All-American Accolades Highlights NCAA D-III Championships

Pictured+from+left+to+right+at+NCAA%E2%80%99s%3A+L.+Tamas%2C+M.+Ramsey%2C+F.+Campbell%2C+G.+Ledrick%2C+J.+Cooper%2C+A.+Lenz%2C+and+M.+Fino.
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All-American Accolades Highlights NCAA D-III Championships

Pictured from left to right at NCAA’s: L. Tamas, M. Ramsey, F. Campbell, G. Ledrick, J. Cooper, A. Lenz, and M. Fino.

Pictured from left to right at NCAA’s: L. Tamas, M. Ramsey, F. Campbell, G. Ledrick, J. Cooper, A. Lenz, and M. Fino.

JCU Sports Information

Pictured from left to right at NCAA’s: L. Tamas, M. Ramsey, F. Campbell, G. Ledrick, J. Cooper, A. Lenz, and M. Fino.

JCU Sports Information

JCU Sports Information

Pictured from left to right at NCAA’s: L. Tamas, M. Ramsey, F. Campbell, G. Ledrick, J. Cooper, A. Lenz, and M. Fino.

Kyle Kelly, Sports Editor

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A trip down to Greensboro, North Carolina, for a weekend at the NCAA Division-III National Championships put an exclamation mark on a fantastic season for the John Carroll University swimming team, led by head coach Mark Fino.

JCU had no shortage of competitors in this year’s National Championship race, as sophomore Gwyn Ledrick, juniors Jackson Cooper and Matt Ramsey and freshmen Forrest Campbell and Adam Lenz all represented the Blue and Gold.

Although she was the lone woman to represent John Carroll, Ledrick would shine once again on the nation’s brightest stage of the year. For the second consecutive year, she was named an All-American, this time in both the 100-yard and the 200-yard breaststroke. Ledrick placed 16th in both events with a time of 2:19.77 seconds in the 200 and a time of 1:04.59 seconds in the 100.

Despite the strong finishes, both Fino and Ledrick felt she could have performed even better.

 

“She was not at her best, and yet she is still one of the best in the country. To be 16th in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke (which were not her best performances) it says alot about her and a lot about her future,” Fino told The Carroll News.

Even though the National Championships are meant for fierce competition, Ledrick decided to have a little bit of fun. Because she qualified for two events, she received a “bonus” swim. Going off cue, Ledrick decided to compete in an event that she has never competed in before: the 100-yard butterfly. She finished 40th with a time of 59.26.

The men brought a strong contingent down to Greensboro, as the four competed as a team in the relay and individually. As a team, the quartet of Campbell,Cooper,Lenz and Ramsey competed in the 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle, 800-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle.

It was a busy weekend for the quartet, but that did not phase them, according to Fino. “They are competitors. They like to race. They like to get up and race against the best swimmers in the country and they did that extremely well.”

In the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Blue and Gold claimed All-American honors with their 16th place finish. They also broke the school record with their preliminary round time of 3:03.21. JCU also earned All-American status with their 15th-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay.  

A 19th place finish in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:22.05 would just miss earning All-American accolades.

Unfortunately, it would not be all positive for the Blue and Gold relay teams. They were disqualified in the 200-yard freestyle for a false start.

Campbell’s first weekend at the NCAA National Championships would be a successful one. He finished 14th individually in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 49.19, earning All-American honors. He was the first JCU male swimmer since 2002 to claim All-American status.

“He is a bright spot. He has a bright future. He is still learning what his potential can be. He started to realize it this past weekend down in Greensboro,” Fino said.

“He had some great swims. He had one of the best swims in the country in the 100 backstroke, which was not a bad day. He did not think he was very good at coming into the year. He can just keep getting better and better. The experience was eye opening for what we can achieve at that level.”

Cooper finished in 31st place in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 49.64 seconds. Ramsey claimed a tied for 30th of 56 swimmers in the 50-yard freestyle.

After all was said and done, the men would place 35th out of 56 teams and the women finished tied for 47th out of 74.

“We want to see ourselves as a national power, national team, and a national program,” said Fino. “We stated that as a goal, to compete at a national level at the NCAA Championships.”