Falcons Notch Four School Records on Day Three of MWC Championships
Feb. 27, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Recording a combined four school records on Frday, the Air Force men's and women's swimming and diving teams wrapped up the third day competition at the 2009 Mountain West Conference Championships, being held in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Air Force men remain in second place with 412 points, trailing only UNLV. The Falcon women are in ninth place with 93 points, while BYU sits atop the team leaderboard in the women's competition.
The first school record of the day for the men came in the 100 butterfly, as sophomore Benjamin Gunn (Gainesville, Ga.) registered a mark of 47.83 in the morning's preliminaries before finishing sixth in the event. It marked the second individual school record of the meet for Gunn. Meanwhile, two other Air Force swimmers scored in the event, led by Robert Dawson (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.), who won the consolation finals with a personal-best time of 49.23, ranking sixth all-time in Air Force history. In addition, freshman Kaleb Jenkins (Savannah, Ga.) finished 14th overall, with a personal-best mark of 50.63.
The Falcons added another school record in the 100 breaststroke, one of their top events. Senior Justin Day (Peyton, Colo.) took over the top spot in the Air Force record books following his morning swim, but had an even stronger performance in the finals, finishing third with a NCAA `B' standard of 53.87.
Five other Air Force swimmers scored in the consolation finals of the 100 breast, led by Josh Hammervold (So., Sugar Land, Texas), who won the race with a mark of 55.54. Greg Edmonds (Jr., Fairfax Station, Va.), Chris Morin (Jr., Crown Point, Ind.), Spencer Butt (Sr., Sterling, Va.) and Cody Deacon (Fr., Portland, Ore.) finished in spots three through six in the consolation final, as all five posted Air Force top-10 times. Hammervold now ranks fourth in the Falcons' record books, while Deacon's preliminary swim of 56.05 ranks sixth all-time. Edmonds moved into seventh-place on the all-time list with his preliminary time of 56.47, Morin ranks ninth with his mark of 56.52 in the finals and Butt took over the 10th spot following his final swim of 56.57.
In the men's 200 freestyle, junior Sean O'Keefe (Lake Oswego, Ore.), who ranks fourth in the Air Force record books in the event, led the way with a third-place finish, improving upon his personal-best mark with a time of 1:37.51. Sophomore Eric Robinson (Lakewood, Colo.) also advanced to the finals, clocking a mark of 1:38.98 in the prelims before finishing eighth overall. Robinson's time, a personal best, now ranks fifth all-time at the Academy.
Senior Kai Yamashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) had a strong showing in the men's 100 backstroke, finishing tied for sixth place with a personal-best mark of 49.37. His time in the event now ranks second in Air Force history.
Also on Friday, three Falcons scored in the men's 400 IM, led by senior captain Nick Dixon (Canton, Mich.), who finished sixth overall with a personal-best mark of 4:00.33. Freshman Corydon Butler (Williamburg, Va.) finished first in the consolation bracket (ninth overall) with a career-best time of 4:06.02, while Cole Smith (Fr., Charlotte, N.C.) placed 12th with a personal-best mark of 4:08.77.
The Air Force men closed out Thursday's competition with a school-record performance in the 400 medley relay. The team of Yamashiro, Day, Gunn and Dawson put together a time of 3:15.01 to finish second in the event. The Falcons have now set school records in three relay events at this year's meet.
On the women's side, senior captain Jane Hwang (Irvine, Calif.) was once against the top performer, setting a school-record in the 200 freestyle to finish in the top eight of the event for the third time of her career. In the morning's prelims of the 200 freestyle, Hwang bested her own school record by a second, before shaving even more time off the record in the evening swim. Hwang's mark of 1:49.39 was good for fifth-place in the event, her best-ever finish at the MWC Championships.
The women also had a top-eight performer in the women's platform dive, as junior Chelsea Tompkins (Grand Junction, Colo.) took sixth place in the event, scoring a 208.15 in the finals.
Three other Air Force swimmers also posted Academy top-10 marks in their respective events. Junior Katelyn Hunter (La Crescent, Minn.) posted a mark of 58.93 in the 100 backstroke, finishing 22nd in the event. Her time ranks seventh in Air Force history. Meanwhile, there were a pair of eighth-place entries in the Falcons' record books. In the women's 400 IM, junior Becky Gleason (Ballwin, Mo.) was the Falcons' top performer, finishing 22nd overall with a mark of 4:33.76, while freshman Elvira Chiccarelli (Panama City Beach, Fla.) registered a time of 57.61 in the 100 butterfly, placing 19th overall.
The final day of competition at the MWC Championships begins tomorrow, Feb. 28. Thirteen more events will be contested, starting with the preliminary rounds of the women's and men's 200 backstroke at 10:00 a.m. (CT). Meanwhile, finals competition is slated to begin at 6:15 p.m.