The Gustavus men’s swimming and diving team used a 1-2 finish in the 400 freestyle relay to post a 122-120 come-from-behind win over MIAC rival St. Olaf on Friday night at the Lund Natatorium in St. Peter. The Gustavus ‘B’ relay of Billy Cuevas, Jonah Winter (So., Park Rapids, Minn.), Matt Stewart and Scott Hagemeyer edged the Gustavus ‘A’ relay of Clement Auyeung (Fr., North Mankato, Minn.), Connor Ziegler, Ben Hanson and Brian Amundson by a margin of 0.35 seconds for the win. Both relays finished ahead of the Ole ‘A’ team.
Trailing 118-107 heading into the 400 freestyle relay, the final event of the night, the Gusties knew they needed to take the top two spots in the event to secure a win in the dual. Early in the race, it looked as if St. Olaf would ruin the perfect plan, leading after each of the first two legs, but Gustavus third-legs Ben Hanson (So., Minnetonka, Minn.) and Matt Stewart (Fr., Burnsville, Minn.) turned it on when they hit the water, making the race a three-way dead-heat heading to the anchor leg. Gustavus ‘B’ relay anchor Scott Hagemeyer (Jr., Willmar, Minn.), a four-time All-America selection last year, shot into the lead off the blocks, and swam the fastest 100-yard split of the race for the win. Gustie ‘A’ relay anchor Brian Amundson (Jr., Blaine, Minn.), a member of all five All-America relays last season, closed to finish in second place by a margin of just 0.35 seconds. The Oles touched the wall in third place, just over a second behind Amundson.
Hagemeyer finished the day with three first place finishes, combining the win in the 400 freestyle relay with individual championships in the 50 freestyle (21.77s) and 100 freestyle (47.59s) sprints. Amundson finished a close second in the 50 freestyle (21.87s) and a distant third in the 100 freestyle (48.26 s) to go with his runner up finish in the 400 freestyle relay.
Ben Hanson was the only other Gustie to capture multiple first place finishes, taking both the 500 freestyle and 1000 freestyle titles. Hanson swam the 500 freestyle in 4:47.66, while clocking a 9:54.29 in the 1000 to win by over six seconds. Connor Ziegler (So., Sauk Rapids, Minn.) also picked up the title in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:58.61.
In addition to his first place finish as a member of the 400 freestyle relay, freshman Billy Cuevas (Woodbury, Minn.) picked up second place finishes in both the 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly events.
Freshman David Hawkinson (Prior Lake, Minn.) and sophomore Steve Howard (White Bear Lake, Minn.) finished second and third, respectively, in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events behind St. Olaf’s Christian Lorentzen.
The Gusties will be back in action Saturday afternoon, splitting the squad between a dual with Saint Mary’s in Winona and a triangular with Hamline and Carleton at St. Kate’s. Both meets start at 1 p.m.