LEXINGTON, Va.-The North Carolina A&T swimming team won their first meet of the season, earning a split in a doubleheader against the Virginia Military Institute and Howard University on Saturday at Clark King Pool. The Aggies (1-2) defeated VMI, 139-95, but then lost a close meet to Howard, 132.5-110.5.
"It was a really good meet," said head coach Shawn Hendrix. "We were much better in our starts, and our finishes improved a little. We need to utilize the walls more in our turns. That will be the focus of this week-utilizing walls."
In the 32-event meet that featured men's and women's swimming and diving, the Aggies had several impressive individual performances, and won a relay race.
Junior Lauren Bowling had another standout performance on Saturday, building on her strong start to the season on Oct. 21. Bowling took first place for the second straight meet in the 100-yard butterfly with a 1:01.40 final time. Her time on Saturday against VMI and Howard was just 0.23 seconds slower than her personal-best 100-yard butterfly time, which she set last week at Corbett Sports Center against Campbell. Bowling received nominations for CCSA Swimmer of the Week for her performance against Campbell.
Bowling also finished first in the 200-yard butterfly with a 2:20.71 time, and took third place in the 1000- yard freestyle, clocking in at 12:25.39. Those were her first two races in those events this season.
Freshman Danielle Jackson won the 200-yard breaststroke with a 2:47.20 final time, and tied for second place in the 50-yard freestyle with a 26.05 final time. Jackson, who won first in the 100-yard breaststroke last week, took second place in that event with a 1:13.51 time on Saturday at Lexington.
Sophomore Christian Hill had another excellent meet, setting new personal-best times in the 200 and 500- yard breaststrokes. Hill took second place in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing at 2:09.30, and took second place in the 500-yard freestyle with a 5:53.28 final time. She also finished third in the 200-yard backstroke, completing the race in 2:26.85.
The Aggies won the 200-yard medley relay, as the B squad clocked in at 2:45.96. The Aggies had their A team compete in the 200-yard medley relay as well, but the A team was disqualified for re-entering the pool. Howard's A team for the 200-yard medley was also disqualified for re-entering.
"That's why you always put two relays teams in," Hendrix said.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Aggies A relay squad finished third with a 1:52.68 time, while Aggies B relay squad finished fifth in the same event with a 2:34.87 final time.
The Aggies will compete against Gardner-Webb, Campbell and VMI on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Boiling Springs, N.C. The meet begins at 1 p.m.
"We'll have two heats of each thing, and maybe one or two people in each event," Hendrix said. "So we have to strategize who we will have in each event."