Both Gustavus Swimming and Diving teams found silver in the water at the MIAC Championships at the University of Minnesota on Saturday evening.
Sophomore Tanner Sonnek lead the men to a second place finish out of eight teams with 653 points, while women took 684.5 points to finish second out of 11.
“Sonnek had an amazing meet. It is well deserved, he stepped up for us big time.” — Head Coach Jon Carlson
The University of Saint Thomas took first in both divisions with 910 and 908 points, respectively.
Sonnek got out of the pool on Saturday after three days of competition with a MIAC meet record and NCAA Selection Time of 55.10 to win the 100-yard breaststroke, another top time of 1:53.06 in the 200-yard individual medley, and his second consecutive championship in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:02.12.
Additionally, he swam for four Gustie relay teams that all collected All-Conference awards.
“Sonnek had an amazing meet,” Head Coach Jon Carlson said. “It is well deserved, he stepped up for us big time.”
Last year’s Men’s Swimming Rookie of the Year, this year Sonnek one-upped his status as he was named MIAC Men’s Swimmer of the Year.
Meanwhile, Freshman Matt Allison nearly upset two-time Champion Kenny Bergman of St. John’s in the 100-yard freestyle with an all-conference NCAA B-Cut Selection time of 45.43 finish. Allison lost by only .02 seconds to the Johnnie.
Sophomore Andrew Peters and Senior Adam Peters joined Sonnek and Allison in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Gusties’ time of 3:07.39 was good enough for a third place finish and all-conference honors.
The men’s divers also came up large in the team effort, as four Gustie divers placed in the top seven. Freshman Josh Theis led the way with a 394.20 point third place finish. Theis met a NCAA B Qualifying standard and earned all-conference honors.
“They swam their hearts out and swam for eachother. In a sport that is innately individual, when you swim together as a team you can do some special things.” — Head Coach Jon Carlson
“Our divers really came through for us and made a huge difference in the overall result,” Carlson said.
The Gustie Men moved up two spots from last year’s fourth place finish.
“That was kind of our goal, to see if we could get into second place,” Carlson said. “The guys were focused after being fourth place last year. It has been their focus all year to get in to the top two. It didn’t look too promising going into the meet but they swam their hearts out and swam for each other. In a sport that is innately individual, when you swim together as a team you can do some special things as a group.”
On the Women’s side of things, Junior Kate Reilly met a NCAA B-Cut time in the 100-yard freestyle preliminary with a time of 51.92. In the final, Reilly swam it in 52 seconds to claim third place. Sophomore Linnea Rizzo finished second in the mile swim with a time of 17:40.65, Gustie teammate Sydney Hallmark claimed the third spot fourteen seconds later. Junior Megan Boonstra finished fourth and Alison Mayfield fifth as the Gusties swept spots 2-5. Gustie swimmers allotted for five of the top eight finishers in the event.
In the 200-yard backstroke, Senior Hayley Booher swam into third place and all-conference honors with a 1:06.76 finish.
Senior Nicole Lohman, Junior Kennedy Holwerda, Sophomore Maggie Webster, and Reilly snagged second place in the 400-yard freestyle with a time of 3:33.31, good enough for all-conference.
“The women really came together as a team and put together some outstanding performances. We talked about swimming to inspire, we had swims light a fire under the rest of the team and it would just be one swim after another, after another,” Carlson said.