Adam Tumino | The Daily Eastern News
Although the meet ended with losses for both teams, the Eastern men’s and women’s swimming teams could not contain their excitement Saturday afternoon as the men’s 200-yard freestyle relay team took first place to cap off their first meet of the season against Evansville.
Saturday marked the first meet for new head swim coach Tyler Donges, who was hired on Sept. 13. Donges said seeing the relay win at the end was an amazing feeling.
“It was just the best,” he said. “We knew that things were going to be a little bit rough going into Evansville just because they have a little bit of a stronger team, and they have a coach that has been there a little bit longer than I have that has been able to build a team and a rapport. Being able to see those last two relays, honestly, to come out and perform at the level that they did at the end of this meet while everybody is tired is an amazing feeling.”
The Panthers had not faced Evansville since the 2019-20 season due to COVID-19 prior to the meet Saturday. They also lost to Evansville that season, the men lost 79-121 and the women’s final was 70-162.
On Saturday, the men lost to the Purple Aces by a score of 76-125 and the women by a score of 69-129.
Donges said that he was thrilled with the performance of the men and women despite the loss.
“I am so proud of the way that they performed in every way shape and form. We swam very tired for this meet,” he said. “We didn’t actually back off of our training going into Evansville knowing that we were going to be facing an uphill battle and I am so thrilled about the way that they performed today.”
The men’s 200-yard freestyle relay was won by Forrest Baumgartner, Jarod Farrow, Dismas Dillion and Jacob Nichols with a time of 1:29.88. Payton Buse, Ajay Ahooja, Alex Adam and Spencer Wilson finished second in the event with a time of 1:29.99.
In the women’s 200-yard medley relay, the team of Olivia Viele, Corinne Staneart, Kaylan Ottosen and Camryn Lewis came in second place with a time of 1:50.24.
Freshman Autumn Grinter won the women’s 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 54.29. Sophomore Camryn Lewis finished third in the same race with a time of 55.38. Sophomore Kennedy Darensbourgh posted second place in the women’s 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:06.49.
For the men, Spencer Wilson came in second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:44.99. Payton Buise also finished in second place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.24.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will travel to Valparaiso to face the Beacons on Saturday, Oct. 23.
Autumn Schulz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]