Lile spectacular for Gardner-Webb men’s swim teamFormer SMAC swimmer led Bulldogs to fifth place finish
GREENSBORO — The Gardner Webb University men’s swimming team was in action last weekend and former Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club (SMAC) standout, Nathan Lile, turned in a spectacular weekend of swimming for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.
Lile, a freshman from Waynesville, kicked off his individual performance at the two-day meet by leading Gardner-Webb in the men’s 500 free, finishing in 7th place, with a time of 4:41.96. That paced Gardner-Webb to a sixth place standing after day one of the All-N.C. Invitational.
In its inaugural year, the All-N.C. Invitational featured 14 collegiate programs from across the state of North Carolina (including Division I, Division II, and Division III programs) competing under the same roof.
The Runnin’ Bulldog men opened the night with a 7th place showing (1:26.20) in the 200 free relay. DJ Hughes, Lile, Phil Leonard, and Joe MacGregor teamed up for the top eight finish, with Lile’s split (20.98) the fastest of the night for Gardner-Webb.
Gardner-Webb finished the night strong, turning in a 5th place finish (3:29.62), just behind 4th place ECU (3:29.50) in the men’s 400 medley relay. Lile anchored (46.73) to give the Runnin’ Bulldogs a top five showing.
Gardner-Webb put together a 5th place finish in Saturday morning’s first event, the 200 medley relay. Colin James (24.65), Drew Ellwanger (26.39), DJ Hughes (23.28), and Lile (21.19) teamed up for a time of 1:35.51, a Top 5 finish, and the top CCSA time in the event.
Lile recorded his third Top 8 individual finish of the meet with a 7th place showing (4:07.67) in the 400 I.M. He also posted the 6th fastest time in the men’s 200 free finishing at 1:44.00.
Lile again led the Runnin’ Bulldogs in the 200 back, touching in at 1:52.31 (3rd). The event marked the first time of the weekend in which multiple GWU swimmers cracked the Top 5 of an event.
Overall, Gardner-Webb got five Top 10 individual finishes from Lile, and saw each of its four relays finish in the Top 8 to lead the Runnin’ Bulldog men to a fifth place finish.
North Carolina State finished atop the men’s standings with 1,438 points. Duke was second with 1,095.5 points, East Carolina took third with 1,095 points, and Wingate was fourth 773. Gardner-Webb (716) edged fellow CCSA member Davidson (707.5), which finished in sixth after Saturday.
The Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club boasts several collegiate swimmers among its alum. For more information on joining SMAC, contact Head Coach Andy Wagner at 865-806-1776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gardner-Webb men’s swimming will look to continue its recent success at meets the weekend of Oct. 19-20. GWU competes at the VMI/UNC Asheville Relay Meet in Lexington, Virginia, on Oct. 19, as well as the Virginia Tech Sprint Invite in Christiansburg, Virginia, on Oct. 20.