Full Club Sports Schedule

    Team News

    May 3, 2023 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    It was another breakthrough season for Liberty University’s sixth-year men’s swim team, which won its third consecutive Eastern Regional title, set nine meet records at the Southern Region Championships, and improved on its fifth-place team showing last spring by taking second at the March 30-April 1 College Club Swimming (CCS) National Championships at Ohio State University.

    “As a whole, we achieved some really great things this year,” Flames Head Coach Heath Grishaw said. “We wanted to break records at the regional level, the national level, and across the team. We really hit recruiting heavy and it paid off. Our freshman class this year has been absolutely phenomenal.”

    Senior Matthew Davidson, who won his fourth individual gold medal in the 100-yard backstroke and swam on the (CCS) meet record-setting 800 freestyle and 400 medley relays at nationals, credited the underclassmen for the team’s record finish.

    “It’s crazy to think that we got second at nationals this year and I attribute most of that success to our freshman class,” he said. “It’s exciting to see where the program is going to go. We have a really good group of guys and I am confident they are going to keep making (the team culture) better. I don’t see us having a down year at all; I see us just getting just faster and faster each year (and) I am confident that we are going to continue doing well at nationals.”

    After Davidson anchored a team that finished fifth with only six guys scoring last year, the Flames had 16 different swimmers contribute to their runner-up finish.

    “To see the growth, I want to keep building on that, bringing kids in and buying into what I’ve been selling, what this team has been selling, what Liberty’s been selling, and that is Training Champions for Christ,” Grishaw said, noting that the word that he reiterated throughout the season was commitment. “Swimming is all about commitment to the sport, to the craft. We are seeing significant jumps for our team because of the culture, the commitment that we have all bought into these past couple years. My challenge now is for the future recruits that are coming in and those guys that are returning next year, ‘Are you going to be that person?’ Let’s be that next guy up and bring that fire.”

    “A successful team totally thrives on the culture,” junior Jonathan Tonnell added. “If you don’t have a good culture, you won’t always have good results. So, bringing in guys who want to be here, who want to be encouraged, who want to encourage each other, that’s a huge part of the team.”

    Video edited by Micah Adams/Club Sports Video & Media Assistant