Pioneers post five first-place finishes at Transylvania Invitational

Pioneers post five first-place finishes at Transylvania Invitational

LEXINGTON, Ky.— The Transylvania University men's and women's swimming and diving teams had a stellar showing at the second annual Transylvania Invitational held at the University of Kentucky's Lancaster Aquatic Center.

"I'm very proud of our team," head coach Justin Corvin said. "Everyone worked extremely hard prior to this meet and their efforts paid off with great times."

The Pioneers started Saturday's opening day with a first-place finish in the women's 200-yard freestyle relay. The foursome of Kristen Cornish, Kiali Jelinek, Morgan Cyrus and Meghan Taylor posted a 1:40.05 to win the first event of the two-day meet. Saturday's time marked the best of the season for the relay team dropping an impressive eight seconds off the previous best and missing the Transylvania record by less than a second.

Cyrus was back in the water for the women's 200-yard individual medley final taking fourth place for the Pioneers, topping her preliminary time by nearly a second and narrowly missing the top spot in a close 100-yard breaststroke. Cyrus earned a fifth-place finish in the championship final and posted a 2:25.85 in the women's 200-yard breaststroke besting the rest of the field for another first-place finish.

Julia Johnson raced to a 2:08.76 time in the women's 200-yard backstroke giving Johnson and the Pioneers a second-place finish in the event, after shaving nearly three seconds of her prelim time on Saturday.

Less than two-tenths of a second separated Taylor from a first-place finish in the women's 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.99. Johnson dominated the 200-yard butterfly besting the field by more than six seconds with an impressive 2:09.62 to take first-place.

Johnson, Cyrus, Jelinek and Taylor suited up again for the 200-yard medley relay posting a time of 1:50.43 earning second-place for the Pioneers, as Hannah Jelinek tallied a score of 330.0 to take third-place in the women's one -meter dive.

On Sunday, Johnson, Cyrus, Jelinek and Taylor continued their successful weekend with a fourth-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay.

Johnson dominated the women's 400-yard individual medley nearly seven seconds ahead of the second-place finisher with a time of 4:35.93 and Taylor swam to a 24.13 time in the women's 50-yard freestyle to earn a first-place finish for the Pioneers.

In men's competition, Cameron Brewer, Edward Freeman, Fernando Zarante and Sam Mullen followed with a third-place finish with a time of 1:27.83 in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Zarate and Quijano also advanced to the championship finals in the 200-yard individual medley to rack up two additional quality finishes for Transylvania, before Freeman and Quijano finished consecutively in fourth and fifth place adding valuable points to the men's scores for the Pioneers in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Sam Mullen was less than a second off the lead on the men's event finishing with a time of 1:57.67, as Brewer added an eighth-place finish rounding out the championship final in the 200-yard backstroke.

In the men's 800-yard freestyle relay, Taylor Peterson, Preston Dillard, Brewer and Quijano posted a fourth-place finish with a 7:28.38 mark. The foursome of Brewer, Freeman, Zarate and Quijano finished third in the 200-yard medley relay for Transylvania.

Mullen, Quijano, Zarate and Brewer posted a time of 3:41.54 picking up a fifth-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay finish. Shortly after, less than a second separated the field in a close men's 100-yard backstroke, as Mullen took valuable fifth-place points for Transylvania.

Brewer, Freeman, Mullen and Zarate completed the meet with a 3:16.37 time in the men's 400-yard freestyle relay. Quijano kept the pace for the Pioneers with a 2:13.29 mark in the men's 200-yard breaststroke earning Transylvania a fourth-place finish.

Both the men's and women's teams of Transylvania finished in fifth-place, as Wittenberg University took first-place in the women's competition, while Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology topped the rest of the field on the men's side. John Carroll University, Franklin College, The University of the South also competed in the event.

The Pioneers travel to Franklin College Jan. 24 for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Invitational.