Birmingham, Ala.-Wednesday night turned into an All-American evening for both the University of Bridgeport men's and women's swimming teams, as the Purple Knights got off to a strong start on day one of the four-day, National Championship Meet taking place at the Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama as part of the 2017 NCAA Division II Winter Sports Festival.
The long-distance 1000 Freestyle event proved to be an excellent one for UB, as junior Annagrazia Bonsanti (Caracas, Venezuela) grabbed All-America honors with a fifth place finish in the women's race in a time of 10:02.50, and in the men's race, freshman Erik Hren (Maribor, Slovenia) also finished in fifth place to earn All-America recognition in a time of 9:06.39, and junior Brian Kelly (Mahwah, N.J.) added to his team's point total and brought home Honorable Mention All-America honors in a time of 9:16.21, which put him in thirteenth place in the event.
First-year swimmer Oksana Marchuk (Mlyniv, Ukraine) made her nationals debut a memorable one, as she took home All-America honors in the women's 200 IM with a fourth place finish in the finals in a school record time of 1:59.93 which eclipsed her UB record mark of 2:00.97 achieved in the prelims earlier on Wednesday.
As a team, the Bridgeport women sit in eleventh place out of 28 scoring teams after Day One of the 2017 NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving National Championship Meet with 29 points, and the UB men are in seventeenth place out of 27 scoring teams with 18 points.
Action will continue through Saturday night at the 2017 NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving National Championships.