The Gustavus men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both finished what they started on Thursday as they won the MIAC Team Championships on Saturday night at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. The Gustie men, who claimed their sixth title in seven years, tallied 874 points. The Gustavus women repeated as MIAC Champions for their fourth title in seven years with 697.5 points. The 2008 MIAC Championships marked the third time both squads won the team titles.
The Gustie men entered the final day of competition with a 40-point lead over reigning MIAC Champion St. Olaf, but continued its momentum as they finished 131 points ahead of the Oles.
The distance freestyle unit placed three swimmers in the top four as Skylar Davis successfully defended his title in the event. Davis’ time of 15:51.23 set a new MIAC meet record and automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships. Whitaker Davis and John Rice finished second with a 15:53.40 NCAA Provisional B mark and fourth with a 16:36.75 time, respectively.
Matt Stewart took second place in the 100 freestyle with a NCAA Provisional B time of 46.05. Stewart concluded the meet with two individual titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle to along with the second place finish in the 100 freestyle.
One of the highlights of the final day for Gustavus was the 200 butterfly where the Gusties placed four swimmers in the top six. Ben Hanson finished first with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:51.49. Conner Ziegler placed third (1:54.48 and NCAA Provisional B) and Billy Cuevas finished fourth (1:56.02). Ross Elenkiwich (1:59.06) rounded out the scoring for Gustavus finishing sixth.
Gustavus finished the meet with a win in the 400 freestyle relay with a NCAA Provisional B cut of 3:04.52. Team members consisted of Clem Auyeung, Tyler Wakefield, Matt Stewart, and Ben Hanson.
The Gustavus women held a 70-point lead over St. Olaf after Friday night and held on for the victory over the Oles (645 points) despite not winning an event on the last day. However, several second place finishes were earned to add to the standings in a true team effort.
Carrie Gundersen posted a second place finish in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 17:49.00 and missed a NCAA Provisional B mark by one second. Christi O’Connor fell short of defending her 200 backstroke title, but touched the wall second with a time of 2:09.80. Sara Pfau swam a 2:11.65 time for fourth place in the event. Anika Erickson also turned in a second place finish in the 200 breaststroke with a NCAA Provisional B mark of 2:26.55.
Over the course of the meet the only titles won were by the 200 freestyle relay and Carrie Gundersen in the 500 freestyle on Thursday night.
Sunny Sonnabend and Greg Pokorski were also named to the MIAC All-Sportsmanship Team.
Coach Jon Carlson and his squads will now wait to see which swimmers are selected for NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships which will take place March 13-15 and the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships which will take place March 20-22 in Oxford, Ohio. Matt Stewart has now qualified for the national meet in the 200 and 500 freestyle along with Ben Hanson in the 200 butterfly and Skylar Davis in the 1650 freestyle.
Photo Gallery Courtesy Ryan Coleman, d3sports.com