Women Third; Men Eighth in ASC Championships

Women Third; Men Eighth in ASC Championships

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. - West Virginia Wesleyan's swim teams concluded action in the 2017 Appalachian Swimming Conference Championships Saturday night, delivering a solid debut in the program's first year in the 12-team league.

Wesleyan's women recorded an impressive third place team finish with 388 points.

Brenau captured the title while Emmanuel snared the runner-up spot.

Wesleyan's men ended the four-day event in eighth place, tallying a total of 221 points.

Emmanuel won the men's title, with Mars Hill earning runner-up.

Coach April Gitzen's squad registered some solid closing day performances, both individually and in the relays.

Distance specialist Ashton Cole posted the strongest individual swim on Saturday, racing to a third place finish in the grueling 1650-free, splashing through the Christiansburg Natatorium in a time of 18:23.96. Jordan Miller also placed in the long race, finishing 11th in 19:49.40.

Wesleyan ladies snagged two places in the 200-fly with Kimmy Culver taking eighth (2:20.59), and Emily Kroll 14th (2:31.56).

Three spots were taken in the 100-free; Camilla Brizzi in fifth (54.07), Lea Kryvenchuk in 12th (55.77) and Marylee Gowdy in 13th (55.93).

Kylee Savage placed ninth in the 200-backstroke (2:16.11) with Justine Bledsoe taking 10th in the 200-breaststroke (2:56.11).

The Lady Bobcats nailed down their third place finish with a third place swim in the 400-free relay. The unit of Brizzi, Kryvenchuk, Gowdy, and Culver closed with a time of 3:39.83.

Several Wesleyan men posted some strong final day races.

Dominik Schopper raced to third in the 200-breaststroke in 2:08.30 and was complemented by Jeff McNeill in seventh (2:14.62) and a 12th place swim from Kiernan McCarthy (2:16.89).

Julian Morassi nearly duplicated Schopper's heroics, rolling to a fourth place in the 200-fly (1:57.13).

Dan Williams added an eighth place in the 1650 free (17:31.09).

Wesleyan's 400-meter free relay placed 8th in 3:16.76. This group included Logan Knoyer, Scott Heckathorn, Morassi and Schopper.

"This has been a remarkable ASC Championship meet and season," Gitzen said. "The two teams came together and supported each other throughout. Every student athlete persevered and conquered the challenge. As a coach, I am truly humbled by the accomplishments."

Gitzen was awarded league Women's Coach of the Year for the performance.

"Wow...I am truly shocked that I was named the women's coach of the year," Gitzen said. "However, I would not be here if it was not for the team believing in me and trusting the process that it took to get here."

The ASC Championships wrap up the regular season for both the men's and women's teams.