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Swimming and diving teams improve over last season

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams improved over the previous year in regular season meets while also winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship in a matchup with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology—the only other HCAC school that currently supports varsity swimming and diving.

Hal Graft
Hal Graft

In individual accomplishments, sophomore Hal Graft became the first Pioneer in the history of the Transy program to qualify for the NCAA Division III swimming championships, hosted by Macalester College of St. Paul, Minn. He took advantage of the opportunity by earning All-American honors with a fourth place finish in the 100-yard backstroke and a fifth place in the 200-yard backstroke.

“Hal had an outstanding first season with our program,” said head swimming coach George Villarreal. “We hope to put some of his teammates into the national championships with him next year.”

In the HCAC championship, hosted by Transy, the men’s team improved its record to 4-5 with a 180-108 win over Rose-Hulman, while the women’s team went to 4-4 by downing the Engineers 271-55. The following week, the men completed the regular season at 5-5 with a win over Asbury College as the women finished 4-5 after losing to the Eagles.

Transy hosted the Bluegrass Mountain Conference diving championships and won both the women’s and men’s competitions. First-year diver Kristy Mullett claimed the women’s 1-meter 11-dive title, and senior Lissa Lykins was the champion in the 3-meter competition. On the men’s side, senior Lisle Adams won both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. The divers are led by head coach Billy Bradford.

In the BGMC swimming championships, held in Charlotte, N.C., Transy’s men’s and women’s teams both placed seventh among the nine teams entered. Graft set a BGMC record with a time of 1:48.75 in the 200-meter backstroke.

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