By Tim Glon
SHENANDOAH, Tex. — Ohio Northern's 200 medley relay team of seniors Drew Keriazes and Marc Anderson and juniors Jordan Breitigam and Christian Garlock earned Honorable Mention All-America honors on the first day of the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships Wednesday afternoon at the Conroe Natatorium.
The team finished 15th in the finals in 1:32.25 and became the first men's relay team to earn All-America honors in ONU history.
"They accomplished something that has not been done before at ONU, so I am very proud of them," ONU head coach Peggy Ewald said. "They did not have a great race tonight, but it is their first time at the championships for three of them and I'm sure that was a factor. Bottom line, they are All-Americans though."
The group finished third in their heat and were 11th of 23 teams in the prelims in 1:31.70 Wednesday afternoon.
The top eight in each event earn All-America honors with finishers 9-16 earning Honorable Mention All-America kudos.
"We are happy with our time this afternoon," Anderson said. " The goal tonight was to finish the race cleanly and win our heat tonight and we did that. We are happy."
Northern missed getting into the finals by just .64 of a second.
Keriazes and Breitigam also competed in the 200 I.M. Wednesday morning.
Breitigam finished 32nd out of 52 competitors in 1:53.04, while Keriazes finished 49th in 1:56.83.
Breitigam entered the 200 I.M. as the 12th-fastest qualifier with a school record time of 1:51.20, while Keriazes was seeded 36th in 1:53.50.
The 200 medley relay team was seeded tied for 12th with a school-record qualifying time of 1:31.05.
On Thursday, the four men will compete in both the 200 free relay and the 400 medley relay events.
Breitigam and Anderson will also compete as individuals in the 100 fly.
Friday will see just two individual event for the Polar Bears, as Breitigam will swim the 200 fly and Keriazes will swim the 100 breast.
Saturday's final day of competition will include Keriazes in the 200 breast and the 400 free relay.
The prelims are slated for 10 am (CDT) each day with the top 16 advancing to the finals each night beginning at 6 pm (CDT).