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The Blue & Gray Press | February 21, 2018

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Swimmers dive in to win race medleys

By RUTH DALRYMPLEteam_cheer-1

The University of Mary Washington sent 10 swimmers to the NCAA Division III National Championship held this week in Shenandoah, Texas, a major increase from the three UMW students sent to last year’s championship.

The swimmers included six men: Alex Anderson, Nick Eckhoff, Michael Yelmgren, Peter Slattery, Sean Mayer and Jack McHugh, and four women: Amber Kerico, Katie Fago, Hannah Hagy and Stephanie Hallock.

Sophomore chemistry major Alex Anderson won the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 3:50.55, which beat his previous personal best by seven seconds and breaks the NCAA Division III championship record of 3:51.45 set by Alex Beyer of Washington University in 2009.  Anderson also placed second in the 200-yard butterfly.  Anderson is the fourth individual national champion in UMW’s history. He also achieved All-American honors.

“He deserved all of his wins.  He works hard every single day.  It was nice to see him do really well because he’s not only a great swimmer, but a great student,” said junior biology major Amber Kerico.

Anderson, Slattery, Yelmgren and Echkhoff took twelfth place in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:21.72 and also achieved All-American honors for this race. Anderson, Eckhoff, McHugh and Mayer placed eighteenth in the 800 free relay with a time of 6:52.20.

“I think it’s really cool,” said sophomore biology major Michael Yelmgren on making honors.  “It is the last thing I wanted to do for the season.  I got the school record, the confrence record and now this, so I have a trifecta.”

Kerico placed thirteenth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.69.  She gained All-American honors for the second year in a row.

“It was cool; I did it last year though,” said Kerico.  “I would like to go for something higher.”