By: Jake Renie
DANVILLE, Ky. – After a tough pair of days at the Colonel Classic, the Franklin swimming and diving teams both picked up first place finishes in their first competitions of 2019. The Grizzly women lead from wire-to-wire, finishing 122 points ahead of second place with 643 total points. The Franklin men rolled to a 63-point win thanks to a dominant Saturday showing, collecting 643 points of their own.
The women kicked off the meet with an exceptional 200 free relay victory, as the team of Courtnee Coffman, Ashley Snoke, Jacqueline Richard, and Brynna Sentel out-touched the second-place relay by one and a half seconds in 1:39.30, a new pool record. The men placed second overall in the event, as Charlie Hall, Jordan Cermak, Ben Doss, and James Hone came together for a 1:29.2 in the men's 200 free relay.
Sentel found similar success in the following event, as she dominated the women's 500 free. Her victory at a 5:12.19 time was the best by over eleven seconds and a new personal record. Coffman was the next Grizzly to win an event, as she took the crown in the 50 free on a :24.36, setting a new pool record in the process.
Continuing the success on relays, Jessica Halsmer, Snoke, Cady Mehringer, and Coffman combined for another victory in the women's 400 medley relay, this time by almost eight seconds, maintaining their alarming lead at a final time of 4:03.81. The men found success in another second place relay, as their 400 medley relay of Hone, Jack Heim, Noah Tallman, and Cermak touched at a 3:37.79.
Starting the second day, the women continued to dominate the meet with their relays. At a fantastic four and a half second victory, Sentel, Snoke, Liz Colliver, and Richard throw down a quick 1:50.65 in the 200 medley relay, setting a new program mark. The next two events went in all favor for the Grizzlies, as they claimed the top three spots in the women's 400 IM. Mackenzie Dwyer was the victor in her quick 4:50.66 time, as Mehringer followed for second on a 4:54.45.
The men claimed second and third in the 400 IM, arguably their best event at that point. Hall was the top Grizzly at second, where his 4:29.89 was about two seconds ahead of his teammate, Rob Warren, who came in at a 4:31.59. The Grizzlies swept the 200 free, as Sentel claimed another victory on the weekend for the women on her 1:57.28, and James Hone took control of the men's race in a 1:48.42 time.
Diving was swept emphatically by the Grizzlies, as Will Combs took a victory on the men's side by over 100 points. Lexi Blackburn provided an impressive performance for the women, as well, adding her total to a score of 230.69. Making her first appearance on the board, Margaret Hutzky came in third place after accumulating 207.07 points.
Rob Warren took on the men's mile with style, as his 1650 time of 17:25.94 earned him a victory in the event. Snoke (women; 1:08.32) and Heim (men; 1:01.54) swept the next events in the 100 breast. The performance inspired another top three finish for the women in the 100 back, as Halsmer (:59.85) touched first, with Sentel following (1:02.02) for second, and Coffman (1:02.62) in third.
The lengthy 800 free relay was next, and it was again swept by Franklin. The women combined for a new record time of 7:59.93, and the men took theirs on a 7:13.86. Halsmer claimed the women's 200 back immediately after, as she hit the finish on a 2:06.23 time. The Grizzlies added another sweep, coming in the 100 free. Coffman stole the show for the women with her thrilling :53.72 victory, and Mac Howard proved his skill with a :49.9, a best time on the season.
August Hartzell claimed victory in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:35.78. The Grizzlies finished the meet in style, sweeping the 400 free relay. Coffman, Halsmer, Richard, and Sentel teamed up for a 3:40.02 victory for the women. The quartet of Cermak, Ben Doss, Howard, and Hone stepped up for a well-earned 3:17.44 victory on the men's side.
The next time the Grizzlies are back in action will be on January 19th, where they visit Greencastle, Indiana to face DePauw. The dual meet will start at 1:00 PM EST.