Ashland Men, Women Dominate Home Tri-Meet

Ashland Men, Women Dominate Home Tri-Meet

Ashland University's men's and women's swimming and diving teams won convincingly Friday (Jan. 11) night against Tiffin and Ursuline at Messerly Natatorium.

The Eagle men beat Tiffin, 106.50-98.50. The women beat Tiffin, 143-17, and Ursuline, 144-29. In total, Ashland swimmers won 17 of 26 total events on the evening.

Finishing in first place on the men's side were freshman Franci Aleksi, freshman Panos Nikakis, senior Keegan Goeke, junior Aaron Bradfield, and the 400-yard freestyle relay team comprised of Aleksi, Nikakis, freshman Matt Filsinger, and senior Lucas Oliveira.

Aleski won the men's 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:15:76, 45 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. He kept it up in the 500 free, winning with a time of 4:45:98. The last win for Aleksi was as a part of the 400-yard freestyle relay with Nikakis, Filsinger, and Oliveira, winning the event with a 3:21:07 finish.

Nikakis won the 200 free in a rare tie with Tiffin's Yun Hung Tan at 1:45.63. Goeke came out on top of the 50 free, finishing in 21.97. Wrapping up the winning on the men's side was Bradfield, who took home first in the 100 backstroke (1:00.22).

Eleven women took first place in their event for the Eagles. The women's 400-yard medley relay comprised of freshman Michaela Godfrey, sophomore Brenda Neves, sophomore Anne Evans, and freshman Marissa Kassinger got things started in event No. 1 with a first-place time of 4:18.82. Also winning events on the women's side were sophomore Tara Stevens, freshman Abigail Ellsworth, senior Julia Grady, Neves, junior Madeline Cronin in both diving events, and sophomore Maura Delaney.

Stevens won two events on the night. She first won the 1,650 free in 18:14.09, then won the 500 free in 5:18.16. Ellsworth also took the top spot in two events. She won the 200 free in 2:01.09, and the 100 back in 1:00.18. Grady doubled up on event wins as well, winning the 50 free in 25.36 seconds, and the 100 butterfly in 1:02.93.

Neves earned her spot in first in the 400 individual medley, finishing in 5:07.11. Wrapping up the first-place finishes in women's swimming was Delaney in the 100 free with a time of 58.50.

Cronin swept the diving competitions for the Eagles, winning the 1-meter with a score of 164.70, and the 3-meter with a 215.77 finals score.

Finishing behind the heaping number of first-place finishers for Ashland were an equally large contingent of second-place finishers.

In men's action, the 400 medley relay team made up of Goeke, Bradfield, junior Grant Stahl, and senior Daniel Callis finished second with a time of 3:40.96. Other second-place finishers on the men's side were Filsinger in the 400 IM (4:11.61) and the 500 free (4:51.56), Stahl in the 100 fly (54.38), Goeke in the 100 free (48.69), and Nikakis in the 100 back (1:01.76).

Eagle women who came in second were freshman Morgan Gardner in the 1,650 free (19:00.32) and the 500 free (5:28.73), Godfrey in the 200 free (2:06.28) and the 100 back (1:00.64), senior Sophie Brightman in the 50 free (26.27), freshman Maddy Moates in the 400 IM (5:15.75), Evans in the 100 fly (1:03.49), and Kassinger in the 100 free (59.35).

Ashland will compete next and honor its seniors before the meet on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 1 p.m. against Ohio Wesleyan and Bellarmine in the Messerly Natatorium.