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RECAP | Grizzlies Stay Perfect with Saturday Wins over Illinois Tech and Loras

Photo: Renee Kean
Photo: Renee Kean

CHICAGO, Ill. – The Franklin College swimming and diving teams completed a perfect weekend on Saturday (Nov. 3) afternoon, picking up dual wins over Illinois Tech and Loras College.

Franklin's women moved to 5-0 in dual competition this year after taking a 170-46 win over Illinois Tech and a 170-56 triumph over Loras. The Grizzly men moved to 4-0 overall following a 148-81 win over Illinois Tech and a 194-36 win over Loras.

The women's team earned wins in 10 of the afternoon's 13 events, led by two individual event wins from sophomore Jessica Halsmer. The Indianapolis, Ind.-native opened up her afternoon with a win in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:00.76. Later in the day, Halsmer blew past the competition in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:08.11, winning the event by eight seconds. Halsmer was also a member of the Grizzlies' winning 400 medley relay team, teaming with Ashley Snoke, Elizabeth Colliver and Brynna Sentel for a time of 4:11.54, more than eight second better than second place.

Senior Mackenzie Dwyer picked up a win in the first individual event of the day, winning the 1000 freestyle by more than 33 seconds with a time of 11:10.20. Courtnee Coffman was triumphant in the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.91 seconds, followed by Cady Mehringer's win in the 400 IM in 4:49.31.

Snoke took the top spot in the 200 breaststroke with a winning clip of 2:44.15, besting teammate Natalie Hollensead by less than a second. Sentel claimed the top spot in the 500 freestyle, winning the event by 21 seconds with a time of 5:25.02. The Grizzlies' 400 freestyle relay team of Olivia Walther, Mehringer, Coffman and Jacqueline Richard closed out the afternoon with a winning time of 3:46.73, 15 seconds better than the next best team.

On the boards, sophomore Lexi Blackburn continued her strong start to the year by taking the top spot on the three-meter board with a score of 218.60 points. The Clayton, Ind.-native ended her day with a runner-up finish on the one-meter board with 244.90 points.

The Grizzly men claimed the top spot in nine of the 13 events with two members of the team earning two wins each. Rob Warren picked up two impressive wins in distance events, starting with a dominant effort in the 1000 freestyle that saw the Bowling Green, Ky.-native win by 31 seconds with a time of 10:22.88. Later in the day, Warren took the top spot in the 500 freestyle with a seven-second win and a clip of 4:59.70.

Junior James Hone wrapped up a strong weekend with a win in the 200 backstroke in 2:03.09, his second win in the event over the weekend. The Melbourne, Austrailia-native just missed sweeping all four individual events on the weekend, settling for a runner-up finish in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:49.29.

Ben Doss brought home a win in the 50 freestyle, clocking in at 23.12 seconds. Charlie Hall turned in a dominant showing in the 400 IM, taking the win by 15 seconds with a time of 4:24.01. Mac Howard earned the final individual race title with a win in the 200 butterfly and a time of 2:03.51.

Both relay squads put together strong showings as well, highlighted by a win in the 400 freestyle relay from Doss, Howard, Hall and Caleb Strange after the quartet completed the event with a time of 3:21.58. The men's 400 medley relay team of Hone, Dylan Harker, Noah Tallman and Jordan Cermak closed out the day by taking second in the event with a time of 3:40.98.

Will Combs continued his dominance on the boards, winning one both the one- and three-meter boards Saturday. The Indianapolis, Ind.-native earned 215.15 points on the three-meter board and closed out his afternoon with 261.35 points on the one-meter. Freshman Cameron Poe turned in a solid performance on both boards, adding 202.45 points on the three-meter and 254.60 points.

The Grizzlies return to action next Saturday (Nov. 10), when they welcome Centre College and Manchester University to Franklin Middle School for dual competition. Start time is set for 1:00 p.m.