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Panther men and women in first after day two of SAA Championship

50-yard freestyle winners (L to R) Wil Barton, Drew Priede, and Wil Cushman (photo by Wade Photography)
50-yard freestyle winners (L to R) Wil Barton, Drew Priede, and Wil Cushman (photo by Wade Photography)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern swimming and diving teams had a strong showing on Thursday for day two of the Southern Athletic Association Championship, with both squads leading the team standings.

For the women, BSC leads with 324 points, ahead of Rhodes College with 299. The men scored 315 points, 18 ahead of Berry. The Panther men's finish was especially remarkable considering they came into today's competition with zero points after being disqulaified from last night's 800-yard freestyle relay, which they finished first in.

Senior Drew Priede won the 500-yard freestyle, breaking the SAA record with a time of 4:28.77 which is also a NCAA "B" cut qualifying mark. BSC swept the top four spots in that race, with sophomore Wil Barton placing second, senior Wil Cushman placing third, and freshman Justin Staab placing fourth.

Senior Kristen Stempak won the 50-yard freestyle for the women, breaking the SAA record with a time of 24.09, and freshman Chelsea Chamblee was second with a time of 24.17.

The women also won the 200-yard freestyle relay, the team consisting of Stempak, senior Molly Waddell, freshman Heather Heacock, and Chamblee, breaking the SAA record with a time of 1:36.28.

Overall today the Panthers earned 11 medals - three gold, four silver, and four bronze.

Competition continues tomorrow with preliminaries at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.