. Maroon Intrasquad meet on Friday night from 7-8:30 pm. The intrasquad was one of the best in OC Eagle Swimming history as they set over 10 new meet records, six new lifetime bests, and two school records.
To kick things off in the mixed 200 medley relay, Gray (1:36.58) topped Maroon (1:36.95) as both teams went under the meet record of 1:37.67 from 2022. They were pretty much together through the first half until Victor Rosado unleashed a 21.1 fly leg that gave Maroon a big lead, but Dereck Montgomery of Gray ran them down with an epic 19.6 anchor.
The ‘B’ teams had impressive splits as well, of note, Gabe Knaut split 19.91 on free, Andrea Paradis was 29.37 on breaststroke, and Vanessa Weatherford clocked 23.14 and Jadie Brister hit 25.72 on fly. This put Gray in the lead and they really never relinquished.
In the 200 free, Maroon captains Laura Byars and Victor Rosado each easily won their heats just shy of the meet records. However, Gray’s depth kept them in the lead.
In the 100 back, Tammy Greenwood kicked things off for her freshman individual debut by breaking the meet record by three seconds and earning the school record by one second in 55.61. Fifth-year senior Cheyenne Denison, who had not dropped time in this race in four years, finally did a lifetime best time for 2nd place in 56.73.
Not to be outdone, on the men’s side freshman Eli Rollen just missed the school record in the 100 back with a lifetime best and meet record of 48.33.
In the 100 breast, the top three all went under the meet record of 1:07.80 set by Haily Uhrig last year. Haily was 1:06.8, freshman Lainy Lewis hit a lifetime best of 1:06.35, and freshman Andrea Paradis crushed the record in 1:04.94.
Captain and Junior JT Amrein dominated the 100 breast, finishing just off his meet record from last year and getting more points for Gray. Always consistent, JT’s times over the years are as follows: 2021-55.08, 2022-54.90, and 2023-55.13. Also of note, freshman Jake Hokanson broke a minute in 59.84.
Next was the 50 fly, where freshman Maddie Davis went a lifetime best of 25.73 to set a new meet record by three-tenths over fellow freshman Jadie Brister and defending champ Kara Boemio.
Continuing the theme, freshman Sean Sullivan won the 50 fly in 23.2 ,out-touching a tight field.
Next was the 50 free to determine the fastest swimmer of the meet, where freshman Vanessa Weatherford won in 23.45 and Gabe Knaut topped the men in 20.25, both setting new meet records in the process.
After a 10-minute break, the second half kicked off with the 100 free where freshman Tammy Greenwood crushed the meet and school record with a 51.25. Dereck Montgomery cruised to a win in the men’s 100 with a 47.07.
In the women’s 50 back, senior Paulina Ruelas won in 27.79 and Eli Rollen won the men’s 50 back in a new meet record of 22.89.
The 50 breast proved to be a very close race as Andrea Paradis (30.04) touched out Hailey Uhrig (30.08) as they both went under Hailey’s record from last year of 30.73. Lainy Lewis wasn’t far behind in 31.18. In the men’s version, the field was neck and neck the whole way but sophomore Gavin Gerwick (27.58) in Lane 1 out-touched senior Carl Jackson (27.88) for an exciting finish.
In the 500 free, school record holders Cheyenne Denison (5:07.24) and Victor Rosado (4:30.67) easily won their respective heats.
For the 100 fly, Maddie Davis (57.23) just missed the meet record en route to victory over Vanessa Weatherford (57.76) and defending champ Kara Boemio (57.77).
The last event was a fun 100 IM where freshman Jadie Brister (59.47) and senior Paulina Ruelas (59.57) battled the whole way, with Brister touching first under Paulina’s record from last year of 1:00.00. On the men’s side, JT Amrein (50.37) just missed his own school record but was pushed the whole way by sophomore Noah Rabb (51.67).
By this point, Gray had too many points to lose the meet but Maroon was not going to give up. The final event, the 4×50 free relay, was super exciting as Maroon built a huge lead thanks to the great first half of Gabe Knaut (20.71) and Victor Rosado (20.62) which handed off to the last two legs for the women of Laura Byars (24.70) and freshman Vanessa Weatherford (22.87). Vanessa ultimately held off a charging Gray anchor of Dereck Montgomery (20.04). Maroon also won the relay race for 3rd thanks to freshman Eli Rollen’s (19.87) anchor leg but Gray ultimately celebrated as meet champions.