The Howard University Bison have traveled to Athens, Georgia for their most important competition of the season, the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championships. Facing twelve other institutions on the women's side and five other schools on the men's side, the Bison have opened the swimming and diving with some of their finest performances of their season and respective careers.
One outstanding individual performance, in fact, came on the boards as senior Ashley Goins (Silver Spring, MD) continued to represent the renaissance in Bison Diving. Goins morning preliminary round on the 1-meter board put her in position for compete in the championship heat later that evening. Her excellent routine placed her eighth with a combined score of 425.60, the highest finish for any individual on Thursday.
Continuing on the women's side, sophomore Chelsea Andrews (Glenside, PA) notched the highest finish for the women between the ropes with her 50 free split. Her time of 24.28 in the preliminary rounds earned Andrews a visit in the consolation heat of the event. Andrews went on to place 14th in the event with her second fastest split of the season.
Andrews was also anchor in the women's 200 freestyle relay. Teamed-up with freshmen Janai Ederaine (Corona, CA) and Ashley Douglas (Missouri City, TX) as well as fellow sophomore E'lan Brewer (Lansing, MI,) the women notched their best relay split of the season, a 1:39.59, while taking ninth place honors. The Lady Bison also corralled a tenth place finish in the 400 medley relay. Ederaine, Douglas and Brewer joined with freshman Camille Dykes (Maplewood, MN) in splitting a 4:19.13, faster than their seed time by over nine seconds.
On the men's side, the relay combination of freshman Darell Hungerford (Clinton, MD,) sophomore Zadok Isaacs (Cantaro Village, Trinidad and Tobago,) junior Steven Lott (Los Angeles, CA,) and senior Damjan Strbac (Zagreb, Croatia) proved to by a dynamic tandem on both ends of the evening. To begin the finals session, the men split a season-best mark in their 200 freestyle relay by firing a 1:25.70. To finish the night, the same combination slashed over eight seconds off their seed time with a 3:33.51 in the 400 medley relay. Both relays earned the Bison fourth place points.
Individually, the Bison were represented by three swimmers, all of whom swam season-best times. In the 50 freestyle, Strbac blitzed his way a 21.45 in the preliminary round and finished in 11th place following his evening swim. In the 200 individual medley, sophomore Darien Washington (Detroit, MI) and junior Kelvin Goodman (Berkeley, CA) were outstanding. Washington went a career-best time in his preliminary morning swim and returned in the evening to drop two more seconds from his personal best, going a 2:09.66 and finishing in 14th. Goodman also had a season-best split in the morning and, in the consolation final, earned a 2:11.18, good for 15th place and a new career-best mark.
After the first full day of competition, the Lady Bison find themselves in 10th place with the Howard men finishing fifth on the first day of competition. Day two of the championship meet continues tomorrow.