As Christmas break came to a close, the Oklahoma Christian men’s and women’s swimming teams dove back into competition at the Austin College Invitational in Sherman, TX Jan 6.
“The Austin College meet was exciting,” said junior Jamie McGarringle. “I did not know what to expect, the indoor pool was small, the air was stuffy, and we could only warm-up and cool-down in the diving well. These sort of meets teach you how to ignore the negative aspects and just swim the best you can.”
The invitational marks the last away swim meet for the Eagles before the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships in February.
For the men and women, both the Eagles and Lady Eagles placed second out of the six teams present.
The Lady Eagles earned 371 points to place them second behind Division II opponent University of Texas of the Permian Basin, who finished with 626 points.
The Oklahoma Christian men’s team finished the meet with 594 points, which was 150 points behind the leader University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
“What lead to the team’s success is our mental toughness and good sportsmanship,” said McGarringle. “Despite the negative swimming conditions, we stayed positive, encouraged each other and gave it our all.”
The Lady Eagles recorded three individual first place finishes at the invitational.
McGarringle placed first in two individual events, the 100 individual medley and the 50 freestyle. She set a school record in the 100 individual medley with a time of 1:03.41. She completed the freestyle in just under 30 seconds with a time of 25.55 seconds.
McGarringle also participated in breaking another school record with a relay team of three other freshmen. Swimming the 400 freestyle relay, McGarringle, freshman Hanna Forbat, sophomore Heidi Fritscher and freshman Riley Powelson set a new school record of 3:46.65 and notched first place.
“I mean you are literally writing Eagle history,” said McGarringle. “Setting a school record feels great, but this is only the beginning. We are getting faster and stronger. When we are fully trained and tapered (rested) for Conference there will be a lot of new records, just you wait.”
The Lady Eagles recorded two other individual first place finishes. Freshman Rachel Brumfield took first in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:23.38. Forbat swam a 1:02.30 in the 100 butterfly for a first place victory.
Oklahoma Christian also placed second and third in the 100 butterfly. Freshman Hailey Webster took second and Brumfield finished third.
The Lady Eagles also set another school record at the invitational. In the 400 medley relay, a team including freshman Allison De Weirdt, Webster, Brumfield and Fritscher finished in a time of 4:16.23 and placed first.
The Oklahoma Christian men’s swim team broke one school record Jan. 6.
Swimming the 400 medley relay, freshman Noah Woollweever and sophomores Derek Duckworth, Kurt Gscheidle and Andrew Assaleh recorded one of only two first place finishes for the Eagles in a time of 3:39.11, which became the new Oklahoma Christian record.
The only other first place finish for Oklahoma Christian men’s team came in an individual performance from Duckworth, who swam the 100 freestyle in 49.54 seconds.
Duckworth also recorded a second place individual finish at the invitational after swimming 50 freestyle in 22.35 seconds.
Gscheidle took two second place finishes for the Eagles in the 100 butterfly and 100 individual medley.
The Eagles also had two other athletes narrowly miss first place finishes.
Woollweever swam for second place in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Freshman Jordan Riley also recorded a second place finish with a time of 5:14.29 in the 500 freestyle.
In preparation for conference championships, McGarringle said the team is working hard during demanding practices every day in hopes their hard work will bring good results.
“Conference is the most important and competitive part of the swim season,” said McGarringle. “It’s when everyone is tapered (rested) and ready to race their best events as fast as they possibly can. We have been swimming nine demanding practices a week and doing intense dryland workouts, pushing ourselves to the limit. We hope to make our God, our coaches, our university and our families proud of our successes and the path we took to be successful. I am looking forward to all of our hard work paying off at Conference.”
Both the Eagles and Lady Eagles will swim in the Edmond Ice Breaker Meet at the Edmond YMCA Center, for their final competition before conference championships, Jan. 27-28.