WASHINGTON, D.C. – It was the final home meet for one of the most decorated senior classes in the history of the Gallaudet University men’s swimming program on Saturday at the Field House pool. The Bison hosted Hood College in a non-conference dual meet and lost a close one, 113-92.
Gallaudet concludes the regular-season with a 5-4-1 overall record, the second winning mark in program history and the first in 46 years.
GU’s four seniors of Brian Bennett (Colorado Springs, Colo.), James McGowan (Palm Coast, Fla.), Dan Burton (Waukesha, Wis.) and Sean Ryant (Cleveland, Ohio) have combined to set nine of the 14 individual event school records and all five relays records since 2008.
It was only fitting that three of the four had a hand in setting another school record on Saturday as Bennett, Ryant, McGowan along with junior DJ Everton-Lovell (Norfolk, Va.) took first in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:48.37. The new school mark surpasses the one set in 2008 (1:49.52). McGowan was a part of that record four years ago when he was a freshman. This is the fifth time this season the Bison have set a new school record.
“Brian, Sean, Dan and James all swam well and did the University proud with their performances today and during their careers here as Bison,” said Gallaudet swimming head coach Bill Snape.
Bennett, one of the most dominant swimmers in GU history, won two events against the Blazers and came in second in another. He was first in the 1,000 freestyle (11:17.19) and 200 freestyle (1:48.81). Hood’s Andrew Bodine just edged out Bennett in the 100 butterfly as Bodine touched the wall first in 58.37 seconds followed by Bennett (59.48 seconds). Andrew Bodine won two events and was part of the first-place 200 freestyle relay for the Blazers. Hood won eight of the 11 men’s events. Bennett currently holds six Gallaudet individual event records and was part of four record-breaking relay teams in his two years with the buff and blue.
McGowan has had an impressive four-year career for the Bison as he currently holds three individual school records and has been apart of four of the five record-setting relay teams. On Saturday, McGowan was second in the 50 freestyle (23.63) and 100 freestyle (52.59) as he was just beat out by Hood’s Jon Collier (52.05).
Burton was second in the 100 backstroke (1:06.50) as he finished just ahead of teammate Kaliob Miller (Ardmore, Okla.), who touched the wall in 1:12.43. Burton was also fourth against Hood in the 50 freestyle (24.51). He currently is a member of two GU record relay teams. Ryant placed third in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:19.28 while also being part of the first-place 200 medley relay team. Today was the first school record relay team Ryant has been apart of.
Everton-Lovell placed second in the 400 IM (5:00.28) and the 500 freestyle (5:43.06) against the Blazers.
The Bison will now set their sights on the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championships that will be held Feb. 17-19 in Cazenovia, N.Y. Gallaudet will enter as the defending conference champions.
“I’m very pleased with where we stand. We are poised to focus solely on the conference championships for the next month. The hard work begins now,” said Snape.