COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 17. HEADING into the final day of competition, the Drury men's and women's swimming and diving teams remain in first with strong leads. Panther Jing Hua posted the only NCAA record of the night in the 100-yard backstroke.
Women's 500-yard Freestyle
Truman State's Molly Polette and Wayne State's Ashley St. Andrew swam head-to-head in the mid-distance race until the final 100 yards when Polette pulled ahead to pick up the win in 4:57.39. St. Andrew finished as the runner-up in 5:00.44. Drury's Cara Fadel, who led the race until at the 400-yard mark, took home the bronze in 5:00.62.
Men's 500-yard Freestyle
Drury swimmers captured the Top 2 spots in the 500-yard freestyle. Kurtis MacGillivary won by a margin of five seconds, stopping the clock at 4:23.59. Teammate Kyrillo Fesenko followed in 4:28.89. University of Missouir-Rolla's Matt Hug hit the wall third in 4:29.14.
Women's 100-yard Backstroke
Drury Lady Panthers Jing Hua and Janelle Slattery followed the example of their male counterparts, finishing first and second in the sprint backstroke event. Hua posted the only NCAA record of the night, erasing Amy Comerford's 15-year-old record in a time of 54.73. Slattery grabbed the silver in 56.23. Sarah Watson of Ouachita rounded out the top 3 in 56.81.
Men's 100-yard Backstroke
NCAA record-holder Rodrigo Ferreira won the event for the second consecutive year when he posted a time of 47.99. Freshman Radu Badalac was the only other swimmer to swim a sub-50 second 100, with a time of 49.27 for second. Travis Stensby garnered a third-place finish in 50.49.
Women's 100-yard Breaststroke
West Chester's Kathrin Dumitru won the 100-yard breaststroke in her final trip to the NCAA meet. She won the event by more than a second in 1:02.35. Drury swimmer Kristie Rose touched in next at 1:03.42, while Maria Vlashchen of Wingate was third in 1:03.73.
Men's 100-yard Breaststroke
Juniors Evan Hsiao (UCSD) and Pedro Pereira (North Dakota) sandwiched freshman Christer Tour (Wayne State) in the 100-yard breaststroke to fill the medal positions. All swimming under 56 seconds, Hsiao was the top contender in 55.51. Tour edged Pereira by .02 seconds, clocking a 55.84. Pereira completed the podium in 55.86.
Women's 200-yard Butterfly
Drury's Janelle Slattery and LeMoyne's Alison Lesher took turns leading the distance-butterfly race until Slattery hit the wall first. Slattery turned first at the 100, splitting a time of 58.81 only to be overtaken by Lesher in the next 50 yards. Lesher was even with Slattery until the final 50 yards when Lesher split a 32.45 to Slatter's 31.46. Lesher finished in 2:03.72. Slattery, in her second event of the night, won with a time of 2:03.13. Jennifer Sims was the next to finish with a time of 2:05.54.
Men's 200-yard Butterfly
Drury returned to the top medal spot when Yiewn Huang posted a time of 1:48.36 to outdistance the heat by two seconds. Matej Tomas (Fairmont State) was second in 1:49.16 and North Dakota's Dan Zabler came up with the bronze in a time of 1:50.71.
Men's 1-meter Diving
In the men's first diving event, Brandon Birchack (College of St. Rose) earned the title with a score of 483.94 when he moved from his preliminary standing of second into first. Nate Jimerson posted a score of 452.15 to occupy the runner-up spot. Drury's Andrew Coup was responsible for third place in 452.15.
Women's 800-yard Freestyle Relay
Truman State won its first relay of the meet when the quad of Jacqui Dempsey, Emily Pufall, Whitney Wodstrchill and Molly Polette stopped the clock at 7:35.50. UC-San Diego recorded a second-place finish when Andrea Lippin, Susan Bell, Shannon Simonds and Aubrey Panis swam a combined time of 7:36.36. Drury rounded out the top three in a time of 7:40.49.
Men's 800-yard Freestyle Relay
The Panthers won their first relay on the men's side when Kyrillo Fesenko, Kyle Kearbey, Kurtis MacGillivary and Tomas Kuzvard improved their entry time by eight seconds to 6:40.59. North Dakota, defeated in the relays for the first time during the meet, finished next in 6:43.89. Indianapolis recorded the third-fastest time of 6:45.11.