SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Saint Leo University men’s swim team (3-1) finished fourth in last weekend’s Savannah College of Art and Design Invitational in Savannah, Ga. The team finished fourth with a three-day score of 291 in the 35-event meet, 37 points ahead of Blue Grass Conference rival Rollins College.
The Lions got things rolling in the 1650 Yard Freestyle, as sophomore Matt Attal punched in a time of 16:48.12, obliterating his old school record time of 17:11.50 and earning the squad 15 team points.
Despite the fast start, the 800 Yard Freestyle Relay set the Lions back , as the two four-team squads finished 10th and 14th putting Saint Leo in sixth-place heading into the second day of action.
Attal stepped up again for the Lions, breaking his second school record in a 12th place finish in the 400 IM. The sophomore swam the heat in a time of 4:23.98, surpassing his old time of 4:28.32. Donnie McClary finished ninth in the 50 Yard Freestyle with a time of 22 seconds flat, just a second and a half off the first place pace.
Tim Olson gave a fifth place performance in the 200 Yard Freestyle, registering a time of 1:45.28, just a half a second behind his own school record pace. Olson clinched seventh place in the 100 Yard Butterfly (52:50). However, the Saint Leo maintained their sixth place stature heading into the final day of events.
A seventh place finish by the Lions’ 400 Yard Freestyle team (3:18.29) and a ninth-place finish by Jeremy Carusone in the 200 Yard IM (2:06.81), quickly brought SLU out of the cellar position.
Attal nearly broke a third school record when he finished second in the 500 Yard Freestyle (4:51.51). He finished just three-tenths of a second off his own record pace and gave the Saint Leo another valuable 17 team points. He also placed third in the 200 Yard Butterfly, touching the wall with a time of 2:02.92.
Olson collected another 20 team points in the 200 Yard Backstroke (1:57.80), smashing his own school record of 1:58.56. He was the lone male to record a heat win during the invitational. The sophomore continued his outstanding day by placing third in the 100 Yard Freestyle (48.35), while freshman Cliff Rhodes finished sixth with a time of 49.93 to complete the men’s last day move up the leader board.
Competition for SLU included host school SCAD, who finished second with 780 points. Wingate University M&W captured the meet crown totaling 802 points and Darton College collected 721 points for a third place finish. Rollins and Catawba rounded out the six-team meet with 254 and 204 points, respectively.
The Lions return to the pool January 3 at the Daytona Invitational at Daytona Beach Community College. The first event is set to begin at 12:00 pm.