By: Tyler Young, Staff Writer
The Tigers had five men and seven women compete at the AT&T Winter Nationals over the weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina.
For Head Coach Pat Mead, it was important for some of his top swimmers to be thrust into the spotlight.
“I think it was a good learning opportunity,” Mead said. “For some of them, it was their first time at a national event. A few performed really well, and others struggled a bit.”
The men who made it to Nationals were seniors Jon Burr and Matt Lowe, juniors Sawyer Martin and Matt McKenney and sophomore Nick Breschi. It is the largest group of men that Towson has ever had compete at Winter Nationals under Mead.
One of the top performers was Lowe. His 19th-place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle was the highest a Tiger finished all weekend. Burr also competed in the event, coming in 38th place.
Other notable swims came from Martin and Breschi. Each set season-best times in their events. For Martin, it came with a 61st-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle, in which he posted a time of 1:40.72. Breschi came in 54th place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.34.
The 500-yard freestyle saw three Tigers finish in a cluster.
McKenney, Burr and Breschi came in 70th, 71st and 74th in the event, respectively.
Towson rounded out its meet with McKenney taking 66th place in the 100-yard freestyle and 39th place in the 200-yard butterfly.
Burr came in 65th place in the 400-yard individual medley and Breschi took 66th place in the 200-yard backstroke.
The women sent a slightly bigger, and much more experienced squad to the meet.
It was made up of seniors Victoria Oslund and Amanda Barber, juniors Hannah Snyder, Christine Hammond, Seana Acker and Charlotte Holz, and sophomore Macey Arnold. All of them, apart from Arnold, attended this meet last season.
Holz proved to be the standout. She finished in 44th place and posted a lifetime-best 1:59.51 in the 200-yard backstroke.
Earlier in the meet, she also posted season-best times in three other events, the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard freestyle.
Hammond also swam well, setting a lifetime-best mark in the 500-yard freestyle and a season-best in the 400-yard individual medley, while also competing in the 200-yard backstroke.
The final season-best came from Barber in the 50-yard freestyle. She placed 36th with a time of 23.32.
Oslund was the highest woman on the leaderboard. She came in 28th place in the 200-yard butterfly event.
She also competed in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly.
The newcomer, Arnold, had a nice showing, placing 32nd in the 1650-yard freestyle and 56th in the 200-yard freestyle.
Snyder and Acker each competed in the same three events against each other.
In the 200-yard breaststroke, Snyder finished 71st and Acker 80th. In the 200-yard individual medley, Snyder came in 89th and Acker in 94th.
And in the 400-yard individual medley, Snyder placed 59th and
“It was a nice meet for some of them,” Mead said. “Charlotte [Holz] was phenomenal. Christine [Hammond] had a nice meet. And for the guys, Matt [Lowe] really stood out. But I was looking for a bit more from some of the others that went. We had a lot of season bests, which was good. I was just looking for more lifetime bests out of this meet.”
The Tigers now have nearly a month break before their next competition.
It is a time in which Mead said they need to bear down and prepare for the homestretch.
“We have got to stay healthy and we need to be very consistent with our training,” Mead said. “If we do those two things, then it will be a good finish to the season.”
Towson will be back in the pool on Jan. 2 when they head to the Tennessee Diving Invitational in Knoxville, Tennessee.
They’ll be back home Jan. 10 for a meeting with McDaniel.
Towson will conclude winter break with a meet at Delaware and a home meet against Johns Hopkins at Burdick Pool.