Men’s swimming and diving wins championship, women place third

Media Credit: Sam Frey | Hatchet Photographer

Senior Jarvus Pennington swims laps during a practice earlier in February.

Men’s swimming and diving took home its second consecutive Atlantic 10 Conference Championship title, and the women’s team placed third after four days of competition in Geneva, Ohio last week.

The conference win for the men is the program’s second banner under the leadership of head coach James Winchester, who took the helm of the program in 2015. The Colonials were predicted to win the championship in a preseason coaches’ poll conducted in the fall.

The men’s team ended the meet with nine gold medals, six silver medals and four bronze medals, good for 689 total points. George Mason, which captured second place in the conference, tallied 541 total points.

GW was led by senior Gustav Hokfelt, who helped set four conference records and four program records. Hokfelt – who was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Performer – took home individual golds in the 50-yard freestyle (20.12 seconds), 100-yard backstroke (46.24 seconds) and 200-yard backstroke (1:41.97), as well as four more golds on relay teams.

Heading into the meet, the women’s program aimed for a top-three finish. In the three years since Winchester joined the program, the Colonials have climbed the ranks in the conference each season.

They completed their goal, finishing third out of 11 teams with 447.5 total points.

The women ended the meet with 13 medals, including three gold medals. The team broke 14 program records and set a new A-10 800-yard freestyle relay record.

They were led by junior Emily Zhang, senior Abigail Fusco and sophomore Gemma Atherley, who each earned individual medals over the weekend.

Zhang earned gold in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:47.34 and Fusco earned a silver medal in the 100-yard butterfly – breaking a seven-year-old program record with a time of 53.99 seconds. Atherley set a new program record in 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:58.24 – good for a silver medal.

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