For the second straight year, your Gustavus men’s swim and dive team has vanquished St. Thomas and claimed the MIAC crown.
The Gusties were dominant over the four-day conference meet this past weekend, accumulating 946 points.
The Tommies were a distant second with 739 points. This victory marks the 23rd time Gustavus has won the conference championship.
The women’s swim and dive team also had a successful weekend, coming in third in a fiercely competitive meet.
St. Kate’s claimed the title with 700.5 points, their first championship in program history, while St. Thomas took second at 664 points with the Gusties close on their heels at 626.5 points.
“We knew St. Thomas was coming after us and it was a battle all weekend,” Head Coach Jon Carlson said. “The guys stepped up time and time again. The women hung around all week with two powerhouse teams and that was truly inspiring. There were so many unbelievable swims and I was moved by how hard they swam.”
His enthusiasm was shared by the athletes, who relished the opportunity to strut their strokes after a long two-week tapering period.
“It was an unbelievable experience, every time we went up against St. Thomas, time and time again everyone that needed to stepped up. I’m so proud of how both the men’s and women’s teams competed this past weekend,” Junior Josh Muntifering said.
Leading the way for the men’s team was Junior Nolan Larson, who shared MIAC Male Swimmer of the Year with St. Olaf’s John Loepfe.
He won the 200-yard butterfly with a school record time of 1:49.12 and also swam on a 400 yard free relay team that took first place and set a MIAC, school and meet record with a 2019 selection time of 3:00.94.
“Nolan Larson certainly earned MIAC Swimmer of the Meet,” Carlson said. “His 200 fly was one of the best swims I’ve ever seen. Then to turn around and break the 400 free relay record was amazing. I never thought that was going to get broken because those guys were some of the best swimmers this program has ever seen.”
The Gustie men also dominated in the 100-yard freestyle event, as Junior Matt Allison won the event in 45.53, followed closely by Sophomore Dutch Franko-Dynes at 46.12 and First-year Andrew Becker in 46.49.
Muntifering claimed second, right behind Larson, in the 200 yard butterfly with a time of 1:51.49.
He also took second in the 200 yard backstroke with a time of 1:50.54 and won the 400 yard IM by more than two seconds with a time of 4:00.46.
Two more all conference performances came from First-year Callen Zemek in the 1650 free with an NCAA B qualifying time of 15:48.08 and from Sophomore Farrque Hussein in the 200 breaststroke at 2:05.63.
To round out the rout, Senior Logan Bican won the 1-meter diving event and shared MIAC Diver of the Year with Jack Grabinski of Saint John’s, and Carlson was named Men’s Coach of the Year by his peers.
For the women, First-year Ellen Hofstede provided some excitement in Saturday night’s final session by winning the 100 freestyle with a 2019 selection time of 51.08, which also set a school record.
Hofstede also finished third in the 200 freestyle with a time of 54.72.
Senior Maddie Westendorp took second place in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.45.
The 400 free relay team of Alyssa Kohorst, Alyssa Lokensgard, Amelia Bjorklund and Hofstede finished in third place with a time of 3:30.78.
Senior Allie Mayfield had a strong performance in the 1650 free with a time of 17:48:75, good for fourth place.
Junior Hailey Auran placed fifth in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:23.61, and First-year Annika Johns finished eighth in the 200 back in 2:09.46.
For swimming, the top three finishers in each event receive medals and automatically earn All-Conference honors, while individual finishers 4-6 earn the honorable mention distinction.
This coming weekend, the swimmers who swam qualifying times at the conference meet will find out if they’ve been selected to swim in the Division III National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina from March 18-21.
Larson and Allison both qualified for Nationals last year, and will look to improve on their sophomore performances.