By Cici Zhang
ATLANTA, Georgia, April 21. THE last day of the East Coast Collegiate National Swimming and Diving Championships proved nothing but the best. Fast swims started from the 1st heat of the day to the last.
Darton College certainly proved itself strong in the competition again in swimming and in diving. Anna Macht and TJ Bland of Darton College started off the evening and continued their dominance in their events claiming two titles each. Macht won with a 27.57 in the 50-yard backstroke and a setting a new ECC record in the 50-yard breaststroke with a 30.38. Bland claimed wins in the 50-yard breaststroke as well with a 25.33 and in the 100-yard individual medley with a 51.55. Crawford Berry took home an impressive first place win in the 1 meter diving with 594.55 points breaking last year's record by over 100 points.
On the women's side, Hannah Herbold of Metro State in Colorado claimed her second diving title in the 1 meter diving and also breaking the record with 351. 55 points.
Florida's James Turned also clenched two more titles today with wins in the 100-yard freestyle with a 45.85 and 100-yard butterfly with a 50.28, .02 seconds off the current ECC record. Jeff Reardon won another title for Florida in the 50-yard backstroke with a 23.45. Will Waters followed close behind Bland in the 100-yard individual medley with a 2nd place finish and was part of the relay that claimed the title of the men's 4x50-yard freestyle relay with a 1:24.78, two whole seconds before 2nd and 3rd place.
Colorado's Ellesse Spaeth claimed the 100-yard butterfly title with a 59.80 and gained points for the team. However, Princeton's Michelle Yakubisin out touched both Speath's teammates Kate Booth and Margaret Fox in the 100-yard freestyle with a 54.22. Nevertheless, Colorado's women team claimed the title in the 4x50-yard freestyle relay with a 1:40.44. Sophomore Casey Wilson also claimed a title for Colorado in the 100-yard individual medley.
Overall, Colorado's men's team claimed the national title ahead of Florida with 60 points. Missouri followed behind with a 3rd place national title. On the women's side Colorado swept the field with an astonishing 1023 points, more than 300 points ahead of Florida, followed by Connecticut in 3rd place. In combined scores, Colorado claimed its third consecutive national title of the East Coast Collegiate Swimming and Diving Club National Championships with 1916 points. 2nd place goes to Florida with 1492 points and 3rd place goes to Missouri with 875 points.
This year's East Coast Collegiate Swimming and Diving Club National Championships had many impressive swims. New names showed up and took control such as Darton's Anna Macht and TJ Bland. Icelandic Olympian Sarah Bateman still proved to be undefeatable. Florida and Colorado formed a strong rivalry before shaking hands at the end of today. Many swimmers seized the opportunity to place in the top three alongside Florida and Colorado.