CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Saint Leo men’s and women’s swim team kicked off the 2010 Blue Grass Mountain Conference Champions Wednesday afternoon, competing in both the 800 and 1000 Yard Freestyle's at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

After day one of the four-day competition, the women stand in 10th-place with 18 points. The men, on the other hand, have collected 17 points for an 11th-place showing.

The Lions had an impressive start to the 2009-10 BGMC Championships, surpassing personal bests and securing new school records.

Erin Hotchkiss took to the pool first for Saint Leo in the women’s 1000 Freestyle. In the race, the senior swam at a record setting pace, surpassing her old time of 11:05.22 with a time of 10:52.11. Sarah Earls also impressed the competition, knocking nearly 19 seconds off of her previous best, finishing the race at a time of 11:40.75.

Equally as impressive was their male counterpart Matt Attal. Also in the 1000 Freestyle, Attal clocked in 10th of 25 swimmers with time of 9:58.35. Meanwhile, Alex Parada downed his previous time by more than 44 seconds, finishing the event in a time of 10:32.75.

In the 800 Yard Freestyle Relay, the women’s quartet of Hotchkiss, Allison Cary, Alicia Thompson, and Alisha Adams concluded the race in 11th-place with a time 8:10.80. It was a quite the performance for the men in the same event, as the group of four, led by Tim Olson, surpassed the previous school record by less than a second. Attal, Thomas Rey and Derek Maddigan finished the competition in 12th with a time of 7:19.44. Also in the 800 Free, Olson calculated a first-leg time of 1:44.62, breaking his previous best in the 200 Freestyle by three-tenths of a second.  

Due up tomorrow in the pool is the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay, the 500 Yard Freestyle, 200 Yard IM, 50 Yard Freestyle, and 400 Yard Medley Relay.