The Howard University men’s and women’s swimming teams successfully opened up their 2011 seasons with what Howard Sports Information Director Ed Hill Jr. described as “terrific races” against the University of Mary Washington Eagles on Oct. 8. The men and women both lost to University of Mary Washington in overall points of the day (Lady Bison fell, 182-76 and the men lost, 153-106). But the Bison men still won seven individual races, while the women won three individual races.
Freshman swimmer Miles Hector shined in the distance freestyle races, finishing with a first place time of 10 minutes and 4.6 seconds in the 1000 meter freestyle, more than 23 seconds ahead of any other swimmer. He also dominated the 500 meter freestyle race with a first place time of 4 minutes and 56.22 seconds. According to Howard Media Relations, both of Hector’s times place him in Howard’s list of top-three swims in the aforementioned events and the fastest splits in each event in recent Howard history.
Freshman Trent Popovich also “powered his way” to success, taking a first place finish in the 50 meter freestyle race with a time of 22.80 seconds, while fellow freshman Dexter Brown earned first place in the 200 breaststroke race at 2 minutes and 20.67 seconds. Howard’s men also won the 200 meter freestyle relay race with time of 1 minute, 31.49 seconds.
Hill said the freshman success continued on the women’s side, too. Briana Dillon dominated in her first individual collegiate race, taking a first place finish time of 1 minute, 1.60 seconds in the 100 meter backstroke, which is the third best time in Howard swimming history. Dillon also won the 50 meter freestyle at 26.25 seconds. The ladies also won the 200 meter freestyle relay with a time of 1 minute, 44.97 seconds.
“To put together so many quality races this early in the season is a great step forward for the program,” said head coach Matt Salerno. “We had terrific contributions for so many swimmers and this sets us up nicely of our dual meet and fall season.”
Howard’s swim teams will see their next action Oct. 14 when they travel to Williamsburg, Va. to face the Tribe of William and Mary, followed by another contest on Oct. 15 vs. the Old Dominion Monarchs.