Oklahoma Christian dives into second competition of the season

Oklahoma Christian swimmer races towards the finish. Photo by Jenny Rigney

Oklahoma Christian swimmer races towards the finish. Photo by Jenny Rigney

In the second swim meet of the season, the Oklahoma Christian University men’s and women’s teams traveled to Lewisville, TX to compete in the North Texas Relays Sept. 29.

In a six-team field, the women’s swim team placed sixth with 44 points. Division I University of Houston took first with 428 points. Out of three teams, the Oklahoma Christian men finished third with 310 points, 80 points behind fellow Division II opponent Oklahoma Baptist. Southern Methodist University finished first for the men’s teams with 434 points.

Sophomore Justin Carey said competing against Division I opponents was tough because of the size difference.

“Those are some big guys,” Carey said. “Coach Van Slooten and I were talking after one of the races discussing turns and how I had been with some of the bigger guys into the turn, but then I got caught up in their wash coming out. It’s like swimming in an ocean, very hard to get out and swim fast in that.”

The Lewisville Aquatic Center, where the meet was located, will be home to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Championships in February. Last week, the Eagles were picked fifth in the RMAC preseason swimming poll, and the Lady Eagles were picked sixth.

The North Texas Relays consisted of 24 relay events, ranging from the 3×500 freestyle relay to the 3×100 backstroke relay.

In the first event of the meet, a trio of freshmen, Griffen Cornell, Kurt Gscheidle and Ryan Jennings, placed fourth out of six teams with a combined time of 2:44.62 in the 3×100 butterfly relay.

For the women’s 3×100 butterfly relay, freshmen Rachel Brumfield, Hailey Webster and Hanna Forbat finished with a time of 3:07.49 to place ninth out of 13 teams.

With a diving finish, three teams from Oklahoma Christian swept fourth, fifth and sixth place in the 3×100 breaststroke relay. The top team of freshmen Dylan Ingram, Caleb Brown and Jennings finished in 3:13.88.

The longest race of the day for Oklahoma Christian was the men’s 800 freestyle relay. The team of four Eagles included sophomore Justin Carey and freshmen Brittan Butler, Daniel Rutledge and Zachary Taylor.

“I’m always pretty hard on myself, Carey said. “I have a lot of work still to do but it’s good to see where you are at this point of the season so you know what needs to get better.”

In the final race of the North Texas Relays, the women’s 400 freestyle relay, a team of four Lady Eagles placed 14th. The team of freshmen Allison DeWeirdt, Kaelyn Carter, Webster and Brumfield finished the race with a combined time of 4:05.70.

With the next swim meet several weeks away, Carey said having a focused mindset in practice is very important.

“We have to work the skills and stay slightly aggressive every day at practice,” Carey said. “Regarding mindset, I try my best to ‘turn on’ at practice and ‘turn off’ outside the pool and enjoy, which seems to work best.”

The men’s and women’s swim teams will compete Oct. 28 at the Edmond Halloween Meet, a USA Swimming event.

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