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Gay swimmer Liam Huffman made memories at Inauguration and Senior Week

LGBT college roundup: Chase Boyle is conference athlete of the week; Carly Muscaro gets big 400-meter win.

Liam Huffman with his parents, Archie and Margaret, on Senior Day.
GW Athletics

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a recent eight-day span, Liam Huffman swam in his Senior Day meet, attended the inauguration of the 45th U.S. President, and captured a win to cap his career.

“Being there for inauguration, that for me was one of those #OnlyAtGW moments,” said Huffman, a senior on the George Washington Univ. men’s swimming team.

Huffman, who shared publicly he’s gay in June 2014 after his freshman year, attended Donald Trump’s inauguration on the National Mall with some friends. They then watched the inaugural parade near Trump International Hotel. He closed the day by attending an inaugural ball held for George Washington Univ. students.

“I’m glad I was here for it,” said Huffman, whose university is a mile from the Lincoln Memorial. “That was a part of history that had I gone anywhere else in the U.S., I definitely wouldn’t have been able to partake in.”

As the country transitions to a new president, Huffman faces transitioning to life without competitive swimming.

A few days before President Barack Obama left the White House, Huffman swam his final meet in the District of Columbia.

“That was the first time that I really got emotional about the season ending, the first time that it really hit me that this is the last time I’ll be racing in this pool,” Huffman said of his Senior Day. “It was hard.”

His parents, Archie and Margaret, made the trip from suburban Kansas City for the Jan. 14 meet against George Mason.

“My mom ended up crying more than I did,” Huffman said.

The 6-foot-3 Huffman’s best individual finish against George Mason was fourth place, but a week later, Huffman earned his first win of the season. Wins have been harder to obtain this year because his team added three talented freshmen that compete in his events.

But during the Jan. 21 dual meet at Old Dominion, Huffman won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 9 minutes, 44.29 seconds. He said it was his best time in the event in two years. He also took second place in the 500 freestyle that day (4:43.89).

“It was really special to finish my last [regular season] meet with an incredible time, a win, and something to really be proud of,” Huffman said.

Huffman’s next meet is the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships on Feb. 15-18. He is scheduled to swim the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, and 1,650 freestyle, and he finished top 10 in all three of those events last year.

He could still qualify for the NCAA Championships, which are at the end of March. Huffman said his best shot is the 500 freestyle, but he remains more than three seconds from the qualifying time.

Whenever Huffman takes off his gold and blue swimsuit for the last time, he plans to find a job in tax policy, and he wants to remain in Washington, D.C.

“I’m very fortunate in the school that I chose being as progressive as it and being in a sport that’s as accepting as it is already,” Huffman said. “I certainly wouldn’t have picked another school. … I left no regrets in the water or at school, so overall, it’s been a hell of a collegiate career.”

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

Division I

Nicholle Aston (senior, Cornell women’s basketball) went 1-2 with the Big Red (11-6 overall) the last two weeks. Her best game of the three came in Friday’s 62-59 loss to Harvard with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Schuyler Bailar (sophomore, Harvard men’s swimming) finished sixth in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:15 during a Jan. 21 meet against Boston College. No. 21-ranked Harvard improved to 9-0 in dual meets this season.

Chase Boyle (senior, Mount St. Mary’s men’s track & field) took second in the weight throw (56 feet, 10 3/4 inches) but recorded fouls on all three shot put throws at the Bucknell Gulden Invitational on Jan. 21. Boyle’s weight throw performance earned him Northeast Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week honors Jan. 24.

Tim Cox (senior, Yale men’s track & field) helped win the 4x800 relay (7:47.24) and finished sixth in the 800 meters (2:02.68) in a three-team meet Jan. 20 with Columbia and Dartmouth at the Armory Track in New York. On Sunday at home against Harvard and Princeton, Cox finished fourth in the 1,000 meters (2:29.31).

Drew Davis (redshirt senior, Limestone men’s volleyball) helped the Saints (3-1 overall) win their first three conference matches the past two weeks. On Saturday facing Erskine, Davis recorded six kills and one dig in the three-set win against his former team.

Kyle Decker (sophomore, DePaul men’s track & field) finished 10th in the 60-meter hurdles (8.70 seconds) Friday at the Indiana University Relays. He did not compete at the Notre Dame Invitational on Jan. 21.

Connor Griffin (sophomore, Fordham men’s swimming) won the 200 individual medley (2:00.97) for the best finish of his three events against Iona on Jan. 25. Griffin finished sixth in the 200 freestyle (1:50.73) and 200 breaststroke (2:23.26) against La Salle on Jan. 21. Griffin took seventh Saturday in his three individual events (200 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 IM) against Massachusetts.

Emmonnie Henderson (senior, Louisville women’s track & field) won the shot put (54-10 1/4) and took second in the weight throw (62-9 1/2) at the Notre Dame Invitational on Jan. 21. Henderson earned another shot put win Friday at the Indiana University Relays, throwing 55-2 1/4, and she took third Saturday in the weight throw (63-10 1/2).

Nick Jessee (senior, St. Louis men’s swimming) won the 100-yard freestyle in 48.03 seconds and swam two relays during Saturday’s three-team home meet that was also Senior Day. At the six-team Butler Invitational on Jan. 22, Jessee finished fifth in the 200 freestyle (1:44.94), ninth in the 500 freestyle (4:56.43), 10th in the 100 freestyle (48.57 seconds), and helped the 400 freestyle relay take second. He swam three events Jan. 21 at Evansville, and his best individual finish was third in the 100 freestyle (48.81 seconds).

Ayrton Kasemets (junior, Oakland men’s swimming) won the 200-yard breaststroke (2:09.22) to go with two fourth-place and an eighth-place finish Friday at Cleveland State. He finished third in the 100 breaststroke (58.29 seconds) for the best finish of his four events Jan. 21 against Michigan State.

Jake Martin (redshirt senior, Ohio State men’s gymnastics) received the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honor Jan. 16 following his all-around victory at the Windy City Invitational. On Jan. 20, he helped the Buckeyes beat Illinois-Chicago 412.15-381.5 by winning the rings competition (14.05).

Cory Moreno (junior, Old Dominion men’s diving) won the 3-meter springboard (308.5) and took third on 1-meter (250.3) during a dual meet with George Washington on Jan. 21.

Alex Obendorf (junior, West Virginia men’s diving) didn’t compete in Saturday’s meet at Villanova due to a concussion.

G Ryan (junior, Michigan women’s swimming) took second in both the 500 freestyle (4:46.36) and 1,000 freestyle (9:42.44) in Friday’s dual meet against Ohio State. Jamie Bissett (assistant coach, Michigan diving) saw the Wolverines’ Kristen Hayden win both women’s diving events Friday against Ohio State while the Michigan men’s best diving finish Friday was third place.

Cavender Salvadori (redshirt junior, William & Mary men’s track & field) helped the distance medley relay (10:32.56) to a win at the CNU Invitational on Jan. 20. In an eight-team meet Saturday at Navy, Salvadori took sixth in the mile (4:19.21) and helped the distance medley relay take third (10:31.36).

Max Showalter (sophomore, Purdue men’s diving) took second on 3-meter springboard (372.65) on Friday and placed third on platform (347.4) on Saturday during a home meet with Northwestern and Minnesota. In a Jan. 21 dual with Indiana, Showalter took fourth on platform (280.95) and sixth on 1-meter springboard (299.2).

Jack Thorne (sophomore, Northwestern men’s swimming) claimed fifth place in the 100-yard backstroke (50.99 seconds) and sixth in the 200 backstroke (1:52.80) against Iowa on Jan. 21. At Purdue with Minnesota on Friday and Saturday, Thorne took 10th in the 200 backstroke (1:52.66) and 12th in the 100 backstroke (52.28 seconds).

Juan Varona (redshirt senior, Barton men’s volleyball) went 2-3 with the Bulldogs (3-3 overall) the last two weeks, including a three-set loss at No. 1-ranked Ohio State on Friday. Varona, a libero, recorded a season-high 12 digs at Limestone on Jan. 21.

Wayne Zhang (junior, Yale men’s diving) took fifth in 1-meter springboard (243.82) and sixth in 3-meter (242.78) at Cornell on Jan. 22.

Chris Burns (assistant coach, Bryant men’s basketball) saw the Bulldogs (8-15 overall, 5-5 NEC) go 3-1 the last two weeks

Nunzio Esposto (Duke men’s and women’s diving coach) saw Duke men’s and women’s divers sweep all four springboard diving events against Virginia on Jan. 20. In a dual meet Saturday against North Carolina, Duke’s men’s divers swept the top two finishes on both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard to help the Blue Devils beat the Tar Heels for the first time since 1939. UNC won the women’s diving, but Duke’s women’s swimming and diving team beat UNC for the first time ever. “Today was really a lot of fun,” Esposto said in a press release. “I was really proud of all the divers.”

Patrick Jeffrey (Stanford men’s and women’s diving coach) saw his men’s and women’s divers claim three of four springboard events Jan. 20 at Arizona State. On Jan. 21 at Arizona, Stanford won all four springboard events. Against UCLA on Friday, Stanford’s women swept both springboard events, and against USC on Saturday, Stanford’s Kassidy Cook won the 1-meter springboard.

Randy Lane (assistant coach, UCLA women’s gymnastics) saw his No. 8-ranked Bruins win 197.325-196.7 at No. 17 Oregon State on Saturday.

Lee-J Mirasolo (assistant coach, Harvard women’s hockey) watched the Crimson (3-15-3 overall) go 2-2-1 the last two weeks, including Saturday’s 2-2 tie with No. 8-ranked Cornell.

Jesse Moore (assistant coach, Northwestern women’s swimming) experienced an 0-3 two-week period as his team lost to Iowa, Purdue and Minnesota.

Simon Thibodeau (head coach, UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis) started the season with a 5-2 loss to No. 18 Southern California on Jan. 19 and a 4-2 loss at No. 13 Texas Tech on Saturday. Thibodeau’s Gauchos lost 4-1 to No. 16 South Carolina on Sunday.

Stephanie White (head coach, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) guided the Commodores (11-11 overall, 1-8 SEC) to a 1-3 record the last two weeks. White, who’s in her first year at Vanderbilt, earned her first Southeastern Conference win Jan. 26 against Alabama 87-80, and White coached the game barefoot to raise awareness for Soles4Souls. Vanderbilt’s game Feb. 5 against Kentucky is scheduled to be broadcast on the SEC Network at noon ET, and the Commodores play again on the SEC Network at 9 p.m. ET on Feb. 9 against Mississippi State.

Division II

Alanna Carvalho (junior, Alabama-Huntsville women’s lacrosse) transferred to Alabama-Huntsville after playing her first two years at Erskine College. Alabama-Huntsville opens its season Feb. 10.

Carly Muscaro (senior, Merrimack women’s track & field) won the 400 meters (52.27 seconds) on Friday in Boston at the 80-team John Thomas Invitational, which was her first meet of the season.

Austin Olivares (senior, Lindenwood men’s swimming) finished seventh in the 200 freestyle (1:49.76) and helped the 200 freestyle relay take fifth during a dual meet with Washington University on Jan. 20.

Austin Shupp (junior, Shippensburg men’s track & field) didn’t compete in his team’s meets the past two weekends at Bucknell and Penn State to focus on training.

Division III

Greg Arther (junior, Wisconsin-Platteville men’s track & field) took 12th in the 800 meters (2:08.93) in a Jan. 21 triangular meet at Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Chris Cassingham (junior, Mary Washington men’s swimming) swam three events with third place in the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:28.54) his best finish Jan. 19 against Salisbury. At Gettysburg on Jan. 21, Cassingham’s third-place in the 200 freestyle (1:48.36) was his best finish in four events. On Saturday against York, Cassingham took third in the 1,000 freestyle (10:34.78) for the best result of his three races.

Alec Donovan (redshirt freshman, Centenary wrestling) recorded a pin in 3:45 at 157 pounds against College of New Jersey on Jan. 20. He recorded a technical fall at 157 pounds Saturday against Ithaca.

Zach Greenawalt (freshman, Juniata men’s track & field) finished eighth in pole vault (12-5 1/2) at Susquehanna on Jan. 21.

Jason Hadley (sophomore, Mount Union men’s track & field) finished seventh in the 800 meters (2:08.35) along with helping the distance medley take fifth place on Jan. 21 in Ada, Ohio. On Saturday in Geneva, Ohio, he finished 25th of 69 runners in the 800 meters (2:01.45) and ran on a 19th-place 4x400 relay. His teammate Josh Thorne (sophomore, Mount Union men’s track & field) recorded a DNF in the 5,000 meters on Jan. 21 due to an injury. Thorne took 28th in the 5,000 meters (16:41) on Friday at Geneva, Ohio.

Michael Martin (sophomore, Wilson men’s volleyball) went 1-3 with the Phoenix to start the season. In the season-opening match, Martin recorded three kills and one dig as Wilson beat Bard in three sets for the program’s first win.

Nathan Matthews (sophomore, Wittenberg men’s volleyball) played in 6 of 7 matches to start the season as the Tigers went 3-4. Matthews recorded a season-high eight digs in a three-set win against Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 20.

Julie Shaw (head coach, La Verne women’s basketball) guided the Leopards (2-15 overall) to a 1-2 record the last two weeks. The win came by beating Caltech 100-98 in four overtimes Jan. 21.

NAIA

David Gilbert (senior, Lewis-Clark men’s track & field) won his heat and finished 20th overall in the 800 meters (2:08.63) and helped his 4x400 relay take sixth at the Washington State Open Indoor Meet on Jan. 20-21.

Jack Strickland (senior, Friends men’s track and field) competed in four events at the Missouri Southern Invite on Jan. 20-21 with 14th in the 60-meter hurdles (8.74 seconds) and 17th in triple jump (40-2 1/4) his best finishes. On Saturday at Pittsburg, Kansas, Strickland took 24th in the 60-meter hurdles (8.69 seconds) and got spiked in the knee during the race.

Nick Clark (head coach, Clarke men’s volleyball) guided his Crusaders (2-3 overall) to a 2-2 record the last two weeks.

Community College

Maria Berrum (sophomore, Oakton women’s basketball) went 1-3 with the Owls (4-18 overall) the last two weeks. Berrum did not play in the two games that box scores were available.

Taylor Emery (sophomore, Gulf Coast State women’s basketball) helped the No. 2- ranked Commodores (22-1 overall) go 3-0 the last two weeks by averaging 18 points and 4.7 rebounds in those three games. Emery scored a game-high 21 points with three steals, two assists and one rebound in Saturday’s 78-62 win against No. 11 Tallahassee.

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 or coach and want your accomplishments recognized, please email Erik.