The Ashland University men's and women's swimming squads opened the season at the Viking Relay Challenge at Cleveland State on Friday (Sept. 28).
The Eagles competed in 18 different events.
The best finish of the night came in the men's 3x500 freestyle relay comprised of freshman Franci Aleksi, senior Lucas Oliveira and freshman Matt Filsinger (14:50.71), which was good enough for second place. They fell just seven seconds behind the winners of the relay.
A host of Ashland's relays finished just outside of the top three.
The Eagles placed fourth in the women's 3x100 breastroke relay. The team of sophomore Brenda Neves, freshman Maddy Moates and junior Sophie Brightman came in at 3:48.37. The men's 3x100 breastroke relay also placed fourth. Junior Matthew Bernsdorf, junior Daniel Callis and sophomore Grant Stahl finished in 3:16.52. Ashland's men's 500 relay (50, 100, 150, 200) came in fourth with a time of 4:26.93. That team was comprised of junior Ben Keilholz, freshman Panos Nikakis, Aleksi and Oliveira.
There were more Ashland teams that secured top five finishes on the night.
Evans, freshman Morgan Gardner and junior Julia Grady finished fifth in the women's 3x100 butterfly relay (3:15.66). The men's 3x100 backstroke relay team also earned a fifth-place finish (2:56.29). The team of sophomore Peter Reventlow, Filsinger and Keilholz were just 11 seconds short of a top-three time in the event. In the women's 500 relay (50, 100, 150, 200), Grady, Zaper, Ellsworth and Stevens placed fifth (4:54.26). The men's 400 medley earned a fifth-place finish for the Eagles. Keilholz, Callis, sophomore Aaron Bradfield, and Nikakis finished in 3:54.90.
Ashland also saw success in mixed competition.
In the mixed 200 freestyle, Keilholz, Zaper, Panagiotis and Grady placed fifth (1:38.14).
The final top-five finish of the night came in the women's 400 individual medley relay. The eagles took a fifth-place finish in the event (4:45.30) with a team comprised of Neves, Moates, Stevens and freshman Michaela Godfrey.
The Eagles will compete next in the Messerly Natatorium on Nov. 3 at home against Findlay.