CLEARWATER, Fla. – Opening competition in the first annual Spartan Invitational, the University of Tampa men's and women's swim teams concluded the first day of action at the Long Center with five first-place times and a pair of NCAA Division II automatic qualifiers.
The No. 11 men's team posted a pair top times while the No. 15 women's squad finished the first day winning three events.
On the women's side, Brittany Bayes set a "B" cut time of 4:57.11 in the women's 500 freestyle to claim the top finish in the event finals. The sophomore shaved nearly two seconds off of her preliminary time from earlier in the day.
Junior Marisa Barton posted another top finish for the Spartans, setting a "B" cut time of 23.53 in the finals for the 50 freestyle.
Barton teamed up with Noel Styer, Izzy Spalding and Amanda Fernandes to earn the top finish in the women's 200 freestyle relay, touching the wall with a time of 1:34.41 in the finals heat of competition.
A strong preliminary performance from Martin Hammer saw the Spartan senior post a national-qualifying "A" cut time of 19.89 seconds in the 50 freestyle to begin the invitational. Hammer improved that time by 0.01 seconds in the finals heat, being the first athlete to touch the wall after 19.88 seconds. The sprint was just 0.11 seconds shy of the school record set by Cole Tedhams in 2006.
Hammer combined with Jordan Augier, Runar Borgen and Jeremy Parker to lead the field in the 200 freestyle relay, as the collective finished with a 1:18.82 time in the finals, nearly four seconds less than the preliminary effort. The finals time is a Division II "A" cut, automatic-qualifier and is a new program record for the men's squad.
The two squads will continue the invitational on Saturday with preliminary action set for 9:30 a.m. followed by final heats at 6:00 p.m.
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