Women and men claim MIAC swim titles

Parker Burman-

This past week, the Gustavus Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive team headed to the University of Minnesota to compete in the MIAC Championships. With the Men looking to win their fifth straight title and the Women looking to collect their first since 2015, both teams had work to do. Both teams performed to the best of their abilities with the Men securing yet another championship and the Women ending their championship drought.

The Championship was the 26th in program history for the Men and the fifth in five years as the line of Gustavus dominance continues to roll in Men’s MIAC Swimming. Gustavus collected a total of 886 points over the multi-day competition, out-scoring second place Carleton by 237 points.

MIAC Co-Swimmer of the Year, Senior Matt Strom heading into the final day of competition had already picked up five wins, picking up a sixth in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:47.52. MIAC Rookie of the Year, First-year Logan Cyr took third place while Sophomore Will Sarkinen took eight with times of 1:55.47 and 2:00.44 in the same event as Strom. Three Gusties placed in the top eight of the 200 breaststroke, as Tyler Teichmiller took second at 2:05.88, Nyden Hill in fifth at 2:08.45, with Brandon Wilcek taking sixth with a time of 2:08.85.

“It feels great and is a huge honor to be selected as the MIAC ROTY. ROTY symbolizes all the work I’ve put into the sport and all the help I’ve received from my coaches and teammates that push me to be the best I can be in and out of the pool,” Cyr said.

“Winning MIACs every year has always been the main goal of each season, but honestly winning the championship on the men’s side only is far less cool than being able to win it on both the men’s and women’s sides like we did this year,” Teichmiller said.

Strom’s Co-Swimmer of the Year, Senior Peyton Richardson, battled it out with Carleton’s Jackson Rankin in the 200 butterfly final. Richardson would out-duel his rival Rankin securing the win by just 0:00.28 for a time of 1:51.49. The Men closed out the MIAC Championship with a win in the 400 free relay with Strom, Richardson, Senior Kieran Ripken, and Cyr combining to finish with a time of 3:04.05.

“I am beyond thankful to have been a member of the swimming & diving team with an outstanding group of people. It has been pretty special to be a part of a championship team, let alone a dynasty. The Men’s and Women’s teams have not won a conference championship in the same year since 2008, so it was extra special to celebrate the Women’s team’s success as well,” Ripken said.

“I was very honored to be named Co-Swimmer of the year, but I think it made it even more special that I got to do it with Matt Strom. He brought out the best in me each day in practice, so to see our hard work pay off and accomplish something like this together is pretty special and something I will remember forever,” Richardson said.

The Women fought a hard battle against the rest of the MIAC in particular against St. Catherine’s, with the Gusties holding on to score 649.5 points compared to 608, for a margin of victory of less than 42 points.

Senior Lucy Peterson continued to be dominant in the free sprints, finishing first in the 100 free with a time of 52.02. MIAC Rookie of the Year Stella Anderson Moye finished the event by touching the wall fourth for a time of 53.72 with teammate Junior Macey Whitlock touching eighth for a time of 54.29.

“I feel absolutely honored to have won MIAC Rookie of the Year. It was one of the most joyful moments of my year, the cherry on top to end my favorite season in all the years I have swum. It was unexpected, I went into the conference meet with the attitude that I was going to give my best effort and enjoy my races regardless of the outcome, and that anything else was just a bonus,” Anderson Moye said.

Gustavus placed two in the top six of the 200 breaststroke, First-year Hadley Wartner finished second with a 2:25.45, followed by teammate Sophomore Lindsay Sundby who took sixth in 2:27.83. Senior Leah Soukup was the top Gustavus finisher in the 200 fly with a time of 2:15.38 to place fifth, followed by Senior Mariel Castillo in eight with a 2.16:65 time.

Over on the boards, Seniors Kaija Pratt, Emmalyn Dickerson, and Sophomore Gabriella Stoudt all posted NCAA B qualifying scores on the 3-meter, finishing fifth through sixth, respectively. Pratt posted a 349.40, followed by Dickerson in sixth with a 348.40, and Stoudt rounding out the Gustie divers in fifth with a 334.00. The Gustie women completed the MIAC Championships with a win in the 400 free relay, as the team of Peterson, Whitlock, Anderson Moye, and Isaacson finished in 3:32.69.

“Achieving a conference championship as a senior was such a sweet and loving moment between all of my fellow seniors. We have worked insanely hard the past four years to reach this goal and being able to attain it in our last year made the victory so special,” Peterson said.

Members of the Men’s and Women’s teams will compete this weekend in the Grinnell Last Chance Invite in Grinnell, Iowa starting at 10:00 a.m., as they look to continue their seasons. “I am thankful to have another opportunity with my teammates to swim fast at the Last Chance Invite. We swam lights-out at our conference championship and hopefully, we can carry that success into this weekend,” Ripken said.

In a month from now, the Men and Women will also send both Swimmers and Divers to Greensboro, North Carolina for the NCAA Championships happening March 21 through March 24.

“The team is super hopeful surrounding NCAAs as we have a few individuals and a few relays on both sides that have a chance to make the national meet,” Teichmiller said.

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