GTSC wins CCS National Championship

Georgia Tech Swim Club had its best showing ever at the 2018 Collegiate Club Swimming & Diving National Championships on April 6-8! Not only were we the host team for this large spectacle, but we walked away with a decided victory over the other 115 teams in attendance. How did we do it? Let’s break it down.

Night one, distance day, started out with a bang and we showed everyone else that we were in this for the long haul. Our women’s and men’s 4×200 freestyle relays topped the podium in 7:58.18 and 6:55.05, respectively, setting new CCS records and team records in the process. Also on the women’s side of night one, Ally Nastasi, Rebecca Durham, and Lindsay Knapp came away with individual wins in the 400 IM (4:36.10), 200 back (2:06.57), and 500 free (5:11.77). All three women set new CCS and team records, while Rebecca’s 200 back also broke a meet record. Teammates Makenna Laffey took 3rd in the 200 back (2:10.03), while Ellie Ridgeway was runner up in the 200 fly (2:09.05), Abbie Cochell and Olivia Fassett took 5th and 6th in the 200 breast (2:30.53 and 2:30.68), and Ally Nastasi was runner up in the 500 free (5:17.44). GTSC women capped off the night with another relay win in the 4×100 medley relay (3:58.66), setting new CCS, meet and team records.

On the men’s side of night one, Carson Fregosi and Atharva Deshmukh finished 12th and 19th in the 400 IM (4:26.46 and 4:32.31), Blake Bunnell took 20th in the 200 back (1:59.58), Mathias Zacarias took 3rd in the 200 fly in team record time (1:53.11), Derek Wu finished 11th in the 200 fly (1:58.53) and Daniel Hobbs placed 12th in the 200 breast (2:13.57). Jake Grant, Fregosi, and Michael Quillen all placed in the top 10 for the men’s 500 free with times of 4:49.35 (6th place), 4:49.58 (8th place), and 4:50.12 (9th place), respectively. The men finished off their night with a 4th place 4×100 medley relay (3:26.30).

Heading into day 2, the GTSC women had a substantial lead in the women’s team placings, and the men were also in a strong position. Early in the day on the women’s side, Nastasi captured another individual win with her 10:51.90 in the 1000, a new CCS record, while Laffey finished right behind her in 11:01.97. At finals, the team of Durham, Fassett, Ridgeway, and Knapp brought home another relay win in the 4×50 medley with a time of 1:50.39, another new CCS and team record. Individual events started off strong with Ridgeway and Knapp placing 2nd and 8th in the women’s 50 fly (25.92 and 26.55) in a tight championship final, with Ridgeway’s mark setting a new team record. Ridgeway followed her 2nd place finish up with a win in the 200 IM in 2:11.13, a new CCS record, but just three one-hundredths shy of Durham’s team record from last year. Olivia Fassett also brought home some serious points in the 200 IM, placing 4th with a 2:13.17, and followed that up with a 17th place finish in the 100 breast (1:11.06) alongside teammate Abbie Cochell who placed 8th (1:08.94) in team record time. In the 200 free, Lindsay Knapp and Ally Nastasi stood atop the podium, taking 2nd and 3rd in 1:55.84 and 1:57.91; Lindsay’s 1:54.85 from prelims set a new team record, and briefly a new CCS record until it was broken by the event winner in finals. Backstroker Rebecca Durham did it again in the 100 back, taking 1st in 57.76, a new meet, CCS, and team record, while Laffey placed 15th in 1:02.08. The women’s team of Ridgeway, Durham, Nastasi, and Knapp finished 2nd in the 4×100 freestyle relay with a time of 3:36.95, a new team record.

In the morning, the men were off to a good start with Grant’s 3rd place in 10:00.72 (team record) and Fregosi’s 5th place finish (10:03.59). Later that evening, the men’s 4×50 medley relay of Brian Woodbury, Derek Wu, Zacarias, and Eddie Cochell took 5th in 1:34.00 to start off their evening. Woodbury (swimmer and our coach!) tied for 7th in the championship final of the men’s 50 fly (23.06), which was followed up by a 16th place finish from Quillen in the 200 IM (1:58.89). Ben Radak was our only swimmer (male or female) to make finals in the 50 free (yay sprinting!) and he took 20th in 21.64. Next up, Wu showed out in the 100 breast, placing 12th with a time of 59.03, then later Zacarias finished 4th in the 200 free (1:43.17), picking up a team record of his own, and Quillen won the consolation final of the 200 free with a 1:45.11. In the 100 back, Woodbury took 4th (49.56) and a team record to close out the last individual event of the night. The men’s 4×100 freestyle relay saw Woodbury, Quillen, Mike Kurtz and Zacarias combine to take 6th in (3:08.71), finishing off a stellar second day of competition.

On day three, all eyes were on GTSC with our women still in a big lead and the men sitting in a top 5 position. However, Sunday’s events are mostly sprinting, and since our depth is in distance, we really needed a strong finish. Kurtz kicked things off with a 20th place finish in the 50 back (25.38). Ridgeway was back at it with the butterfly to turn in a 4th place finish and team record (57.55) in the 100 fly with Durham just behind her in 7th (58.81). In the men’s 100 fly, Woodbury won the consolation final in 50.64, and Zacarias took 20th in 51.82. Camila Medrano and Abbie Cochell had great showings in the 50 breast, earning 12th and a team record (32.27) and 20th (33.10) respectively, while fellow breaststroker Wu took 10th on the men’s side in 26.88. Knapp and Durham went 5th and 6th in the 100 free with a 53.50 and 53.82; Knapp’s 53.39 from prelims broke a team record along the way. Zacarias swam a 47.72 in the men’s 100 free, giving in 19th, then Woodbury took home the sole individual title for the men in the 100 IM, racing to the finish in 51.36, a new CCS and team record, and Derek Wu won the consolation final of the 100 IM with a 53.25. In the final event of the night, the 4×50 freestyle relay, Ridgeway, Durham, Nastasi and Knapp combined for 2nd (1:39.78) and a new team record, while on the men’s side it was Eddie Cochell, Zacarias, Radak and Woodbury who took 5th in 1:25.55.

Overall, our women posted 6 individual wins, 7 individual top 3 finishes, 8 individual top 10 finishes, and 5 individual top 20 finishes, along with 3 relay wins and 2 relay top 3 finishes for a total of 697.5 points, a staggering 205.5 points ahead of second place women’s team UVA. Ally Nastasi, Ellie Ridgeway, Rebecca Durham and Lindsay Knapp were our top individual scorers, placing 2nd, 4th, 8th, and 9th out of all women at the meet. The women broke 19 team records, 9 CCS records, and 3 meet records along the way, making this team the most successful women’s team GTSC has ever seen.

On the men’s side, the totals were 1 individual win, 2 individual top 3 finishes, 8 individual top 10 finishes, and 13 individual top 20 finishes, along with 1 relay wins and 4 relay top 10 finishes for a total of 459.50 points, giving them a solid 3rd place overall. Brian Woodbury was our top individual scorer on the men’s side (9th out of all men). The men broke 6 team records and 1 CCS record.

Combined team scores put GTSC atop the podium with 1,157 points, ahead of defending champ UVA (2nd, 1,013 points), Ohio State (3rd, 948 points), UNC Chapel Hill (4th, 614.5 points) and Kentucky (5th, 529 points). It was a hard fought meet, and truly a team effort. What a way to cap off our best year yet!

We can’t thank all of our officers, coaches, and team members for all of the hard work they put in to make this year what it was – we can’t wait to see what great things next year has in store!


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