The Gustavus men’s and women’s swimming programs started the new year by bringing home both first place titles from the CSB/SJU Winter Invitational in Collegeville, Minn. on Saturday. The Golden Gustie men captured 963 points, while St. Thomas finished in second place with 688 points and St. John’s compiled 534 points for third. On the women’s side, Gustavus tallied 896 points with Saint Benedict close behind with 856 points. St. Thomas rounded out the competition with 669 points.
Ten first place finishes helped the Gustavus men’s swim team take first place as three swimmers won multiple events. Paul Kirihara (Fy., Bloomington, Minn.) won the 100 and 200 backstroke in 56.21 and 2:04.18, respectively. Dave Pearson (Jr., Woodbury, Minn.) touched the wall first in the 200 breaststroke (2:22.38) and the 200 IM (2:04.51). Matt Stewart (Jr., Burnsville, Minn.) took first in the 200 butterfly (1:59.51) and 500 freestyle (4:51.81). Gustavus used its depth to earn the top six spots in the 200 butterfly and the top four finishes in the 500 freestyle.
The Gustie men also received first place performances from Skylar Davis (So., Palatine, Ill.) in the 400 IM (4:25.97), Ben Hanson (Sr., Minnetonka, Minn.) in the 200 freestyle (1:47.31), and John Rice (Fy., Madison, Wis.) in the 1650 freestyle (17:36.30). The 800 freestyle relay team of Pearson, Greg Pokorski (Sr., Rochester, Minn.), Craig Nordquist (Fy., Plymouth, Minn.), and Whitaker Davis (Fy., Palatine, Ill.) won with a time of 7:23.92.
Depth propelled the first place finish of the Gustavus women’s swim team as five swimmers touched the wall first in six events. Carrie Gundersen (So., Minnetonka, Minn.) was the only multiple event winner as she won the 200 and 500 freestyle in 2:00.93 and 5:21.72, respectively. Anika Erickson (Fy., Milaca, Minn.) continued to swim well in the 100 breaststroke winning in 1:11.26. Other event winners included Erica Hickey (Jr., Great Falls, Mont.) in the 200 butterfly (2:19.83), Sara Pfau (Sr., Bismarck, N.D.) in the 200 IM (2:20.96), and Alecia Gooch (Sr., Minot, N.D.) in the 100 butterfly (1:03.88).
Both squads will travel to Stevens Point, Wis. to participate in the UW-Stevens Point Invitational on Friday, January 18 and Saturday, January 19.