Division I Alabama proved to be too much for Division II Delta State at the DSU Aquatics Center in Cleveland Mississippi as the UA Women out paced the Statesmen women, 242-50 and the Tide Men overpowered the Statesmen men’s team, 238-62. The Crimson Tide ran away with 31 out of the 32 events with the lone Statesmen victory coming from redshirt Sophomore Vlad Zinca, who defeated the opposition in the 200 Butterfly with a time of 1:52.23. He narrowly edged out Senior Hunter Hinson from Alabama.
The Crimson Tide also downed four pool records during the course of the meet as well. Freshman Bonnie Macdonald beat the 1000 Freestyle record by almost 10 seconds finishing with a 10:05.39 which puts her 9th all time at Alabama. Although she didn’t break any more pool records went on to win the 500 Freestyle in 4:58.09 and was a part of the winning 400 Free Relay team. The second pool record was broken by Sophomore Emma Saunders, she finished the 200 Freestyle in 1:49.89 breaking the old record of 1:50.50. It was a good day for the Ladies of Alabama as the other two pool records were also broken by the girls side of the team; one by Junior Kaylin Burchell in the 100 Breaststroke in 1:02.90 and the other by the team of Burchell, Saunders, Senior Stephanie Kinsey, and Junior Kristal Vourna who broke the record in the 200 Medley Relay with a time of 1:43.27.
Freshman Leah Bird won the 200 butterfly as well as leading off the Tide’s winning 400 freestyle relay. The rookie duo of Taylor Zablocki and Dakota Toner swept the diving events, with Zablocki scoring 273.32 points to win the 1-meter board while Toner tallied 266.25 points to win the 3-meter.
One the side of the Lady Statesmen, Junior Dani Meerholz finished third in the 200-Freestyle (1:58.57) and continues to re-write the top-10 times list in which the entire list is compiled of her swims. Sophomore Danielle Dugas scored third place points with a time of 2:18.96 in the 200-Butterfly. Freshman Kierstin Page scored a third place finish in the 100-Backstroke (59.56) in her first meet. While fellow Freshman Melanie Tombers finished third in the 400-Individual Medley with time of 4:35.12 – good enough to tie for tenth place in the school record book.
On the Men’s side, the Crimson Tide led the way winning all but one event. Opening and closing the meet with victories in the relays; Freshmen Connor Oslin and Anton McKee combined with Sophomore Brett Walsh and Senior BJ Hornikel to win the 200 medley relay with a 1:30.98 while Walsh, Senior Vlad Caciuc, Freshman Alex Gray and Hornikel closed out the meet with a 3:05.21 win in the 400 freestyle relay. McKee also won the 1000 Freestyle and the 200 Breaststroke, while Hornikel added a victory in the 100 Freestyle. Senior Cameron Conners picked up and individual event win in the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 57.06.
With the lone victory on the day by the Statesmen Vlad Zinca paced the team with a victory in the 200 Butterfly and also finished second in the 100 Butterfly. Other top times for the Statesmen were turned in by Junior Tobias Tombers with a third place finish in the 100-Breaststroke (59.14), along with Freshman Fabrice Wendel (21.44) and Senior Bear Iles (21.48) finishing second and third in the 50-Freestyle.
“We had a good day, a good start to what will be a long season,” UA head coach Dennis Pursley said. “It was good to get up and race against someone other than ourselves and there were obviously quite a few bright spots. Now we have our starting point and we will work forward from here.” (Quoted courtesy of Alabama Athletics)
The Crimson Tide return to the Alabama Aquatic Center for their home opener on October 12th against Florida State. For the latest information on the Alabama swimming and diving follow @AlabamaSwimDive, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Delta State returns to the pool on October 12th when they host Western Kentucky at the DSU Aquatics Center.
Complete Results can be found here.