Men's swimmers prepare for CCS Nationals at Ohio State
March 26, 2019 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's men's swimming team will send 10 competitors to Ohio State for the March 29-31 Collegiate Club Swimming (CCS) National Championships at the McCorkle Aquatic Center in Columbus, Ohio.
"Ohio State has a really fast pool and a great facility, so it's exciting for the guys to go up there," Flames first-year Head Coach Heath Grishaw said. "They kind of got a taste for it at Eastern Regionals at Rutgers (on Nov. 4) and they are ready to go and hungry for this coming weekend. We are excited to see what is to come."
In its first season as a program last year, the Flames' 11 swimmers and three divers combined for a 13th-place finish at the inaugural College Club Swimming & Diving National Championships hosted by Georgia Tech in Atlanta. This year, the swimming and diving competitions are separate, with the Flames planning to send three divers to next weekend's national event in Boulder, Colo.
Swimmers can enter as many as four individual events and any number of relays at nationals.
Grishaw is planning to enter freshman Dan Flittner in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and 50 breaststroke; sophomore Ben Klipp in the 100 breast, 200 and 50 free, and 100 individual medley; junior Noah Miller in the 200 butterfly, 100 fly, 200 and 100 free; sophomore Jonathan McAlister in the 1000, 500, and 200 free; freshman Christian Brasher in the 1,000, 500, and 200 free and 50 fly; freshman Caleb Rice in the 200 and 100 free and 50 fly; junior Ryan Sparklin in the 200, 100, and 50 backstroke, and 50 free; freshman Stephen Covert in the 100 and 50 free; freshman Caleb McClelland in the 500, 200, and 100 free and 100 IM; and freshman Matt Sonnen in the 100 and 50 free and 50 back.
The Flames will also enter one 800 free relay made up of Miller, Klipp, McClelland, and Brashner; two 400 free relays, with the A relay featuring Flittner, Klipp, Miller, and McClelland and the B team composed of Sonnen, Sparklin, Covert, and Brashner; two 200 free relay, with the same lineups as the 400 free relays except for Rice, who will replace Brashner; and 400 and 200 medley relays led by Sparklin (back), Klipp (breast), Miller (fly), and McClelland (free).
The top 16 individual swimmers and relay teams from Friday's and Saturday's preliminary heats will advance to compete in Saturday's and Sunday's finals, with the top eight seeded in the A finals.
Junior freestyler Charles Fernandez, who placed at nationals last year, will not be available for the meet at Ohio State as he is training in Ireland for the first of five world championships in modern pentathlon. In late July, he will represent Guatemala at the Pan Am Games in Peru, where he will attempt to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.