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Record-Setting Night for Liberty to Open CCSA Championships

February 14, 2018  Athens, Ga.   RSS
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Hannah Baker swam on Liberty's winning 800 free relay and 200 medley relay on Wednesday at the CCSA Championships.

Hannah Baker swam on Liberty's winning 800 free relay and 200 medley relay on Wednesday at the CCSA Championships.

The Liberty swimming & diving team won both relays on opening night of the CCSA Championships for the first time in program history, breaking five total records on day one at Georgia's Gabrielsen Natatorium.

Following one day at the CCSA Championships, Liberty is fourth in team standings with 170 points. Incarnate Word leads with 206 points, followed by Georgia Southern (203) and Florida Gulf Coast (190) in that order. Gardner-Webb holds a two-point advantage over Campbell in the race for fifth place, 102-100. Incarnate Word and Georgia Southern both scored over 100 diving points, boosting their scores.

The Lady Flames scorched to a new program-, meet- and conference-record 7:10.73 in the 800 free relay, defeating Florida Gulf Coast (7:11.15). Hannah Baker led off in a program-record and NCAA B cut 200 free time of 1:46.55. Ashlee Sall (1:49.15), Emily Manly (1:47.04) and Payton Keiner (1:47.99) took over from there to seal the victory. The old meet record was 7:13.83, set by FGCU in 2016, while Liberty's previous program record of 7:16.50 was set in 2017. Baker led off that relay as well.

The 200 medley relay saw Liberty edge out FGCU again, 1:38.34 to 1:39.07. Liberty's squad of Keiner (24.96), Prudence Rooker (27.67), Brittany Weiss (23.41) and Baker (22.30) put themselves second on the program's top 10 performers list. Keiner's leadoff of 24.96 set a new program record for 50 backstroke, breaking Kendall Hough's 24.97 set in 2015.

Liberty scored 45 diving points in three-meter springboard, led by a ninth-place finish from Jenna Joyal (lifetime-best 220.15). Amy Schools placed 12th with a personal-best 211.70 points, while Ellen Tart scored 149.50 for 18th place. Joyal and Schools move up into third and fourth, respectively, on the program's top 10 performers list in three-meter diving.

The 2018 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships continue tomorrow, when individual swimming events begin. Tomorrow's morning preliminary heats start at 10 a.m., with the 500 freestyle. Day two also features the 200 individual medley, 50 free and 200 free relay, with finals beginning at 6 p.m.