Here at Gustavus, there isn’t necessarily a “men’s” or “women’s” swimming & diving team, as both groups spend an insurmountable amount of time together in and out of the pool, essentially make up one collective team, or as some may say, one family.
“As a coach, seeing the amount of caring and trusting and believing in each other that the team has had all season is very rewarding. It’s rare to see in an individual sport, but they were swimming for each other,” Head Coach Jon Carlson said.
This past weekend, the Gustavus Men’s and Women’s Swim & Dive team competed in Minneapolis at the MIAC Conference Championship meet, returning to St. Peter with an impressive amount of first place finishes and several very proud Gusties. The women walked away with their sixth straight MIAC title. The men swam to a fifth place finish. The team’s effort could easily be seen throughout the meet.
“I was so impressed with how the team stepped up the entire weekend. The effort that they put forth got them the results that they deserved. On the men’s side, our team just didn’t have the depth that other teams did, but our individual performances were spectacular,” Carlson said.
The top male performer of the weekend was Senior Zac Solis. Solis received first place in the 200, 500, and 1650 yard freestyle races. Carlson described Solis’ performance as “dominating” and then went on to explain, “All of the seniors set a great example of how to compete at this big meet.”
Not only did the women come away with a title, but Senior Jennifer Strom was titled the MIAC Swimmer-of-the-Year. Strom won both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke races. The relays that the women swimmers won include the 200 yard freestyle relay, 400 yard medley relay, and the 400 yard freestyle relay.
First-year Kate Reilly was a participant in the three first place relays. In addition to her relay wins, she added a first place finish in the 100 meter butterfly, compiling a total of four first place finishes.
“I was thrilled with my performance at the MIAC Championships and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to share my very first conference meet with. I owe it all to them,” Reilly said.
Another top performance came from Senior Katie Olson. Alongside Reilly, Olson was a member of the three winning relay teams and earned a win in the open 100 yard freestyle race.
“Conference is definitely my favorite time of the year. We always come to this meet prepared to race and have fun doing it. This year was bittersweet for me personally because it was my final conference meet and winning the conference title for the past four years has been truly amazing. It was a very close meet and everyone in the MIAC rose to the occasion,” Olson said.
Several women swimmers are projected to compete in the national meet in Houston, Texas in approximately one month.Zac Solis also has a chance of making the national meet with his strong showing at the MIAC Championships.
“I was so impressed with how the team stepped up the entire weekend. The effort that they put forth got them the results that they deserved. On the men’s side, our team just didn’t have the depth that other teams did, but our individual performances were spectacular. All of the seniors set a great example of how to compete at this big meet.”—Coach Jon Carlson
Whether it was in the pool, on the deck, or in the stands, the Gustavus swimming family has had a successful season.