GREENSBORO-The North Carolina A&T swimming team had a
strong performance on Friday night against Radford at Corbett Sports Center in
the team's home opener. The Aggies
posted a trio of first place finishes in the meet, despite falling to the Highlanders
Their strong performance overall began with a huge first-place
finish in the 200-yard medley relay, and the Aggies kept up that tempo and
intensity over the course of the competition.
In the 200 medley relay, the Aggies clocked in at 1:56.08
(about six seconds faster than Radford) behind a strong performance from freshmen
Miranda Jacobs and Kenya Dunn, sophomore Danielle Jackson and senior Lauren Bowling. The Aggies defeated the Highlanders in that
event to kickoff their last meeting, which was on Jan. 12 at Corbett Sports
"The way we started off the meet, we were very confident and
the tempo was imperative. We carried it
on through the meet. We had a couple of
events where we were outnumbered and we had to strategize with that," said
A&T head coach Shawn Hendrix. "That
was huge, that tempo-setting right there [with the 200 medley relay]. The girls really knew when I brought them
together. I told them, 'Guys, do not
lose this relay. I'm telling you, I
refuse to lose this relay. We're not
going to do that.' That was impressive."
Four Aggies-Danielle Jackson, Sarah Simmons, Aarin Miles and
LaBraya Milton all posted new career-bests in individual events in the
evening. Much of that success was due to
continued improvement in their technique and execution, Hendrix said.
Jackson clocked in at 58.46, setting a new career high, for
third place in the 100 freestyle.
"Danielle had a really good 50 breaststroke [in the 200
medley relay]. She raced it well and
along with racing it well, she came back and had her best time in the 100
free. That was a lot of pressure to put
her on, since she was the only one in that heat," Hendrix said.
Simmons set a new career-high with a 1:29.62 finish in the
100 backstroke for fifth place. Miles
also had a new career-high with a 1:21.44 finish in the 100 backstroke, while Milton
clocked in a 1:31.70 for another career-best.
Bowling recorded a season best with a 1:00.28 finish in the
100 butterfly, which was the same time she posted in the finals of 2012 CCSA
Championships. She owns the school record in the 100
butterfly with a time of 1:00.04, which she set in the preliminary heat of the
100 butterfly at the 2012 CCSA Championships in February. Bowling's goal is to swim the event in 59
seconds or less this season.
"One of the things is Lauren has been timid to just take it
all out. She took it all out in that
relay. This is the thing about Lauren
being a team swimmer. She will sacrifice
herself harder on a relay than she will for an individual event," Hendrix said,
adding that she was impressed with Bowling's performances on Friday.
Dunn set a new season-best in the 50 freestyle, placing
first in that event with a 25.40 time. Freshman
Niya Ross also had a solid evening for the Aggies, taking third in the 200
freestyle (2:08.06) and 200 IM (2:22.90).
Junior Erika Eisenman took third in the 50 freestyle with a 26.94 time,
which was also faster than her seed time, and 0.01 seconds off her career best.