Feb. 15 – GROVE CITY, Pa. – The Bison men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams finished their final day of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championship/James E. Longnecker Invitational by setting five more Bethany records on Saturday.
The women finished the Championships ranked sixth among PAC counterparts as well as sixth out of 11 overall with 206 total points. The men notched a seventh-place finish overall with 173 points, taking fifth among conference schools.
On the women’s side, four different school records fell by the wayside. Perhaps the most impressive of the day was the 1650 freestyle performance of Christine Pray (Canton, Mich./Canton). Pray notched a seventh place finish in the event, breaking two records in the same race. During the race, Pray shattered the 1,000 meter, splitting with a time of 11:11.56. She then went on to break the 1650 mark by 33 seconds. Her time of 18:27.02 shattered her own mark of 19:01.89.
Marina Baker (Winchester, Va./Sherando) broke her own record in the 100 freestyle, placing ninth with a time of 54.14. The 400 medley relay team of Baker, Alexi Pyles (Los Angeles, Calif./Granada Hills Charter) Leah Widmeyer (Summit Point, W. Va./Washington) and Taylor Jacobs (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) also notched a record, finishing the swim in 4:17.94 in a time trial following the championship events.
Other point scorers for the Bison on the final day included Widmeyer’s 15th place finish in the 200 backstroke (2:28.73) as well as Haley Ekaitis (Pittsburgh, Pa./McKeesport) and Kayla Spinelli (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia), who finished 10th and 11th in the three meter dive, respectively.
On the men’s side, Brandon Martell led the way, capturing a second-place finish in the one-meter dive with a total score of 386.35. In the midst of his dives, Martell shattered the six-dive record, posting a total score of 246.6. The mark broke the previous record of 242.0 set by Pedro Cuesta in 1981.
Other point scorers for the men included Danny Faix (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brentwood), Grant Ashcraft (Penns Grove, N.J./Woodstown), Jake Collas (South Park, Pa./South Park) and the men of the 400 freestyle relay. Collas scored a ninth-place finish in the 200 breaststroke (2:15.43) and was also a member of the 400 freestyle team that notched ninth place. The team also included Jeremy Starr (Warren, Ohio/Warren G. Harding), Kelly Farralla (Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville Broadview Heights) and Cody Hussey (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck).
Faix scored a 14th-place finish in the 1650 free (18:20.17) and Ashcraft finished 16th in the 200 backstroke (2:14.82).
Overall, it was a solid three days for the Bison men’s and women’s teams as they combined to break 11 school records over the three days. The women’s 203 points marked a 30 point increase from last season, while the men saw a 139-point improvement from last year’s final tally.