LITTLE ROCK, AR, December 7. IN all of the years that Ouachita head swimming and diving coach Jim Dann has been as Ouachita – by the way, he’s in his 24th year at the school – he has never seen anything like what he saw last weekend, according to OBU reports.
Participating in the UALR Christmas Invitational, the TigerSharks and Lady TigerSharks combined to break 11 school records, 10 of which were set by the Lady TigerSharks. The two teams combined for third place with the Lady TigerSharks finishing in third place in the women’s meet and the men finishing fifth in the men’s meet.
“I was happy with the way that we swam for the most part,” said Dann. “I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a meet where we broke so many school records, especially with one team breaking 10 records like the women did.”
The TigerSharks and Lady TigerSharks also registered more NCAA qualifying times in the meet, increasing their entries into the Division II National Championships in March. To date, the Lady TigerSharks have three swimmers qualified in eight events with “A” cuts and the TigerSharks have one swimmer qualified in two events with “A” cuts.
In the meet over the past weekend, red-shirt freshman Annalisa Lubinski posted her best meet to date, breaking five Lady TigerShark records – in the 50 free, 200 free, 500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free, 100 back and 200 back — and posting “A” cut times in the 1000 free, 1650 free, 500 free and 200 free.
Freshman Catherine Engibous posted “A” cut times in the 1000 free and the 1650 free and Amanda Loper posted an “A” time in the 100 back and 200 back.
For the TigerSharks, three swimmers added their names to the “B” cut list with Jon Manning qualifying in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 400 IM, Jason Purdy in the 400 IM and Rinaldo Sintjago in the 50 free. Senior Chris Achey, already with an “A” time in the 200 back, posted an “A” time in the 100 back, which was also a school record.
Despite all of the success, Dann also saw room for improvements, especially in the relay events. “Our women broke three relay records, but all of our relays could have been just a bit better,” said Dann. “We would have three swim fast and one would struggle it seemed like throughout the weekend, but we never could put all four together to come out with a qualifying time. We’ll have to work on those over the next couple of months to get our relay teams to national qualifying times.”
If a team posts an “A” relay time, each swimmer on those teams can enter any event in which he or she has a “B” qualifying time.
The next meet for the TigerSharks and Lady TigerSharks will be Jan. 8-9 when Ouachita travels to New Orleans, Louisiana.