Spartans Complete Delta State Christmas Meet

Box score

CLEVELAND, Miss. - The University of Tampa men's and women's swimming teams completed the three-day Delta State Christmas meet with several top performances, which qualified several Spartans for nationals. The men finished second while the women were third.

Of the 51 total events, the final 22 were swam on Monday as Missouri State won both the men's and women's venues. Delta State placed second in the women's competition while the Spartans were second in the men.

The Spartans struck on the final day, just two races in as Chris O'Linger (15:32.41) and Tyler Furrer (15:56.51) took the top two spots in the 1,650 Free. The women's 200 Back followed as Jennifer Jenkins (2:08.25) and Ellie Eschleman (2:08.78) took second and third respectively. Patrick Murray turned in a second place finish in the 200 Back with a time of 1:52.21.

All-American Jessie Bardin championed the 100 Free with a time of 51.57 as she won by nearly two seconds. Mike Verdi was second in the same event on the men's side as he registered a time of 47.34.

Susanna Ashley rounded out the top three in the 200 Fly, recording a time of 2:07.24. The men's 200 Fly included a pair of Spartans as medalists, including Roman Dagesh (1:52.00) and Blaine Bess (1:52.41).

The relays began with a second place UT showing in the 400 Free as the team of Bardin, Stephanie Branham, Hannah Hudson and Allison Vetter had a time of 3:31.95. UT's men also placed second in the event, with a time of 3:06.22 from Kyle Merritt, Mike Lewis, Frank Kuchta and Patrick Murray.

The Spartans will now take a break before returning home to host the annual UT Relays on Saturday, January 5. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m., at the UT Swimming Complex.

Women - Team Scores
1. Missouri State, 984
2. Delta State, 823
3. Tampa, 659
4. New Orleans, 358
5. Lambuth, 80

Men - Team Scores
1. Missouri State, 1045
2. Tampa, 782
3. Delta State, 529
4. Lambuth, 11