LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Ouachita Baptist University TigerSharks’ 200 Medley Relay team set an NCAA Division II national record at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock’s Christmas Invitational swim meet.
The men’s relay team of Nelson Silva, Radu Badalac, Hal Eubanks and Max Heinze touched the wall in 1:28.52, breaking the previous mark by 1.3 seconds. The four not only broke the national record, but did so twice during the meet at UALR’s Donaghey Student Center Aquatic Center.
“After the preliminaries, there was a time trial for the 200 Medley Relay,” explained Ouachita coach Ryan Killackey. “They broke the record, but because a record can’t be broken during a time trial, the team was put to the test by trying to achieve the same feat in the meet.”
Following their record-setting performance, the Medley Relay team was named National Collegiate Swimmers of the Week by CollegeSwimming.com. It marked the first time a relay team has been recognized as National Collegiate Swimmer of the Week.
Also during the Christmas Invitational meet, OBU’s men’s and women’s teams qualified for 15 spots in the 2008 NCAA Division II National Championships, which will be held March 11-14 in Houston, Texas.
“Going into the meet, we felt like this was going to be a good test to see where we are,” Killackey said. “We wanted to have good, solid swims. We had a lot of good swims and quite a few team records broken. … We have been swimming smart and racing effectively.”
Trina May broke a school record in the 50 free and also qualified in an “A” cut in the 100 free. Katie Patterson made the “B” cut in the 200 back and the 400 IM. Jenny Christensen qualified for the “B” cut in the 200 Breast.
On the men’s side, Heinze qualified in the 100 Free with an “A” cut, while Eubanks made the “B” cut in the same event. Daniel Karkoska qualified for the “B” cut in three events – the 100 Fly, 100 Back and 200 IM. Raza Goga made the “B” cut in the 200 Breast. Austin Teague finished with an “A” cut in the 400 Free. Freshmen Will Wood made a national “B” cut in the Distance Freestyle and also qualified for nationals in the 800 Free.
Following Christmas break, both teams will return to action Jan. 16 in Cleveland, Miss., against Delta State.
by Brian Howard