Swimmers finish first 18 times

The FAMU swimming and diving team emerged victorious over Florida Southern College on Saturday, 153-37 . FAMU captured 18 first place finishes in a total of 20 events.

Jarlyn Johnson earned first place in the women’s 50 and 100 yard freestyle.

Gina Muhammad won the 200-yard backstroke and breaststroke convincingly, with times of 2:13.97 and 2:33.82 respectively. Muhammad finished at least 16 seconds faster than her nearest opponent in both events.

Melissa Bardowell won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:37.46, more than 19 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.

Dominique Thornton won the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:25.67.

Thornton, 18, a freshman from Houston, emphasized how she plans to better her performance as the season continues.

“My swim could have been better, but I’m satisfied right now,” Thorton said. “I’m looking forward to see how it progresses through the season.”

For the men’s team, Brandon Little won the 100 and 200-yard freestyle.

A.J Lowe dominated the 500-yard freestyle, one minute ahead of his nearest competitor with a time of 5:19.98.

Torrence Ford won the 200 yard butterfly and the Individual Medley, as Ryan Singletary won the 200 yard backstroke.

Damenian Carter captured the first place in the 200 yard breaststroke.

Both the male and female teams won each of the four relay events.

Melissa Piloto was the dominant swimmer for Florida Southern’s team as she captured the other two first place finishes, winning the women’s 200 yard freestyle and butterfly events.

Florida Southern’s Coach, Lee Stauffer, was pleased with his team’s performance, but maintains that there was still some work needed.

“We had some really good swims today, but we could have done better,” Stauffer said. “We still need people to do some work and once that is done, it’ll be even better for the team.”

He also commended FAMU’s team and coaches on their creditable performance.

“FAMU was really good today,” Stauffer added. “They beat us at a greater margin this year compared to last year. Mark Howell, although he’s the new coach, has the team together and he’s obviously been building good attitudes and spirit with the swimmers. That’s what it takes to win.”

Howell was happy about the team’s performance, but maintained that the journey has only just begun and that focus is still needed.

“We’re excited to have one under our belt, but we made some mistakes that could have been avoided.” Howell said.

“We still have to do some work, but this win shows the team that we’re definitely going forward.”