By COURTLIN HAYGARTH | HSU Sports Network
ARKADELPHIA — For the second time this season, the Henderson State men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs defeated Ouachita Baptist, except this time the beating came at their own pool, with the men winning 141-102 while the women took the meet, 122-112. Friday’s pair of victories complete the season sweep of the Tigersharks as the men have won 23 consecutive meetings against OUA.
In addition to the season finale victory, the Red Wave broke five Waggoner pool records; three on the men’s side – two of which came from Grand Canyon University-transfer Jack Armstrong – and two for the women. Overall, the men won nine events on the evening while the women won eight.
The record-breaking onslaught began right off the bat with the 400 yard medley relay. On top of the women’s and men’s teams kicking off the meet with top-finishing times of 3:59.93 and 3:24.22, respectively, HSU’s lead-off swimmer Lamar Taylor set a new pool record with his 100 backstroke, finishing his leg of the swim at 48.98.
After both Red Wave teams took first in each of the first three events, the record-breaking continued with the men’s third event. Armstrong paced the competition in the 50 yard freestyle, touching the wall with a record time of 20.34 just before teammate Jase Pinckney placed second with a 21.40 time. Armstrong currently holds the 20th fastest time in NCAA Division II in the 50 free while teammate Taylor holds the fastest time in the nation.
Events 15 and 16 showed Armstrong and Kiara Pozvai set new pool records in the 100 yard freestyle. The former Auburn transfer earned nine points after touching at 44.31 – a full two and half seconds faster than second place – while Pozvai, who currently holds the fastest time in this event in DII this season, paced her Ouachita counterpart by three and a half seconds with a time of 50.98.
The ladies saved their best for last. Leading Ouachita’s women 109-108 heading into the final event, the Red Wave quartet of Mackenzie Kester, Isabelle Andrews, Emily Chen and Pozvai earned the meet-deciding 11 points as they set a new 400 free relay pool record with a time of 3:34.33. Ouachita’s second-place team came to the wall an absurd six and a half seconds later as HSU delivered the defining blow to seize the meet.
With the men’s victory never in doubt since the halfway point of the meet, Louisiana State University transfer Mark Eberhard, in his first official collegiate meet as a member of the Red Wave, took top honors in the 200 breaststroke by a full two seconds after posting a time of 2:04.83.
With the regular season now complete, Henderson St. will have a couple weeks off from competition before heading to Cleveland, Mississippi for the New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference Championships Feb. 15-18. Both Red Wave squads went throughout the course of this season undefeated in head-to-head meets with NSISC competition.
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