By Matthew Pertz, Staff Writer

Asbury’s swimming team kicked off their season with two top-three finishes in the Asbury Kick-Off
Invitational on Oct. 10 at the Luce Center. After fifteen different races, the men’s team finished in third place behind Lindenwood University and Bellarmine University, while the women’s team came in second only to Bellarmine.

In addition to the podium finish, swimmers from seven different events qualified to participate in the NAIA National Championships in early March. Four relay teams will be represented in the women’s 200m Medley and 200m Freestyle, as well as the men’s 200m Medley and 200m Freestyle.

In terms of individuals, sophomore Leah Haeuber reached the NAIA benchmark in both the 50m and 100m Freestyle, while freshmen Cameron Hendrix and Lindsey Sauer made the cut in the 100m Backstroke and 200m Freestyle respectively.

“I knew we had the capability of having some individual qualifiers in the first meet,” Coach Alex Keyser said. “The team has been training very well and has the drive to succeed. It’s hard to put a number on how many will qualify, but I believe we have the capability of taking a roster of 20 plus total swimmers to Nationals.”

Unlike most other sports at Asbury, the swimming Eagles are not a part of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, but instead hold membership in the Appalachian Swimming Conference. The ASC is made up of 16 colleges stretching geographically from Ohio to Georgia and divisionally from NCAA DII to NAIA DII.

In the 2015 ASC Championship, Asbury’s men finished 10th out of 12 teams and third out of three NAIA teams, while the women closed in ninth of 13 and third of five NAIA teams.

The squad has three more home meets at the Luce, including their next competition on Oct. 31 against Transylvania University. 

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“The team will be a little bit more fatigued for our meet against Transy,” Keyser said. “I’ll be looking for how we improve on the small things, like our underwater work off the walls. Transy has divers while we do not, so we will have to make up points in the swimming events immediately.”