After the first day of the New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference Championship Meet Wednesday, the race for the title looks like it’s going to be a scorcher.
In the men’s division after the first six events, Delta State is in first with 146 points but Missouri S&T is in a close second just two points behind with 144 points. Henderson State (110 points) and Ouachita Baptist (98) are also within striking distance, while Drury (55 points) and Bellarmine (30) have plenty of time to make up ground.
In the women’s division, Delta State is in first place at 178 points, followed by Ouachita Baptist (120), Henderson State (111), Drury (31) and Bellarmine (30).
One aspect of the meet both DSU teams have shined in is the relay races. The Statesmen have racked up 70 points of their points in the relays, while the women have scored 74 of their points in the relays.
“I was real impressed with our performances from our distance events all the way to our relays on the guys and girls side,” Delta State head swim coach Dan’l Murray said. “Both teams were ready to get up and race, and this sets us up for a really good weekend.”
In the women’s division, DSU’s relay team of Shawnee Gundry, Laura Nichols, Danielle Dugas and Hannah Core won the 200-yard medley relay race with a time of 1:45.60, edging out Henderson State’s team of Chelsea Leary, Melissa Ralston, Hannah Weise and Lauren Sutton (1:45.73) by .13 seconds.
In the 800-yard freestyle relay, DSU’s team of Maria Torres, Dani Meerholz, Kelcie Winterrowd and Elizabeth Frye took second with a time 7:43.43. The second place finish gave the Lady Statesmen 34 more points.
Meerholz gave the Lady Statesmen a win individual competition by finishing first the 1,000-yard individual freestyle with a time of 10:22.17.
In the men’s division, DSU’s relay team of Yvan Nys, Christian Barrett, Karl-Richard Hennebach and Bear Iles won the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:30.74.
In the 800-yard freestyle relay, Hennebach and Nys, along with Ben Vaughan and Jared Meredith finished fourth with a time of 6:51.12. The fourth place finish gave the Statesmen 30 more points.
The big reason anybody can still win the race is the fact that relays are double points. If a school has a team win a relay race, it’s 40 points. If a school has a swimmer win an individual race, it’s 20 points.
Murray said the team needs to stay focused and been fundamentally sound through out the rest of the meet, which will end on Saturday.
“We need to minimize any mistakes,” Murray said. “Relays are going to be double points, so we need to be smart and conservative on our exchanges. If we stick to our race strategies everything will fall into place.”
DSU began the second day of action this morning and will be back in action tonight at 6 p.m. Action on Friday and Saturday will begin at 10 a.m. with the evening time set for 6 p.m. on Friday and 5 p.m. on Saturday.