By Jordan Childress
For the Mountain Advocate
The Union College men’s and women’s swimming teams wrapped up the 2015 Appalachian Swimming Conference Championships. The Union men and women finished third overall, as action wrapped up at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center on Saturday evening.
The Union men’s team, who garnered 425 points, improved on a fifth place finish in last season’s ASC Championships. Meanwhile, the Union women collected 364 points to place in the top five as a squad at the championships for the sixth straight season.
“I am very excited for our men and women,” said head coach Rafael Forti. “They fought and competed hard all meet long, despite the fact we were not rested for this meet.”
Cameron Donaldson (FR/Jersey, Channel Islands, U.K.) led the way for the Union men with a first place finish in the 1650-free with an NAIA “A” cut time of 15:46.07. Finishing behind Donaldson in the 1650-free were Dalton Baxter (SO/Woodstock, Ga. ) in third (16:33.80) and Bradley Moore (SO/Melbourne, Australia) (16:46.12), both “A” cut times. Moore placed fourth in the 200-back with an “A” cut time of 1:55.23.
Continuing his stellar freshman season was Nathan Lethbridge (FR/London, Canada), who finished third in the 100-free (46.71) for an “A” cut.
Two Bulldogs finished back-to-back in the 200-back: Dustin Dyer (SO/Fayetteville, N.C.) finished fifth (1:56.82) and Lucas Lucena (SO/Joinville, Brazil) finished sixth (1:58.39). Dyer and Lucena collected an “A” cut for their times in the event. Edward Malick (SR/Gilroy, Calif.) wrapped up the Union men in individual competition with a seventh place finish in the 200-breast with an “A” cut time of 2:09.68.
In the 400-medley relay, the Union men finished fourth, hitting the wall in 3:27.55 for an “A” cut time.
For the women’s team, Callie Harrigan (SR/Windsor, Canada) finished second in the 100-free with an “A” cut time of 52.51. In the 200-free, Jule Stein (SO/Stuttgart, Germany) collected a fourth place finish with “A” cut time of 2:28.17. Lara Kaufmann (SO/Schwerte, Germany) finished sixth in the 1650-free in 18:19.53 for an “A” cut time.
Rounding out the women: Anna Kotliarova (SR/Kharkov, Ukraine) finished sixth in the 100-free (54.22), Eliska Melicharova (SO/Upice, Czech Republic) finished seventh in the 200-back (2:14.08) and Susana Martinez (FR/ Colonial Heights, Va.) finished seventh in the 200-fly (2:16.09). All three times were “A” cuts for the Bulldogs.
The Union women wrapped up their day in the 400-medley relay with a second place finish of 3:37.91, for an “A” cut time.
The Bulldogs men’s and women’s swimming teams qualified 16 out of their 18 swimmers for the NAIA National Championships.
“It was a total team effort and I am proud of that,” Forti said. “Now we will gear up for the final preparations for the national championships and we are super excited for it.”