Feb. 14 – Grove City, Pa. – The Bethany College men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams continued to show well in the second day of the PAC Championships/James E. Longnecker Invitational hosted by Grove City College on Friday. The teams combined to score points in nine different races and set three new Bethany marks on the day.
On the women’s side, sophomore Alexi Pyles (Los Angeles, Calif./Granada Hills Charter) had a banner day, taking part in two Bethany records and placing in the top eight three times. On an individual level, Pyles broke the school record in the 100 fly in both the prelims and the finals. She finished eighth in the preliminaries (1:00.65) to earn a spot in the championship race, and followed that performance with another eighth-place finish (1:00.57). Both marks were good enough to beat her own record of 1:00.76, which she set last year.
Pyles also set another Bethany mark as a part of the 200 medley relay team. The team of Pyles, Marina Baker (Winchester, Va./Sherando), Leah Widmeyer (Summit Point, W. Va./Washington) and Taylor Jacobs (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) earned a sixth place finish in the championship heat, notching a total time of 1:54.99. The mark bested the record which was set earlier in the day by Pyles, Baker, Jacobs and Christine Pray (Canton, Mich./Canton) (1:58.17) in the prelims.
The crew of Baker, Jacobs, Pray and Pyles also showed well in the 800 freestyle relay, capturing fifth place out of ten teams with a total time of 8:20.69.
Pyles made it four-for-four in points scored when she notched a 14th-place finish in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:04.08. Other point scorers for the women included Pray’s 13th-place mark in the 400 IM (4:59.67) and Baker’s 10-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.22).
On the men’s side, the 200 medley relay team of Grant Ashcraft (Penns Grove, N.J./Woodstown), Jacob Collas (South Park, Pa./South Park), Craig Starks (Milwaukee, Wisc./Rufus King International) and Jeremy Starr (Warren, Ohio/Warren G. Harding) punched their ticket to the relay championship final with an eighth place finish in the prelims; narrowly missing out on the school record by .17 seconds. In the final, the team once again nabbed eighth place, but this time broke the school record with a 1:43.20.
Collas made the most out of his day, notching individual points as well for the Bison. He finished 14th in the finals of the 100 breaststroke with a total time of 1:03.06. Sophomore Brandon Martell (Sharon, Pa./Sharon) also started the second half of his championship meet off on the right foot as he currently stands in fourth place in the prelims of the one-meter dive with a total score of 187.25.
The 800 meter relay team, consisting of Starr, Kelly Farralla (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Brecksville Broadview Heights), Cody Hussey (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) and Danny Faix (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brentwood) also notched points for the bison, as the team grabbed a ninth-place mark with a time of 7:42.35.
The women finished day two by climbing into sixth place at the invitational with 143 total points, while the men currently sit in eighth with a total of 114 points.
The PAC Championships/James E. Longnecker Invitational will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 15.