ATHENS, Ga. - The UNC Asheville women's swim team began competition this morning in the CCSA Swimming and Diving Championships at the Gabrielson Natatorium on the campus of the University of Georgia.


The Bulldogs are competing in their first conference meet since bringing swimming back this year after a 36-year absence.  Asheville stands in 10th place with 35 points.


Action began in the morning with the preliminaries. Galen Broido was the lone top 16 qualifier with a lifetime best in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:04.26. Other highlights included every swimmer swimming at least one lifetime best.


After a break in the late afternoon, the championships continued in the evening. UNC Asheville earned 14 points in the 200 Freestyle Relay with a 10th-place finish. Each Bulldog posted lifetime bests in the event and set a new school record. Ashley Ireland led things off with a time of 24.33, followed by Eliza Ritchie at 25.75. Kristen Lawson had a time of 25.12 with anchor Alessandra Troncoso finishing up with a time of 24.06.


Broido moved from 15th place to ninth place in the 500 freestyle finals. She improved her time to 5:01.09 which is a freshman, school and lifetime best for her.


The final event of the night for the Bulldogs was the 400 Medley. Asheville earned 12 points with an 11th place finish. Broido led off with a 1:02.79 in the backstroke, followed by Troncoso with a time of 1:02.44 in the breaststroke. It was th second fastest split at the meet!!  Ireland swam the butter fly and had a solid time of 1:02.02. Lawson finished the event with the freestyle as she posted a time of 54.87.


"I am so very proud of everyone's efforts today," stated Bulldog coach Elizabeth Lykins. "We are really racing fast and hope to move up the team rankings on Friday."


Day two of the three-day competition begins Friday at 10 a.m.