Ashland University's men's and women's swimming and diving team began its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships action on Wednesday (Feb. 20), and the Eagles' day was highlighted by their distance crew on the first day of competition.
Sophomore Tara Stevens had the second-best time of the morning session on the women's side of the 1,000 free (10:29.34). That time not only was good enough to earn her a seventh-place finish overall in the event, and a new school record, as well. The previous mark was set in 1995 by Sarah Clements (10:30.20).
Senior Lucas Oliveira was the fastest swimmer of any male in the morning session of the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:25.08. That time was good enough for fifth place overall in the event and was the fastest time for Ashland. Right behind him was freshman Franci Aleksi with a finals time of 9:25.42, which earned him a sixth-place finish in the event.
In Wednesday's sprint events on the women's side, it was senior Julia Grady who had the most success for Ashland. She qualified for the finals in the 50 free with a preliminary time of 24.61 seconds. Grady's time in the finals was slightly faster at 24.37 seconds, and earned her tenth-place.
In men's action in the 50 free, seniors Ben Keilholz and Keegan Goeke both qualified for the finals - Keilholz with a prelim time of 20.90 seconds and Goeke with a 21.14 finish. Keilholz finished in 10th in the event with a finals time of 20.77, and Goeke finished in 15th in the event (21.31).
At the end of Day 1 of competition, Ashland's men sit in fifth place with 48 points, while the women also sit in fifth with 66 points.
Day 2 of the GLIAC Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday (Feb. 21).