Marie Collop, Campus Carrier Assistant Sports Editor
The Vikings men’s and women’s swim teams hosted their final dual meet of the 2015 season on Jan. 17 against Milligan College. Both the men’s and women’s teams beat Milligan with scores of 182-19 and 107-93 respectively.
Along with the teams’ exceptional performances, there were two impressive individual performances. Freshman Mac Stovall set a new pool record in the men’s 1650 freestyle with a time of 17:46.92. Senior Johnathon Purdy beat his own pool record in the men’s 50 freestyle with a time of 21.29.
Going into the race, Stovall didn’t think he was going to break the pool record.
“I was expecting to be around that time for my race, but I didn’t expect to break the record,” Stovall said.
Stovall believes that his commitment and consistency when attending practice contributed to him breaking the record.
“I also couldn’t have done it without the support of my teammates, especially the seniors,” Stovall said.
Purdy said that he was proud of both his and the team’s performance.
In preparing for the meet against Milligan, Purdy said, “we worked hard after traveling to Centre College (the week before) where we swam against a lot of tough teams while fighting illnesses.”
Purdy contributes his record breaking performance to his hard work, focus and group of supporters.
“I have been working particularly hard on the 50, and had a lot of room to improve technically,” Purdy said.
On the day of the race, Purdy said that his parents and his teammates were there and that was all that mattered.
“Nothing felt better than looking on the side of the pool after the race and seeing the smiles on my teammate’s faces after I broke the record,” Purdy said.
After the team hosts their final regular season meet, the Viking Classic, on Friday, Jan. 23, the team will head to Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday, Feb. 11 to compete in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) championships.
Sophomore Robyn Ellenburg said that she is excited to see if the team can break some final long-standing pool records at the Viking Classic.
“This is the best team we have ever had,” Ellenburg said.
As a whole, the team is excited to attend the conference championships and collectively believes that they will compete.
Purdy said the key for the team to succeed in the post-season is for everyone, including himself, to stay focused.
Some swimmers will have the opportunity to compete at nationals in mid-March. Stovall is excited to see how the team performs at nationals, especially in the 400 freestyle relay.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to finish out my senior year strong and giving my brothers everything I can because I only have less than a month left with most of them,” Purdy said.
The Viking Classic starts at 5 p.m. in the Cage Center pool on Friday, Jan. 23.