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Mercer Shatters 34-Year-Old Record; Spartans Remain in Second
ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. – The York College men's swimming squad registered an outstanding overall performance in the second day of competition at the 2011 Capital Athletic Conference Swimming Championships. The Spartans' performance allowed them to remain in second-place and edged the gap just slightly farther from third-place St. Mary's (Md.).
The story of the night for York was Steven Mercer's record-shattering time in the 400 IM. The sophomore pierced through the water in his signature event to post a 4:17.98 to finish fourth. More importantly, Mercer's time eclipsed the previous school-best of 4:21.23 set all the way back in 1977 – York's oldest standing record until Mercer topped it this evening.
Senior Steven Tobin posted a new school record of his own in the 100 breaststroke. In his final 100 breaststroke of his career, Tobin swam to a program-best 1:00.23 - topping his own mark set back in 2009 - as he snagged a fourth-place finish.
Leading off the men's portion of the evening, the Spartans' 200 medley relay picked up second-place with a 1:38.01. AJ Bean, Tobin, Andy Woods, and Benjamin Hilt delivered the runner-up spot for the York squad.
Fellow senior Bean collected a nabbed fourth in the 100 backstroke as he finished in a time of 55.06.
The 200 freestyle saw junior Jack Gottschalk secure fifth for York as he registered a 1:47.25.
Hilt and Woods went sixth and seventh, respectively, as they touched the wall at 53.95 and 54.22.
Aside from Tobin's quality performance in the 100 breaststroke, the Green and White saw two more Spartans swim in the top-eight. Sophomores Tyler Ziegler and Jamie Hicks each swam in the final eight and recorded times of 1:02.14 and 1:02.25, respectively.
Importantly, the Spartans held on to a pair of ninth-place finishes. Both Woods (100 backstroke) and Alex Diehl (200 freestyle) were the top seed in their consolation races as each successfully defended that seed.
The evening's final event,, the 800 freestyle relay, saw the Green and White take third as Diehl, Ziegler, Bean, and Gottschalk combined for a 7:15.97.
York is set to be back in action on Sunday as the CAC Swimming Championships conclude. Morning preliminaries are slated for a 10:00 am start.
Photo: Steven Mercer reacts after realizing he beat the previous program record in the 400 IM. That mark was set back in 1977.