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    October 28, 2021 Newark, Del. RSS |

    Junior Carter Helsby placed third and fourth in two breast stroke events at the University of Delaware.

    Though this past Sunday’s Collegiate Club Swimming meet hosted by the University of Delaware was not scored, Liberty University men’s swimming Head Coach Heath Grishaw is confident that had it been, his swimmers would have taken first place in the team standings.

    “It was not as tough competition as (the Oct. 11 Raleighwood Invitational at) NC State, but I was happy with our performances and how we swam,” Grishaw said. “A lot of guys raced well and we saw some good dropped times from NC State to now, so we are sitting at a solid place going into next weekend’s regionals.”

    Liberty will host the Eastern Region championship meet for the first time in program history Nov. 6-7 at the Liberty Natatorium, with approximately 15 men’s teams registered.

    After attending an NHL game between the Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames last Friday night at the Capital One Arena, the Flames set the tone for the meet at Delaware by finishing first and second out of 13 entries in the 200 medley relay, ahead of four teams from the host Blue Hens, two from Maryland, and one each from Penn State, American, Rutgers, Towson, and Rowan.

    Liberty’s A team of senior Matthew Davidson, junior Christian Dilena, junior Zach Mallory, and sophomore Jonathan Tonnell won that race in 1 minute, 41.21 seconds, followed by its B team of junior Wade Lawrence, junior Carter Helsby, sophomore Jordan Stackpole, and freshman Trent Kolter, who placed second in 1:43.95.

    Davidson also won the 200 back in 2:00.84, the 100 back in 52.76, and the 100 free in 48.00, with Kolter second in 51:03. Senior Robert Boehme was also a triple winner in the 200 Individual Medley (2:00.71), 400 IM (4:23.59), and 500 freestyle (4:58.96), with Mallory (5:18.75) placing second, as he did in the 50 butterfly (25.41). Mallory (1:53.87) also paced a 1-2-3-4 finish in the 100 freestyle, beating teammates Tonnell (1:54.78), Stackpole (1:55.48), and freshman Joey Boehme (2:01.14).

    Freshman Trent Kolter won the 200 butterfly and placed second to Davidson in the 100 freestyle.

    Kolter also finished first in the 200 butterfly in 2:05.66, Tonnell won the 50 free in 23.00 and placed second in the 50 back (26.06), and Helsby finished second in the 200 breast (2:21.28) and third in the 100 breast (1:04.45), edging teammate Tristan Roach (1:04.63). Stackpole also placed second in the 100 fly in 58.09.

    The Flames currently have 14 of their 23 swimmers qualified for the April 8-10 CCS National Championships in Atlanta and expect to have a few more achieve national time cuts next weekend. Grishaw also is looking forward to showcasing Liberty as a potential host site for the 2023 national meet.

    “I’m hoping we can pack out the Natatorium with fans and have a lot of athletes swimming and a lot of positive things come out of that,” Grishaw said. “We want people to see what Liberty has to offer, to show off our facilities, our resources, and make this a place that people would want to come back to. With the event staff and with students who volunteer to help, we can put on a really well-run meet.”

    Besides state rivals Virginia Tech, Virginia, and JMU, Grishaw anticipates plenty of competition from Penn State, UConn, Maryland, Appalachian State, American, Rutgers, Towson, and Vermont, among other schools in the region. The CCS is divided into three regions with the Midwest meet hosted by Wisconsin featuring powerhouses such as Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan, Colorado, and Texas A&M and the Southern meet hosted by Florida and drawing Auburn, Georgia, and Kentucky, among other contenders.


    By Ted Allen/Staff Writer