Written by David Mann
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Darton State College Cavaliers earned first-place honors while the Lady Cavs took third at the Birmingham-Southern College Invitational swim meet, Saturday.
The Cavs scored 592 points to beat hosts Birmingham-Southern (551), Rhodes College (352) and Campbellsville University (170).
“We were up against some really good competition,” Darton head swim coach Will Breehl said. “I’m really proud of the men for pulling the meet out.”
Darton sophomore JD Rousseau continued to dominate the 1000-yard freestyle, finishing in 10:06.43. Gabe Downey led the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke (55.11 and 2:01.59, respectively) and defending national champion Crawford Berry swept the 1- and 3-meter diving events.
“We were obviously swimming very heavy from our intense three-week winter training session,” Breehl said. “We came back December 27th and we put in over 60 miles in that three weeks. The kids showed some toughness – they were able to ignore how they felt and just focus on racing.”
In the women’s events, Darton sophomore Sarah Hoop – also a defending national diving champion – scored 238.35 points from the 3-meter board to win. Darton’s Kelsey Carniglia took second place with 228 points.
The Lady Cavs scored a total 326 points to beat Campbellsville University. Rhodes College (Memphis, Tenn.) won the women’s meet with 576 points.
“They are really starting to come around and do what they need to do to be successful,” Breehl said. “We have four meets left to figure out exactly what everyone’s national championship program will be. Three of those meets are at home, and we really like swimming at our fast pool.”
Darton will host Emmanuel College, Saturday, at 1 p.m., in the Cavalier natatorium.