The medley relay teams hit the water to lead off the meet; Katie Duggan, Rached Bernhardt, Brianna Bentz and Aubrey Murray reached the wall at an incredible time of 3:56.68. Everyone in attendance at the Drexel Pool was stunned as it was announced that the women’s team had just broken a 23-year-old school record in the 400m medley relay.
“The women’s team has made huge progress this year, and the freshman class has been a game changer for us,” head coach Shawn Markey said.
They were soon followed by the men’s 400-yard medley relay team of Joel Berryman, Chad Schmidt, Kyle Lukens and Alex Bagshaw, who stopped the clock at 3:27.08 to take first place in the competition.
Freshman Zoltan Gercsak picked up the first individual win the for the men’s team in the 1000-yard free with a time of 9:49.22. Following his win, sophomore Joel Berryman swam away from the rest of the competition, finishing first in the 100-yard backstroke. Junior Chad Schmidt brought home another win for the Dragons when he left everyone behind in the 100 breaststroke, stopping the clock at 59.06. Junior Mike Krohn also came up big, as he swam by the competition in the 200-yard fly, finishing in 1:55.65, followed by Lukens, who came in second place with a time of 1:55.93.
In the 50-yard free, the men dominated the Colonials; the top three finishers were all Dragons, including Bagshaw (21.88), junior Mike Shaeffer (22.29) and sophomore John Connolly (22.37). Also, junior Andrew Reimon claimed another victory for the Dragons in the 200 breaststroke, as he touched the wall at 2:09.71.
“In terms of recruiting, we brought in some good men to fill the gaps in free events and distance events,” Markey explained.
When asked about the men’s team’s impressive run to start the season, Markey said, “The team and I have discussed making it through this season undefeated on a number of occasions. This has been our biggest goal. The team is very excited and optimistic about it. It will all come down to good planning and having a healthy team each meet to make that happen.”
As for the women, freshman Aubrey Murray started things off with a first-place finish in the 200 free with a time of 1:54.09. She won three events altogether during the meet. In the 100 backstroke, senior Gizem Yali finished in first with a time of 59.97, while teammate Katie Kapelsohn followed close behind for the second-place finish with a time of 1:01.69. Freshman Rachel Bernhardt captured another win for the Dragons in the 100 breaststroke, and freshman Claudia Duguay claimed a victory in the 50 free.
The day ended with the freestyle relay teams slashing through the water with times of 1:26.24 for the men and 1:38.18 for the women, with both taking first place. The Blue and Gold return to the water Nov. 9 as they head to Binghamton University for an away meet. Thus far, the Dragons have proven that they are in a league of their own, but it will be interesting to see if they can continue their elite performance against the tough Bearcats team.