BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern men's and women's swimming and diving teams sit in first place after day two of the Southern Athletic Association Championships Thursday night. The Panthers finished top three in nine events, including four championship titles at the Birmingham CrossPlex to take a commanding lead. The women are currently 20 points ahead of Centre College, while the men took a 115 point lead on Centre through 140 events.
"This is turning into a total team effort," said Head Coach Toby Wilcox. "The girls are in the meet. We're starting to get into it. I think we're going to get deeper and stronger as we keep going. The guys just keep looking stronger and stronger. So I'm excited. We have two more hard days."
The Panthers finished 1-2-3 in the men's 200 IM. Noah Young (Clinton, Miss./Clinton HS) qualified for National's in the event, marking the second Panther this championship to qualify for NCAA's. Becca Erwin (Duluth, Ga./Duluth HS) did it in the 200 freestyle on Wednesday.
His time of 1:49 was four seconds faster than his prelims time and earned him the 200 IM title. Caleb Riggs (Enterprise, Ala./Peninsula HS) out-touched his teammate at 1:55.32 for silver, and Brady Coleman (Denham Springs, La./Denham Springs HS) finished in 1:55.85 for bronze.
Young, with Luke Huffstutler (Odenville, Ala./Heritage Christian Academy), Wil Barton (Memphis, Tenn./St. George's Independent School), and Will Retersdorf (Spring Hill, Tenn./Independence HS) also won the 200 freestyle relay championship just 0.46 seconds ahead of Rhodes College.
Young was also a member of the silver medalist 400 medley relay team of Riggs, Huffstutler, and Retersdorf.
Nico Medina (Davie, Fla./American Heritage HS) won the 500 free title in 4:33, shaving three seconds off his prelim time. Barton finished just behind him at 4:36 to earn the silver medal.
On the women's side, Erwin anchored the silver medalist 200 free relay team of Chelsea Chamblee (Boaz, Ala./Boaz HS), Erica Dekle (Mobile, Ala./McGill-Toolen Catholic HS), and Katherine Odle (Jasper, Ala./Walker HS).
Erwin would go on to win the 50 freestyle championship in 23.99 seconds.
The men are in first place with 359 points, followed by Centre at 244 and Rhodes at 205. The women's race for the team title is a lot tighter, with the Panthers in first at 323 points, Centre in second with 303, and Rhodes in third with 293.
The championships continue tomorrow with swimming prelims and men's 1-meter diving finals starting at 10 a.m. The finals begin in the second session at 6 p.m. and include the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and 100 backstroke.
Men's 200 Free Relay Champions
Nico Medina, 500 Free Champion
Noah Young, 200 IM Champion
Becca Erwin, 50 Freestyle Champion