Emma Esteb – Staff Writer
The Gustavus men’s and women’s swim team traveled to Grinnell, Iowa for the Grinnell Pioneer Classic on Saturday, Dec. 3. Both the men’s and women’s team took home first place with the men claiming the title for the fifth consecutive season with 947 points and the women winning for the second straight title with a score of 982. “I think we had a really good meet, a lot of swimmers did drop a lot of time. We had a few taper swimmers so they were suited up and did really well. It was awesome that both men and women won, the women had it probably by the second session but for the men it came down to the last relay so that was super fun to watch,” Senior Ameilia Stewart said.
The women’s team started Saturday with a meet record in the 200 medley relay consisting of Sophomore Mikayla Witte, First-Year Lindsay Sundby, Sophomore Marit Isaacson, and Junior Lucy Peterson with a time of 1:47.68. “The women’s 200 medley relay got to suit-up and dropped a ton of time which was so awesome to see,” Senior Emily Peterson said. Isaacson carried that momentum and went on to win the 400 IM in 4:47.33, the 100 backstroke in 1:00.49, and the 100 free in 54.03. The women’s 800 free relay won with a time of 8:13.86 and the 400 free relay finished off the day with a win and a time of 3:39.40.
The Gustie men also got off on the right foot as they started the day with a meet record in the 200 medley relay. The team consisted of Junior Peyton Richardson, Junior Kieran Ripken, Senior Dane Hudson, and Senior Andrew Becker with a time of 1:34.42. “It was a lot of fun as it was our first away meet so it’s always fun to travel and hang out with the team for a full day and a half,” Becker said. Ripken went on to also win the 100 breaststroke with a time of 59.03. The 800 free relay team of Hudson, Senior Erik Small, Richardson, and Junior Matt Strom won in 7:11.09. Senior Callen Zemek carried the team with distance swimming and won the 1650 free with a time of 16:50.26, while Becker carried the short distance swimmers as he won the 100 free with a time of 47.37. The Gustie men finished out the meet with a win from the legendary team of Hudson, Strom, Ripken, and Becker in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:08.25.
The Grinnell Pioneer Classic was the team’s first overnight meet of the season and was the perfect way for the Gusties to prepare for the Conference meet. “This meet is set up the same way that MIACs are set up so it’s kinda like a mini practice MIACs for us. Friday night is day one, Saturday morning is day two, and then Saturday night is day three,” Peterson said. With that, the Gusties were pleased with their performance at this meet and hope to continue to carry that momentum for the rest of the season.
Both the men’s and women’s teams have continuously shown a lot of potential and talent. “I think compared to last year when we went to Grinnell, it is very easy to see the support of this team. If you look at our bleachers this year compared to last year, there was no one sitting on the bleachers cause everyone was at the end of the lanes. This year it is very rare to see teammates just sitting on the sidelines because everyone is cheering for each other,” Senior Jake Krusell said. The excitement and support from teammates has carried the Gustie swim team to great heights as they reach the halfway point of their season.
The team is looking forward to showing their potential and hopefully continue to dominate in the pool. “I am really looking forward to just finishing out the remaining practices we have and just trying to focus up and get ready for Conference,” Sophomore Jonathan Cordano said. The team is also gearing up to head to San Diego for their training trip after Christmas break. This is an awesome experience for the swimmers to get some practice in while also having fun with their teammates and getting some sun. “Of course I am looking forward to MIACs, that is going to be a fun time of the year. It always is fun during championship season, but a little bit more short-sided, I am looking forward to the training trip because that has really been the highlight of every year for me,” Krusell said. The Gusties are now off until Jan. 13 when they will host Carleton in a MIAC dual meet.