COBLESKILL, N.Y. - The Gallaudet University men's swimming and diving program remains within striking distance of first place at the 2018 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championships hosted by SUNY Cobleskill after the second day of competition. The Bison brought home two first-place victories and posted another NEAC and school record as they remain in second place with 289 points.
GU trails defending champion SUNY Cobleskill by 33 points heading into Sunday's finale. The Fighting Tigers have amassed 322 team points and leads Gallaudet, Wells College (251 points) and Cazenovia College (129) in the standings.
Freshman Benjamin Sealts (Ottawa, Ohio) won the 100-yard backstroke with a new NEAC record time of 53.53 seconds. The record time erases Sealts' previous school record time of 55.22 set on Oct. 14, 2017. The previous NEAC men's championship record for the 100-yard backstroke belonged to SUNY Cobleskill's Brian Alt, who posted a time of 57.99 in 2014. Plus, during that race Sealts set the GU record for the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 25.79 to improve on his previous best time of 26.23 (Oct. 14, 2017).
Senior Jonathan Tikhonoff (Folsom, Calif.), the reigning NEAC Men's Swimmer of the Year, won the 400-yard IM as he touched the wall in 4:33.50, over 40 seconds ahead of the second-place swimmer.
Gallaudet's 200-yard medley relay team finished second with a time of 1:56.39. The Bison 800-yard freestyle relay team finished second with a time of 9:04.03 but they were disqualified for swimming out of order.
- Junior Mackenzie Shannon (Winnetka, Ill.) and senior David Bruno (Patchogue, N.Y.) joined Tikhonoff and Sealts on GU's relays
- Freshman Rett Jala (McAllen, Texas) took third in the 100-yard backstroke (1:29.43)
- Bruno finished fourth in the 400-yard IM (7:20.35) to secure 11 team points
- Shannon was fourth in the 100-yard butterfly (1:16.75) while freshman Brian Podlisny (Sharon, Mass.) was fifth (1:18.06)
- Junior Julian Simons (Austin, Texas) placed sixth in the 200-yard freestyle (3:04.09)
- Freshman Xiangming Liu (Dandong, China) was fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:47.74)
The third and final day of the NEAC swimming and diving championships will take place tomorrow (Sunday, Feb. 18) at the Bouck Hall Natatorium. Preliminaries are slated to start at 10 a.m. with the finals at 4:45 p.m. The final seven events include the 1,650 free, 100 IM, 200 backstroke, 100 free, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and 400 free relay.