In the opening dual meet for the Howard University Swimming and Diving team, the Bison compiled terrific races against the University of Mary Washington Eagles. While both teams fell short on the scoreboard, the Bison men amassed seven victories and the women scored three victories.
Mary Washington's women defeated the Lady Bison 182-76 while the men fell to the Eagles 153-106.
The men's victories were led by freshman Miles Hector. Hector (Omaha, NE) took control of both of his distance freestyle races within the first four lengths of competition. In the 1000 freestyle, Hector split a time of 10:04.06, over 23 seconds in front of the next swimmer. In the 500 freestyle, Hector continued his dominance, splitting a first place time of 4:56.22. Both times place Hector in Howard's list of top-three swims in the aforementioned events and the fastest splits in each event in recent Howard history.
The freshmen continued their winning ways in the 50 freestyle and the 200 breaststroke. Rookie Trent Popovich (Morro Bay, CA) powered his way towards a first place finish in the 50 free with a time of 22.80. Fellow freshman Dexter Brown (Pearland, TX) was resilient in the 200 breaststroke. Brown pulled away from the competition in the final 50 of the 200 breaststroke and took the race with a time of 2:20.67.
Other Bison men conquering their races included junior Zadok Isaacs (Cantaro Village, Trinidad and Tobago) and sophomore Darell Hungerford (Clinton, MD.) Hungerford's 100 breaststroke was aggressive from the start and his first place time of 1:00.84 was on of his best dual meet season times of his career. In the 100 freestyle, Isaacs's length prevailed and the junior out-touched his oncoming opponents with a 48.68.
To conclude the meet, the men soared to a first place finish in the 200 freestyle relay. Isaacs and Hungerford joined with Brown and freshman Benjamin Skelding (Palmdale, CA) for a fantastic showing in the meet's final event. Their time of 1:31.49 was their best of the season.
The freshmen success continued on the women's side. Newcomer Briana Dillon (Katy, TX) stole the show in her first individual collegiate race. In the 100 backstroke, Dillon split a 1:01.60, good for first place in the meet and third all-time in the event for the Bison Women. Just six events later, Dillon added another victory to her slate by taking the 50 freestyle with a 26.03. Sophomore Ashley Douglas (Missouri City, TX) followed right behind in second place with a 26.25.
Dillon and Douglas joined with sophomore Janai Ederaine (Corona, CA) and freshman Caleah Gregoire (Diego Martin, Trinidad and Tobago) to conclude the women's meet in style with a first place 200 freestyle relay in the time of 1:44.97.
"To put together so many qualities races this early in the season in a great step forward for the program," said head coach Matt Salerno. "We had terrific contributions for so many swimmers and this sets us up nicely of our dual meet and fall season."
Other notable swims included Skelding's second place finish in the 200 backstroke. His time of 2:04.12 place the freshman on Howard's top ten list in the event. Brown finished second in his 100 breaststroke swim with a 1:01.82, another top-10 swim in the Bison history books. Dillon's great day of racing included a second place mark in the 100 freestyle with a time of 56.20.
The Bison hit the road this weekend for two dual meets. On Friday, Howard travels to Williamsburg, Virginia to face the Tribe of William and Mary followed by a showdown Saturday morning with the Old Dominion Monarchs.