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LGBT college roundup: George Washington swimmer on a hot streak

Liam Huffman has been dominant in the pool this year. Plus, a roundup of how LGBT athletes and coaches have fared.

Liam Huffman
Liam Huffman

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Liam Huffman continues to be on a hot streak. The George Washington University swimmer won in each of his team’s first two meets of the 2015-16 season.

That comes after the 6-foot-3 swimmer won at each of the four meets to end the 2014-15 regular season.

To open his junior season, Huffman finished first in the 200-yard freestyle Oct. 17 at Howard. His time of 1 minute, 47.84 seconds beat runner-up Ben Fitch, his teammate, by eight-hundredths of a second.

On Saturday, Huffman won the 500 freestyle by 7.7 seconds at Maryland-Baltimore County. He swam a time of 4:55.19.

The only meet since the calendar turned to 2015 where Huffman hasn’t won was the 2015 Atlantic 10 Championships. At that meet, Huffman’s highest finish was fifth on the 800 freestyle relay, and his best individual finish was eighth in the 1,650 freestyle.

Huffman, who announced publicly he’s gay in June 2014, will aim to keep the streak going in George Washington’s home-opener Nov. 7 against Towson.

The results of Huffman’s other individual races this season all resulted in fourth-place finishes — the 100 freestyle (51.22) and 100 breaststroke (1:07.93) on Oct. 17 and Saturday’s 1,000 freestyle (10:05.10). He’s also done the 400 freestyle relay each meet, helping GW finish third Oct. 17 and second Saturday. 

Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBT.

Division I

A week after making his first start of the season, Mason Darrow (junior, Princeton football) returned to a reserve role Oct. 17 in a 38-31 loss to Brown. Darrow continued as a backup Saturday as Princeton lost to FCS No. 15-ranked Harvard 42-7. The Tigers stand 4-2.

Nick Jessee (junior, St. Louis men’s swimming) swam the 800-yard freestyle relay (second place), 200 freestyle (seventh, 1:47.21), and 500 freestyle (seventh, 4:57.73) on Saturday in a five-team meet at St. Peters, Missouri. At the same meet, Austin Olivares (junior, Lindenwood) swam the 100 freestyle (11th, 48.74 seconds), 200 freestyle (fourth, 1:44.96) and 800 freestyle relay (fourth). That came after Olivares swam four events at Truman State on Oct 17 in the 200 freestyle (fifth, 1:47.55), 200 butterfly (sixth, 1:58.47), 500 freestyle (5:07.21) and 400 freestyle relay (second).

Jesse Klug (senior, Bucknell men’s soccer) made his return to the lineup Saturday after missing six games with a broken foot, which he injured Sept. 27. Klug started and played 44 minutes of the 90-minute game but recorded no stats in the 3-0 loss to American.

Alex Obendorf (sophomore, West Virginia men’s diving) enjoyed success in a home meet against Georgia Tech on Oct. 16, finishing second (1-meter springboard) and third (3-meter springboard). The next day against Virginia Tech, he took fourth (3-meter) and fifth (1-meter). Friday and Saturday’s swimming and diving meet was intrasquad for West Virginia divers since Seton Hall and Xavier didn’t bring divers, and Obendorf got a win (3-meter) and a runner-up (1-meter).

Gavin Studner (senior, Lafayette men’s tennis) went 0-3 in singles and 1-2 in doubles the weekend of Oct. 16-18 at the Patriot League kickoff tournament, which concludes his fall season.

Jack Thorne (freshman, Northwestern men’s swimming) competed in his first college meet Oct. 15 at Eastern Michigan. He swam the 200-yard medley relay (fourth), 100 backstroke (fifth, 51.61 seconds), and 200 backstroke (sixth, 1:53.39). Thorne said he missed Saturday’s home meet due to a shoulder injury.

Seattle women’s volleyball coach James Finley’s team went 3-1 in its last four matches, which has the team in fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference. The Redhawks are 14-8 overall and 6-3 in the WAC.

UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis coach Simon Thibodeau’s doubles team of Stacy Yam and Priscila Garcia took runner-up Sunday in its bracket of the St. Mary’s Invitational. UCSB’s other doubles team captured a consolation title.

Charleston women’s volleyball assistant coach Drew Davis witnessed the team’s setter Allison Beckman set a school record with 68 assists in a five-set match. She set the record Oct. 16 in a 3-2 loss to James Madison. The Cougars are 2-3 the last two weeks, 13-11 overall and 5-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Harvard women’s hockey assistant coach Lee-J Mirasolo saw her team lose 2-1 in its season-opener Friday at Dartmouth. Harvard, which reached the national title game last year, opened the season ranked No. 4.

Division II

Noah Ratliff (freshman, Mercyhurst University men’s water polo) had an assist in his team’s 15-10 win over Salem International to clinch the College Water Polo Association Division II Championship on Oct. 17. The Lakers are 10-5 overall.

Javier Ruisanchez (freshman, Gannon University men’s swimming) made his collegiate debut Friday in the 800-yard freestyle relay at the Westminster (Pa.) Relay Meet. His relay finished fourth in 7:41.38, and Ruisanchez’s split was 1:53.72. On Saturday in a dual at Cleveland State, Ruisanchez swam the 100 butterfly (fifth place, 57.85 seconds) and the 1,000 freestyle (sixth, 11:02.28).

Division III

Chris Cassingham (sophomore, Mary Washington men’s swimming) started his season Oct. 16 against Washington and Lee where he swam the 500 freestyle (sixth place, 5:19.09), 1,000 freestyle (fifth, 10:44.51), and 200 freestyle relay (fourth). He followed that Oct. 17 in a meet against Catholic University swimming the 200 freestyle (fourth, 1:54.78), 500 freestyle (third, 5:10.22), and 200 medley relay (fifth).

Chris Kelley (senior) is no longer listed on the Ithaca College men’s crew roster. Kelley said, "Due to recent circumstances, I’m currently no longer on the team." Ithaca crew head coach Dan Robinson said, "His leaving the team was a surprise. It was his choice. We really haven’t spoken since. He rowed for three years and thought he was going to row this year. He rowed for a couple days then chose not to continue." Ithaca had its third meet of the season Saturday.

Max Korten (senior, Moravian College men’s cross country) finished fourth on his team Oct. 17 at the Rowan University Border Battle. In the 24-team meet, he finished 204th in 29:06.95 for 8 kilometers.

Michael Martin (freshman, Wilson College men’s soccer) recorded a shutout in Sunday’s season finale, a 1-0 win over SUNY-Cobleskill. Martin made one save in the game. The team finishes with a 3-10-2 record, and Martin made 96 saves, allowed 33 goals and recorded four shutouts while starting every game.

NAIA

David Gilbert (junior, Lewis-Clark State College men’s cross country) finished 85th in the 8-kilometer Inland Empire Challenge on Oct. 17 with a time of 28:05 on his home course in Lewiston, Idaho. His team continues to be ranked No. 2 in NAIA, where its been ranked since Oct. 1.

Upcoming competitions involving LGBT college athletes and coaches that have announced their sexuality publicly. (All times are Eastern)

Wednesday, Oct. 28
Jesse Klug, Bucknell men’s soccer vs. Loyola (Md.); Lewisburg, Penn., 7 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 29
James Finley (coach) Seattle University women’s volleyball at CSU Bakersfield; Bakersfield, Calif., 10 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 30
Ayrton Kasemets, Oakland men’s swimming at Wayne State; Detroit, Mich., 6 p.m.
Drew Davis (ast. coach) College of Charleston women’s volleyball at Towson; Towson, Md., 7 p.m.
Lee J-Mirasolo (ast. coach) Harvard women’s hockey vs. Clarkson; Cambridge, Mass., 7 p.m.
Chris Cassingham, Mary Washington men’s swimming at Frostburg St.; Frostburg, Md., 6 p.m.
Jesse Taylor, Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball at Mayville St.; Mayville, N.D., 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 31
Mason Darrow, Princeton football vs. Cornell; Princeton, N.J., 3:30 p.m.
Derrick Gordon, Seton Hall men’s basketball (EXHIBITION) vs. Baruch; South Orange, N.J., Noon
Nick Jessee, St. Louis men’s swimming vs. La Salle, St. Bonaventure, Duquesne; Geneva, Ohio, TBA
Jesse Klug, Bucknell men’s soccer at Lehigh; Bethlehem, Penn., 7 p.m.
Austin Parrish, Eastern Illinois men’s swimming vs. Evansville; Evansville, Ind., 2 p.m.
James Finley (coach) Seattle University women’s volleyball at Grand Canyon, Phoenix, 4 p.m.
Lee J-Mirasolo (ast. coach) Harvard women’s hockey vs. St. Lawrence; Cambridge, Mass., 4 p.m.
Javier Ruisanchez, Gannon University men’s swimming at Carnegie Mellon, vs. Clarion; Pittsburgh, 11 a.m.
Chris Cassingham, Mary Washington men’s swimming vs. Randolph-Macon; Fredericksburg, Va., Noon
Max Korten, Moravian College men’s cross country at Landmark Conference Championships; King’s Point, N.Y., TBA
Jesse Taylor, Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball at Jamestown; Jamestown, N.D., 7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 1
Lauren Miranda, Duke women’s rowing at Princeton Chase; Princeton, N.J., All Day
Drew Davis (ast. coach) College of Charleston women’s volleyball at James Madison; Harrisonburg, Va., Noon
Noah Ratliff, Mercyhurst College men’s water polo at Bucknell; Lewisburg, Pa., 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 3
Jesse Taylor, Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball at Waldorf; Forest City, Iowa, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 4
Patrick Jeffrey, Stanford diving coach (men) at Cal Triple Distance; Berkeley, Calif., 5 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 5
Taylor Emery, Tulane women’s basketball (EXHIBITION) vs. Loyola (N.O.); New Orleans, 6:30 p.m.
Simon Thibodeau (coach) UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis at Jack Kramer Invite; Palos Verdes, Calif., All Day
Jesse Taylor, Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball (EXHIBITION) at South Dakota State; Brookings, S.D.

Friday, Nov. 6
Schuyler Bailar, Harvard men’s swimming vs. Bryant; Boston, Mass., 6 p.m.
Jack Thorne, Northwestern men’s swim team at Missouri, Kentucky, SIU; Columbia, Mo., TBA
Simon Thibodeau (coach) UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis at Jack Kramer Invite, Palos Verdes, Calif., All Day
Drew Davis (ast. coach) College of Charleston women’s volleyball vs. Elon; Charleston, S.C., 7 p.m.
Lee J-Mirasolo (ast. coach) Harvard women’s hockey at Yale; New Haven, Conn., 7 p.m.
Noah Ratliff, Mercyhurst College men’s water polo at CWPA Southern Championship; Lewisburg, Pa., TBA
Javier Ruisanchez, Gannon University men’s swimming at Shippensburg; Shippensburg, Pa., 6 p.m.
David Gilbert, Lewis-Clark State College men’s cross country at Fronite/North Star Championships, Great Falls, Mont., TBA

Saturday, Nov. 7
Mason Darrow, Princeton football at Penn; Philadelphia, Noon
Liam Huffman, George Washington men’s swimming vs. Towson; Washington, D.C., 1 p.m.
Ayrton Kasemets, Oakland men’s swimming at Eastern Michigan; Ypsilanti, Mich., 1 p.m.
Jesse Klug, Bucknell men’s soccer vs. Army West Point; Lewisburg, Penn., 2 p.m.
Austin Parrish, Eastern Illinois men’s swimming vs. Valparaiso; Charleston, Ill., 6 p.m.
Jack Thorne, Northwestern men’s swim team at Missouri, Kentucky, SIU; Columbia, Mo., TBA
James Finley (coach) Seattle University women’s volleyball vs. Utah Valley; Seattle, 4 p.m.
Simon Thibodeau (coach) UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis at Jack Kramer Invite; Palos Verdes, Calif., All Day
Drew Davis (ast. coach) College of Charleston women’s volleyball vs. William & Mary; Charleston, S.C., 7 p.m.
Patrick Jeffrey, Stanford diving coach (men) vs. N.C. State; Stanford, Calif., 3 p.m.
Lee J-Mirasolo (ast. coach) Harvard women’s hockey at Brown; Providence, R.I., 4 p.m.
Noah Ratliff, Mercyhurst College men’s water polo at CWPA Southern Championship; Lewisburg, Pa., TBA
Javier Ruisanchez, Gannon University men’s swimming at Bloomsburg Univ.; Bloomsburg, Pa., Noon
Chris Cassingham, Mary Washington men’s swimming vs. Marymount (Va.); Fredericksburg, Va., 1 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 8
Bree Horracks, Purdue women’s basketball (EXHIBITION) vs. Marian Univ.; West Lafayette, Ind., Noon
Nick Jessee, St. Louis men’s swimming vs. UMSL, Lindenwood-Belleville, Maryville; St. Louis, 2 p.m.
Simon Thibodeau (coach) UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis at Jack Kramer Invite, Palos Verdes, Calif., All Day
Noah Ratliff, Mercyhurst College men’s water polo at CWPA Southern Championship; Lewisburg, Pa., TBA

Erik Hall can be reached via email at hallerik7@gmail.com or on Twitter (@HallErik) or on Facebook. If you are an out LGBT athlete and want your accomplishments recognized, email Erik.