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Point swims to four new records

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Point University men’s swimming team, coached by Kaymee Kelly, set four new school records, swam six NAIA National automatic qualifying cuts and four NAIA bonus qualifying cuts at the 13th Annual Savannah College of Art and Design Invitational at the Chatham County Aquatics Center in Savannah, Ga., Nov. 30-Dec. 2.  Three of Point’s four school records in the meet happened in relay events.

The field for the meet included four nationally-ranked NAIA teams, including the number one-ranked team Keiser University (Fla.) and number two-ranked SCAD-Savannah; a nationally-ranked NCAA Division II program, Wingate College; and the number two-ranked team in the NCAA Division III, Emory University of Atlanta.  Wingate won the team title with 893 points, and Keiser placed second with 756, with SCAD-Savannah in third with 490; and Emory in fourth place with 358.5.  Point placed tenth among the 11 schools with 34 total points.

Freshman A.J. Ayres (Lake Mary, FL); junior Francisco Santos (Bogota, Colombia); junior Felipe Aguilar (Bogota, Colombia); and sophomore Raichel DeFreitas (Willemstad, Curacao) joined together for a 13th-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a school-record time of 1:32.51 and the best of the Skyhawks’ five NAIA National qualifying times in the event this season.  The Point foursome swam in the same order in the 800-yard freestyle relay and placed 12th with a time of 7:32.81, another NAIA automatic qualifier and a season best.

Ayres, Aguilar, Santos and DeFreitas closed the meet with a school-record time of 3:20.74, an NAIA automatic qualifying time, and DeFreitas, Aguilar, Ayres and Santos set a school record of 3:56.59 in the 400-yard medley relay, an NAIA automatic qualifier.

Sophomore Collin Bennett (Newnan, GA); freshman Kamal Pearson (Boston, MA); freshman Wyatt Wood (LaGrange, GA); and sophomore Charlie Donnelly (Newnan, GA) combined for a time of 1:53.18 in the 200-yard medley relay.  Donnelly, Wood, Pearson and Bennett also teamed up to record a time of 8:28.43 in the 800-yard freestyle relay, and Bennett, Wood, Pearson and Donnelly swam a time of 1:39.26 in the 200-yard freestyle relay.  In the foursome’s fourth relay swim of the meet, Donnelly, Pearson, Bennett and Wood swam a time of 3:37.67 in the last event – the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Pearson broke the school record in a 100-yard backstroke preliminary heat with a clocking of 1:09.62, and also recorded the season’s second-best time of 2:25.09 in the 200-yard individual medley.  He also swam a time of 25.23 seconds in a 50-yard freestyle prelim.

DeFreitas recorded NAIA bonus cuts in all four of his individual races in the meet.  He swam his second-best time of the season with a time of 22.54 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle; a time of 53.71 in a 100-yard butterfly preliminary heat and a season-best time of 53.47 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly final; and added a time of 49.88 seconds in a 100-yard freestyle prelim.

Santos also finished fourth in the 1650-yard freestyle with a season-best and NAIA qualifying time of 17:10.07 in the 1650-yard freestyle, and Aguilar placed eighth with a time of 17:22.10, also an NAIA automatic qualifier.  In the 500-yard freestyle, Aguilar swam a season-best and NAIA bonus qualifying time of 4:59.80, with Santos just under four seconds behind with his personal season-best time of 5:03.20.  Aguilar also swam NAIA bonus cuts in both his preliminary heat (4:27.49) and final race (4:27.99) of the 400-yard individual medley, and Santos clocked a time of 1:53.42 in the 200-yard freestyle.

Ayres swam in preliminary heats in three events as well as four relays and recorded a time of 56.65 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly; 1:55.43 in the 200-yard freestyle; and 50.90 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle.  Donnelly also placed seventh in one of the three final races and 23rd overall in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:37.84, just 37/100th of a second short of the school record.  He also swam a time of 25.09 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle; a 1:12.33 in a 100-yard breaststroke heat; and a 2:39.06 in a 200-yard breaststroke heat, which qualified him for the finals.

Bennett sprinted the 50-yard freestyle in 25.05 seconds, swam a season-best time of 1:03.63 in a 100-yard backstroke preliminary heat, and swam a time of 55.25 seconds in a 100-yard freestyle heat.  Wood swam a time of 25.30 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle and had a time of 1:01.22 in a 100-yard butterfly prelim and a time of 54.76 seconds in a 100-yard freestyle preliminary heat.

NEXT COMPETITION:  The Point men’s swimming team returns to action after the Christmas and New Year holidays when it hosts Thomas University and South Georgia State College, Saturday, Jan. 13, on Senior Recognition Day at the Valley, Ala., Recreation Center at 1 p.m.