Howard Records Fall on Day One off CCSA Championships
It was a historic day for the Howard University Swimming program during day one of the 2013 Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championships. Both the men and women garnered accolades and rewrote the university record books on their way to a very successful opening to the conference championships.
The Bison men found themselves on the podium for their record-breaking performance that concluded the evening's festivities. Swimming the 400 medley relay, sophomore Benjamin Skelding (Palmdale, Calif.) led off the backstroke leg and gave way to fellow sophomore Dexter Brown (Pearland, Texas) Brown's breaststroke split was his fastest relay split at Howard (57.40.) Senior Zadok Isaacs (Cantaro Village, Trinidad and Tobago) and sophomore Trent Popovich (Morro Bay, Calif.) closed the relay with outstanding splits to give Howard a new school record in the event at a time of 3:32.01, breaking the old mark by almost two seconds. Davidson College won the event, followed by Gardner-Webb University and the Bison taking the bronze medal.
Another impressive relay came in the beginning of the meet in the 200 freestyle relay. Brown, Isaacs and Popovich teamed with junior Darell Hungerford (Clinton, Md.) to swim the fourth-fastest time in school history. Their time of 1:26.94 was good for fourth place.
Individually, both teams were represented by Isaacs and Popovich. In the 50 freestyle, the men swam career-best times and bolstered their standing in the Bison Top-10 list, an event Howard is traditionally known for excellence. Isaacs made his way to the championship heat after a preliminary round swim of 21.16, catapulting him into second place all-time in Bison Swimming history in the event. Popovich fought his way into the consolation round of the 50 freestyle. In his evening swim, Popovich dropped more time to finish in 14th place in the event with a 21.65. The sophomore now sits 9th all-time at HU in the event.
Brown made his way into Howard history with his 200 individual medley performance in the Thursday preliminary round. His time of 1:58.80 places him 3rd all-time at Howard and good for 17th place in the meet.
The Lady Bison wrote their own history on Thursday evening. Just like the men, the women stormed to a new Howard record in the 400 medley relay to cap-off a great night of swimming. Senior Summer Davis (Laverock, Pa.) found herself in the Top-10 in Lady Bison history after her career-best, lead-off backstroke leg (1:03.21.) She handed the relay to sophomore Briana Dillon (Katy, Texas) who also split a career-best breaststroke leg (1:07.86.) Juniors Janai Ederaine (Corona, Calif.) and Ashley Douglas (Missouri City, Texas) closed the relay with force for a final time of 4:01.82, a new university record previously held for 12 years.
The first relay of the evening narrowly missed setting a new Howard record. In the 200 freestyle relay, Dillon, Ederaine and Douglas combined with senior E'lan Brewer (Lansing, Mich.) to vault themselves into second-place all-time in Howard history. Their time of 1:37.60 was good for ninth place in the competition.
Dillon, Ederaine and Douglas found themselves in the Lady Bison top-10, resetting their own personal records. Ederaine split a time of 2:11.57 in the 200 individual medley, placing her second all-time. Dillon's lead-off leg in the relay showed 24.07, a new career-best and now fourth all-time at Howard. Right behind her in the fifth place is Douglas after her preliminary round split of 24.25, good for fifth all-time at HU and 22nd in the competition.
After day one, Davidson is in first-place with 265.50 points and College of Charleston sits in second with 227.50 points. Gardner-Webb is in third with 217 points, while Virginia Military Institute is fourth with 97 points and Howard in fifth with 76 points.
Florida Gulf Coast University leads the first round of the women's championships. Radford, University of North Carolina at Asheville and Howard are all within five points of each other, battling to finish in the top ten.
The second day of the CCSA Championship will begin Friday, Feb. 22 at 10:00 a.m. The event finals for day two will start at 6:00 p.m.