As a whole, the Cougars set five new school records and captured three gold medal finishes on Thursday.
In the diving events, junior Peter Gibbons smashed his previous school record and defended his CCSA title in the three-meter dive with a first-place score of 291.75. Sophomore Michael Topitzer placed third with a season-best score of 213.05, while Derek Foltz earned sixth place with 161.65.
In the 50-yard freestyle event, sophomore Greg Karel won a gold medal by touching the wall in 20.65 seconds, the fastest time for the Cougars this season. Right behind him was senior Brantley Reynolds who placed third with a time of 21.00. Sophomore David Sherrier also competed in the top heat with a sixth-place time of 21.25.
In the women's 50 free, freshman Sarah Graif bested her own school record set in November by placing fifth in 23.33. Classmate Jayme Groth touched the wall right after her, placing sixth with a time of 23.41.
In the men's 500-yard freestyle, senior Matt Sherrier bested his top season time by seven seconds and finished second with a time of 4:31.73. Sophomore Blake Buchanan placed fifth in 4:41.64. Sophomore Chris Verboncoeur placed fourth in the 200 IM (1:51.91) and sophomore Patrick Foos came in right behind him in sixth (1:53.63).
The Cougars set school records in the three of the four relay races on Thursday. In the men's 200-yard freestyle relay, the Cougar squad of Karel, Matt Sherrier, David Sherrier and Reynolds took home first place with a school-record time of 1:21.83.
The men's 400-yard medley relay earned points from a third-place finish as Jackson Marine, Reynolds, Verboncoeur and Matt Sherrier touched the wall in 3:23.48. The women's 400 medley squad set a new school record with Sarah Boyle, Liz Mooney, Groth and Graif combining for a sixth-place time of 3:51.87.
Heading into Friday's action, the men's squad has 275 points, 35 more than second-place Davidson. The women's squad trails the fifth-place Wildcats, 106-89. College of Charleston currently leads all 12 schools in combined scores with 364 points.
Time trials on Friday morning begin at 10 a.m., while event finals start at 6 p.m.