The Gustie Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams are off to a strong start and have found early success with two weekends of competition under their belt so far.
The first weekend featured a split squad meet on October 27 where one group traveled to Luther College in Decorah, IA while another took on Morningside College in Sioux City, IA.
The contingent that traveled to Luther put on a clinic against the Norse, winning all 22 races (eleven women, eleven men) and all four relay events. The final score of the meet was 168-54 in favor of the Gusties.
On the women’s side, winners of events included Seniors Hayley Pesik, Maggie Webster, Michelle Simms, and Sydney Hallmark. Pesik, Webster, and Hallmark won events of different lengths in the freestyle, while Simms turned in the top time in the 100 yard butterfly.
Other winners for the Gustie women included Junior Alyssa Lokensgaard in the 200 yard freestyle, and Sophomore Ruth Chuah in the 100 yard backstroke.
Sophomore Hailey Auran won two separate races for the Gusties: the 200 yard IM and the 100 yard breaststroke.
Finally, Sophomores Sophia Steinberg and Emily An earned the top scores in the one and three meter diving competitions, respectively.
On the men’s side, the Gusties had three multi-event winners. Senior Tanner Sonnek won the 200 yard IM and the 100 yard breaststroke while Zach Dawson won the 500 and 1000 yard freestyle events.
Sophomore Nolan Larson earned Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Athlete of the Week honors for his wins in the 200 yard freestyle and the 100 yard butterfly. He also contributed the Gusties win in the 200 freestyle relay. Larson’s time in the 200 freestyle was the fastest in the MIAC this season by over two seconds.
Other winners in the pool included Junior Matt Allison in the 50 yard freestyle, Sophomore Josh Muntifering in the 100 yard backstroke, and First-year Dutch Franko-Dynes in the 100 yard freestyle.
In the diving competition, Junior Logan Bican and Senior Jonathan Bovee earned the top scores in the one and three meter competitions, respectively.
It was a great ‘first meet’ day. Lots of good swims and things to improve going forward. The team is fired up to get back in the water this week,” Coach Jon Carlson said of the Luther meet.
At the Morningside meet, the Gusties saw similar wide-ranging success, particularly on the women’s side, where the Gusties had first place finishers in all nine events.
Junior Allie Mayfield and Sophomores Alyssa Kohorst and Katherine Brotstrom all placed first in two different events to pace the Gusties.
Junior Rachel Thate and First-years Abby Schammel and Ella Benoit also took first in their respective events.
On the men’s side, Sophomore Thomas Fitzloff led the way with victories in the 100 and 200 yard freestyle events. First-year Ryan Kawleski added a victory of his own with a first place finish in the 1000 yard freestyle.
The Gusties rode this strong momentum into the following weekend as they hosted teams from UW-Stevens Point and MSU-Mankato.
Both teams competed well and finished in second place. The Gustie men fell to UW-Stevens Point by a score of 1246-1143 while the women fell to MSU-Mankato 1202.5-954.
On the men’s side, Sonnek led the way once again for the Gusties with wins in the 100 yard breaststroke and the 200 yard backstroke.
Nolan Larson put together another strong performance with a win in the 100 yard freestyle and Sophomore Mack Christianson earned the fastest time in the 1000 yard freestyle.
The Gusties swept the diving events for the second straight weekend with Logan Bican winning the one meter dive again and Senior Carlson Schoberg winning the three meter event.
On the women’s side, Seniors Maggie Webster and Haley Pesik won the 200 yard events in the freestyle and backstroke for the Gusties.
Sophomore Sophia Steinberg also earned the top score in the one meter diving event.
“I think the team has been really happy with the first couple meets we have had. It’s still too early to be able to tell where everyone will end up, but it’s nice to be able to post some solid times right off the bat,” Senior Tanner Sonnek said.
Overall, the Gusties will look to build throughout the season in hopes of taking home a MIAC Championship at the end of the year, and point to strong team chemistry and speed in many events as reasons to believe that this goal is within reach.
Both teams will travel to Saint Paul to participate in the Macalester Invite on Saturday, November 10.