In front of a packed house of supporters, the Barton Community College swim teams didn't disappoint as the Cougars swept the program's first ever home meet to capture the inaugural Barton Winter Classic.
Competing against a field of competitors from Oklahoma Christian University, Tabor College, and the University of Saint Mary, the Cougars won half of Saturday's twenty-six events with the women coming out on top 633 to 519 over OCU while the men also outscored the Eagles by a slim twenty-one in a 666.5 to 645.5 tally.
"We had an outstanding crowd and couldn't have been happier with the day," said Head Coach Jonathan Reeder. "It was great for us to win the meet on the both the women and men's side, especially in front of everyone supporting us. A big thank you to everyone who helped out, attended and supported us, and my team as I couldn't have been prouder!"
Barton's next event is a virtual meet as the Cougars will conduct their races at the Barton pool on Saturday to be scored in the Iowa Lakes Virtual Meet. The Cougars will then begin their month long preparation for the NJCAA Championships held March 6-9 in Buffalo, NY.
The women won the first of their eight events in the meet's first event as McKayla Siemiller, Elizabeth Spitz, Reagan Smyth, and Selena Howard clocked a 4:16.28 to win the 400 yard medley relay by over three seconds.
Two events later Siemiller added her second of five titles on the day edging out Spitz in the 100 yard IM by just .45 seconds with a 1:02.56 time. Siemiller added two more individual titles to out touch OCU's Jamie McGarrigle by .11 seconds in the 50 yard freestyle (25.63) before holding off four OCU athletes 50 yard backstroke to win by over two seconds with 28.24 time. Siemiller concluded the haul of first place honors in swimming anchor of the meet's exciting final race, joined by Spitz, Kayla Hennen, and Elizabeth Schrock to capture the 200 yard freestyle relay by over ninety seconds (1:44.08).
Spitz also had a great day in the pool by adding two individual titles to the pair of relay victories. The second title came in the 200 yard breaststroke (2:34.95) before handing McGarrigle her second slim defeat in the 50 yard variety by winning the breaststroke in 32.50.
Two Cougar women's squad battled it out in the 800 yard freestyle relay with Schrock, Sydney Williams, Hennen, and Smyth winning the race with a 9:01.44 with the "B" squad of Paola Noriega, Caroline Noble, Ashlee Henwood, and Abigail Frye touching in 9:33.34.
Leonard-Andrei Olaru earned the first of the Cougars' five titles but capturing the men's second event of the afternoon in touching the wall in 1:53.50 to win the 200 yard freestyle.
Barton's second men's title came in the 50 yard butterfly as Marco Alvarez touched in 23.50 to win by .33 seconds while David Garcia placed in a tie for third at 24.85. Garcia would later lead three Cougars in the top four of the always exciting 50 yard freestyle with a 22.37 winning time to edge out OCU's Derek Duckworth by a fingernail .01 seconds. William Spitz placed third .15 seconds later with a 22.53 while Elijae Draper touched the wall in 23.22.
Five swimmers were entered in the 200 yard breaststroke with Christian Taylor beating out two other Cougars for the title. Taylor's 2:19.49 clocking bettered Rory Smith's 2:21.32 with Simon Botton coming in third at 2:28.03.
The Cougar men won the final two relays of the afternoon, the 800 yard freestyle medley and the 200 yard freestyle relay, to capture two of the three tandem events.
The 800 race featured a battle of Barton teams with Alvarez, Sean Williams, Garcia, and Gabrial Ozanne clocked a 7:52.60 to beat the time of 7:54.59 posted by Taylor, Asa Unruh, Isaac Panzer, and Olaru.
Elijae Draper began the exciting 200 tandem event to conclude the day with Williams, Noah Childs, and Spitz on the anchor touching for the title in 1:31.50 to edge out OCU by .80 seconds and 1:23 seconds ahead of Barton's "B" team of Alvarez, Unruh, Smith, and Botton.