By John Limbaugh
This year, the Montevallo Falcons Men’s and Women’s swimming program posted its highest finish ever in the New South Intercollegiate Swimming Conference. The men’s and women’s swimming teams finished with 44 new school records over the course of the five-day conference championship, setting at least three each day.
In the closing competition of the final day, Will Mahone set a program record in the 200-yard backstroke preliminaries with a time of 1:46.09 and finished third overall in the finals for one of Montevallo’s three podium finishes.
Mahone’s record breaking time was good enough to qualify him for nationals. He will be the first student at Montevallo to ever compete in the NCAA Championship.
According to Mahone, the NCAA only invites athletes with the top 24 fastest finishing times in the nation each year. Mahone finished 12th in the under-stroke competition and 16th in the backstroke. Mahone is competing in the NCAA which is set to begin March 22.
“I’m excited to be competing and am happy that I get to represent Montevallo in such a competition,” Mahone said.
Several other UM athletes on the men’s team broke program and school records each day. Nic Ioannides finished with a record-breaking performance in the men’s 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:59.02.
Connor Daigle broke the school record in the 200-yard breaststroke and finished third in the prelims at 2:02.19. He followed up on his morning performance with a podium finish in the finals and broke his own record with a time of 2:01.39.
To finish off the championship event, the men’s 400-yard relay team, comprised of Thom Naccarato, Aleksei Kolesnikov, Jack Rodgers and Jacob Rubin finished fourth with a school record time of 3:05.23. The men’s team finished out the meet in fourth place with a total of 590.04 points.
On the women’s team, Molly Hansen added a record-breaking performance in the prelims with a posted time of 2:22.04 in the 200-yard breaststroke.
In the finals of the 1,650-yard free, Emily Sauer posted a school record time of 17:59.65. Additionally, she broke the school record during the race in the 1,000-yard free split at 10:49.20.
The women’s 400-yard relay squad, comprised of Dani Davis, Keara McGee, Tahlia Micallef and Lexi Cardwell, finished third in the finals and set a school record with a time of 3:30.68. The women’s team finished the championship meet in 5th place with a total score of 469 points.
The Falcons swim head coach, Aaron Mahaney was named the Men’s Swimming Co-Head Coach of the year after the conference.