Lexington, KY – In front of a capacity crowd Saturday at the William T. Young Center Aquatics Complex, the Transylvania swimming and diving team posted a clean sweep of the visiting Campbellsville Tigers in their 2016 Senior Day dual meet.
The Pioneers defeated Campbellsville 243-118 in combined team scoring, with the Transylvania women winning 124-79, and the Transylvania men emerging victorious, 119-39.
In early action, Transylvania's Anna Balassa, one of six seniors who were honored, put on a display of endurance to win the 1000 freestyle with a time of 11:37.48 ahead of Campbellsville's Bailey Foxworth and Rebekah Tilton.
Balassa, along with Kristen Cornish, Hannah Jelinek, Cameron Brewer, Sam Mullen, and Taylor Petersen were recognized for their careers and time spent at Transylvania University during a break in Saturday's afternoon action.
"I'm extremely proud of their accomplishments and their leadership this year," extolled swimming and diving head coach Keaton Koukis after the meet.
The seniors were part of a Transylvania men and women's program that captured College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American honors earlier in the week for achieving team GPAs above 3.0.
The week of accolades culminated with a consistent showing in the pool for both Transylvania men's and women's squads, with 1-2 finishes in the men's 200 freestyle, the women's 100 fly, the women's 100 backstroke, and sweeps in the men's 100 fly, men's 100 breaststroke, and women's 100 breaststroke.
Notable victories on the afternoon included the women's 200 medley relay, with the group of Julia Johnson, Alexis Webb, Kiali Jelinek, and Morgan Cyrus winning in a time of 1:56.15. The Transy men matched the women in the 200 medley relay with Cameron Brewer, John Eipert, Michael Alderman, and Fernando Zarate clinching the win in 1:45.09 to finish ahead of the Tigers by nearly 10 seconds in the event.
Prior to taking his senior walk, Taylor Petersen posted a decisive victory in the men's 1000 free with a time of 11:05.23 against his lone competitor, Daniel Fathergill.
Mullen and Alderman posted times of 1:55.59 and 1:58.52, respectively in the men's 200 free to blow away their opposition. Zarate took charge in the men's 50 free to secure victory with a time of 23.33.
Alderman continued his brilliant afternoon as he, Brewer, and Ian Wathen posted a sweep in the men's 100 fly. Alderman won the event with a time of 55.36.
In the lone diving event of the day, Olivia Brazelton competed in the 1 mtr dive unchallenged, and won with a score of 122.10.
Julia Johnson also posted a win in the women's 400 IM, winning in 4:58.94. Her busy day crested with a win in the women's 100 backstroke, posting a time of 1:03.35. Her teammate Kristen Cornish finished in second in 1:09.33.
The women's 100 fly was one of the brightest performances on the day for Transylvania, as Kiali Jelinek's time of 1:03.78 led a 1-2 victory with Elizabeth Davis finishing closely behind in second.
Cyrus shined in the women's 100 breaststroke, leading a sweep of the event in a time of 1:11.25. Teammates Webb and Kiali Jelinek joined to lift Transylvania to one of their finest performances of the afternoon.
The day also belonged to Edward Freeman, whose 51.94 showing in the 100 free gave him the victory, while he also assisted his relay team in placing first in the men's 200 free relay. Freeman finished second in a captivating photo-finish race behind teammate John Eipert in the men's 100 breaststroke.
As the day winded down, Maci Quisenberry and Fernando Zarate showed they had enough in the tank as each won their respective 500 free events: Quisenberry in the women's event with a time of 5:49.59, and Zarate with a time of 5:23.48. Quisenberry and Sarah Hernandez posted a 1-2 finish in their final.
"I was very happy with our performance today and I think this puts us in a good position to swim fast at OAC (championships)," said Koukis.
The Ohio Athletic Conference Championships are next up on the schedule for the Transylvania swimming and diving teams, who now have under three weeks to prepare for the main event of their 2015-16 season. The championships begin on February 18 at Akron Ocasek Natatorium in Akron, Ohio.
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