Braves Find Success at Royal Open


Mariel Mencia Martinez posing for a photo poolside at the Royal Open. Martinez came within one second of breaking a school record in the 50-yard freestyle event. Submitted Image/Mariel Mencia Martinez.

By Zachary C. Young, Editor-in-Chief

Published March 8, 2021

The Braves swimming team competed in the Royal Open in Charlotte, N.C. on Feb. 26-27. Senior Gillian Manning had an impressive performance, taking first in the women’s 500-yard freestyle, with a final time of 4:56.07.

Manning also took first in the women’s 200-yard freestyle, with a time of 1:50.51, which is now a new school record—previously held by Manning. “I felt great during my race and it was so nice to have it confirmed with an improved time,” said Manning.

Sophomore Mariel Mencia Martinez finished second in the women’s 50-yard freestyle, with a final time of 24.02. “I almost did my best time. I don’t feel bad for not finishing first because, in general I swam very well,” said Martinez.

Freshman Caterina Coughlin finished third in the women’s 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.83.

Despite their success, the Braves are remaining focused on the final two meets of their season. “We are very excited, we are preparing to improve and win our events and as a team,” said Martinez.

Manning echoed the sentiments expressed by Martinez regarding the Braves’ postseason.

“We are pushing each other to continue practicing hard these last few weeks before championships. We are all very excited to see our hard work for the season pay off in the last meets of the year and to see if we can win a second conference championship,” said Manning.

The Braves will compete again at the NCAA Division II Championships, March 17-20. The conference championships will take place from March 31 through April 3.

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