Pirates Begin Quest For American Athletic Conference Title

HOUSTON — For the third year in a row, East Carolina defeated the field in the men’s 800-yard freestyle relay to lead the Pirates into first-place after the first day of the 2017 American Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships at the Campus & Wellness Recreation Center Natatorium on the campus of the University of Houston.


The Pirates’ foursome of Fran Krznaric, Grega Popovic, John Myhre and Blaz Demsar swam the distance in 6:27.81, over two seconds faster than the next finisher, to set an ECU record.


Joined by William Hicks, Gustavo Santos and Victor Santos, Krznaric also helped the 200-medley relay team to a second-place finish, touching just 0.11 seconds behind SMU with a varsity record time of 1:27.11.


East Carolina is in first place in the men’s four-team field with 114 points after the first day of events, followed by UConn (105), Cincinnati (101) and SMU (92).


On the ladies side, East Carolina sits in third-place with 90 points. UConn is in first place with 118 points followed by Houston (104), ECU, SMU (84), Cincinnati (82) and Tulane (56).


Pirate senior Marion Abert swam the lead leg of the 800 freestyle relay and set an ECU varsity record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:47.16 to pace the Pirates’ squad to a second-place finish. Stefanie Scherwitzel, Anna Svanbergsson and Tori Angermeier combined with Abert for a varsity record time of 7:11.39, which was 1.32 seconds back off first-place Cincinnati.


Competition continues on Thursday, with preliminary swimming events starting at 10 a.m. CT, followed by diving preliminaries at 12:30 CT. The finals are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. CT.