CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – The Franklin College swimming and diving teams opened the 2018-19 regular season on Saturday (Oct. 20) afternoon, taking part in the Indiana DIII Invitational, hosted by Wabash College.
Both teams turned in strong performances to open the year against the rest of their in-state rivals. The Franklin women claimed eight individual event titles and one relay championship on their way to a second-place finish with 664.5 points. The Grizzly men took fourth place against a tough field, earning 464.5 points at the event.
A pair of Grizzly female sprinters walked away with three event titles on Saturday afternoon each. Sophomore Jessica Halsmer claimed top times in the 200 free (2:01.11), 200 backstroke and 100 backstroke (59.66). Fellow sophomore Jacqueline Richard dashed to first place finishes in the 50 free (25.02), 100 free (55.36) and 100 fly (1:00.93).
Sophomore Ashley Snoke collected a first-place finish in the 100 breaststroke, clocking in at a time of 1:11.43. The final event title came from sophomore diver Lexi Blackburn, who claimed first place on the three-meter board with a total of 220.25. Blackburn nearly claimed a second title on the one-meter board, but had to settle for second place with a score of 212.40, finishing .10 points behind first place.
Junior Cady Mehringer picked up points with a trio of runner-up finishes in the 200 fly (2:15.51), 200 breaststroke (2:38.88) and 200 IM (2:17.15). Also collecting individual runner-up finishes were freshman Rylee Elder (1000 free/11:39.72), Brooke Haflich (500 free/5:38.95), Mackenzie Dwyer (200 back) and Courtnee Coffman (50 free/55.68).
The Grizzlies' top 200 medley relay team of Halsmer, Elizabeth Colliver, Snoke and Coffman eared the top spot in their event with a time of 1:50.64. Mehringer, Richard, Coffman and Olivia Walther claimed a second place finish in the 400 free relay, clocking in with a time of 3:44.02.
Competing in his first career event, sophomore Charlie Hall claimed two runner-up finishes for the Franklin men. The Owensboro, Ky.-native turned in a time of 1:58.94 in the 200 fly and followed it up with a time of 2:01.97 in the 200 individual medley.
Junior James Hone turned in strong showings in the 200 free (1:47.86) and the 200 backstroke (2:03.61), taking fifth place in both events. Dylan Harker claimed a fifth place finish in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:02.29 and Cam Culp claimed fifth in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:20.93.
Both men's relay teams came away with fourth place finishes at the event. The 200 medley relay squad of Zach Rayce, Trey Shepard, Noah Tallman and Ben Doss clocked in at 1:42.05. Later in the day, the men's 400 free relay squad of Hall, Doss, Hone and Caleb Strange concluded the race with a time of 3:18.73.
Senior Will Combs claimed two runner-up finishes on the boards, racking up 212.05 point on the three-meter board and 209.95 points on the one-meter board. In his first career competition, freshman Cameron Poe picked up 202.30 points on the one-meter board, earning a fourth-place finish.
The Grizzlies return to action next Friday (Oct. 26) night with dual competitions against Illinois Wesleyan and Anderson at Franklin Middle School. Start time for the dual competitions is set for 6:00 p.m.