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Panthers women win 800-yard freestyle relay on day one of SAA Championship

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern swimming and diving teams kicked off the 2016 Southern Athletic Association Championship on Wednesday night, and the women picked up their first gold medal by winning the 800-yard freestyle relay at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

The winning team, consisting of senior Kristen Stempak, freshman Heather Heacock, sophomore Sarah Catherine Murphy, and senior Molly Waddell, clocked a school-record time of 7:46.89, over seven seconds faster than second-place Rhodes.

Click here to view a post-race interview with the relay team.

The Panthers also opened the 2015 SAA Championship last year by winning the 800 free relay, on both the men's and women's sides.

The BSC men also won the 800 free relay on Wednesday, but were later disqualified after the names of the A and B relay teams were mistakenly switched.

Competition continues tomorrow with the 200-yard freestyle relay, 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard IM, 50-yard freestyle, and 400-yard medley relay, and 1-meter dive. Preliminaries are at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.