The Gustavus men’s swimming and diving team is looking to accomplish a feat that the program hasn’t achieved in over 45 years — winning four consecutive Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) titles. The Gustavus seniors will look to garner their fourth straight MIAC title at the MIAC Championships on February 17-19 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Gustavus has a core group of seniors that are at the center of bringing the Gusties back to being a powerhouse in the MIAC. Those swimmers include Will Sutor, Seth Weidmann, Andy Leaf, Kent Kramer, Matt Wharton, Jon Mueller, and Evan Christianson.
Head coach Jon Carlson said, “This amazing group of seniors has re-established Gustavus as a strong swimming program. The team hasn’t been this strong since the 50s. It would be a crowning achievement for this group to accomplish their goal of graduating with four consecutive MIAC Championships.” The Gusties won six consecutive MIAC championships from 1954 to 1960.
Gustavus claimed 11 first-place finishes at last season’s MIAC Championships. Of those 11 top finishes, four of them were relays and seven were individual events. The only two events of those top 11 finishes that will be affected due to graduation after last season will be the 200 and 400 medley relays. Mike Maynard will be missing from the 400 medley relay while Marc Maynard will be missing from both the 200 and 400 medley relay’s at this year’s MIAC Championships. Only three of the events that Gustavus won at the MIAC Championships last season didn’t involve a senior as Scott Hagemeyer claimed first-place honors in the 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke, and 100 freestyle and will defend his titles this season as a sophomore.
Gustavus’ Will Sutor will lead the Gustie seniors by defending six MIAC titles, including the 200 and 400 free relays, 200 and 400 medley relays, and 100 and 200 butterfly.
Jon Carlson knows that the 2005 seniors have developed a team atmosphere and attitude that has been essential for their success over the past four years. “These seniors have had a deep-rooted influence over the other swimmers in the program that will be felt for years to come.”
This current group of seniors has accomplished many individual feats. What many people don’t see is what Jon Carlson sees — their commitment to each other. Carlson said, “This group has really upped the ante on what teammates are willing to do for each other in preparation to compete. They have really grasped the concept of team, realizing that they are all working toward the same goal.”