LU swimmers sweep past UL in co-ed home exhibition meet
September 28, 2019 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's men's swimmers finished first in 14 of their 16 individual and relay events at Saturday's co-ed exhibition meet against the University of Lynchburg, a first-year men's and women's NCAA Division III program, at the Liberty Natatorium.
This Flames earned several qualifying cuts for the Collegiate Club Swimming National Championships set for April 11-12 in Greensboro, N.C.,
"Across the board we did really well," Liberty second-year Head Coach Heath Grishaw said. "It was awesome, a really good meet. We were pleased with how well the guys did and just seeing the overall success of the team was really exciting. But we know that there's a lot of growth and a lot of learning that we still have to do. We had a lot swimmers qualify for nationals, but still have many more to go."
Liberty swept all of the men's relays and also combined with members of Liberty's NCAA Division I women's swim team to win all three of the mixed relays.
"That was really fun to be able to support each other and race alongside each other," Grishaw said. "I talked to (Lady Flames Head Coach Jake (Shellenberger) and (University of Lynchburg Head Coach) Brad (Dunn) and we want to make this an annual thing. It was an awesome opportunity for us to swim at that level and a chance to come together and race in the same pool we call home."
Individually, Flames freshman Robert Boehme won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 9 minutes, 47.90 seconds, breaking the team record.
"That was a good time for this early in the season, and he is going to smash it by the time he gets to nationals," Grishaw said of Boehne, who also finished first in the 500 free (4:51.00) and 200 fly (2:02.56), followed closely by senior Noah Miller (2:02.65), who also won the 100 fly (54.69).
|Flames freshman Matt Davidson swam on four first-place events, including the 200-yard back stroke.|
Freshman Matt Davidson won two individual events — the 50 free (21.56) and 200 back stroke (1:56.47) — and senior Charles Fernandez finished first in the 100 free (49.01) and 200 free (by more than four seconds in 1:51.05). Both also swam legs of Liberty's winning 200 medley and 200 free relays, which won by nearly three and five full seconds, respectively.
Davidson led off the 200 medley, followed by freshman Corbin Libby, Miller, and Fernandez, who swam the first leg of the 200 free relay followed by freshman Zach Mallory, Davidson, and Miller.
Libby also won the 100 breast stroke in 1:02.64, and Mallory placed second to Davidson and Fernandez in the 50 free and 100 free, respectively.
"It was great to see that 1-2 finish in an event, and we also went 1-2-3 in the 200 IM (Individual Medley)," Grishaw said.
Josh Askren won that event in 2:08.82 followed by fellow Flames freshmen Carter Helsby and Isaac Hanna.
Askren also placed third in the 100 back in 56.90 and Helsby finished third in the.100 breast
Complete results are available online.
Liberty has less than two weeks to prepare for the Oct. 12-13 Eastern Regionals at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.
"It is still early in our season and the guys are still adapting to training," Grishaw said. "We are just excited to go to a championship meet where they get to get fully suited and tapered."