Boiling Springs, N.C. -- Gardner-Webb got a huge win late in the meet from senior Drew Ellwanger of Newborn, who sprinted to a win in the 100 breast to seal the meet for the Runnin' Bulldog men.
Ellwanger, an Eastside graduate, finished the race in 58.03, touching out Davidson senior Drew Onken (58.16).
The win helped Gardner-Webb hang on for a 107-98 win on senior day.
Ellwanger's nail-biting performance came with Gardner-Webb clinging to a 13-point lead and in need of a win. A second-place finish (and a first-place finish by Onken) in the event would have cut GWU's lead to 3 points heading into the meet's final event, the 400 free relay. Davidson would go on to win that event.
"The best way to fire up your team is to get your hand on the wall first," said Ellwanger, who defeated Onken for the first time Saturday. "I'm proud of my guys for the way they swam today."
The Runnin' Bulldog men opened Saturday's dual meet with a win in the 200 medley relay. Colin James (23.60), Ellwanger (25.85), Brandon Searle (22.97) and Tate Warden (21.28) teamed up to pull away with a time of 1:33.70.
GWU got a win in the last individual event of the night from Ellwanger, who charged late to finish first in the 100 breast. Ellwanger, who trailed at the midpoint of the race, completed a comeback win, which meant an 11-point swing in favor of the Runnin' Bulldogs and mathematically clinched the meet for Gardner-Webb.
Saturday's dramatic win for the Runnin' Bulldogs helped seal a historic first for the men's and women's programs. Gardner-Webb had never defeated Davidson in both men's and women's swimming in program history.
Gardner-Webb's men's swim team turns its attention to preparation for next month's CCSA Championship meet. The Conference Championships will take place in Athens on the campus of the University of Georgia on Feb. 21-23.