The Gustavus women’s swimming and diving team will begin its quest for its third Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in five years Thursday morning as the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships get underway at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. The meet runs through Saturday, Feb. 18 with preliminary action each day beginning at 10:30 am. Finals will held beginning at 6:30 pm each night.
All-conference performers Laura Watkins (sprints), and Sara Pfau (breaststroke) will lead the Gusties. Watkins was a member of two MIAC Champion relay teams a year ago, and Pfau was a member of the conference champion 200 medley relay team. Watkins has posted the fourth fastest time in the MIAC in the 50 free this season (25.41), while Pfau has posted the fastest time in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.64). Senior Katy Haynes, who finished third in both the 100 and 200 backstroke last year, has posted the third fastest time in the 200 back (2:15.53) and the fourth fastest time in the 100 back (1:02.21) this season. Other top performers for the Gusties include sophomore Liz Hartman in the distance freestyle, sophomore Sam Pugh in the backstroke, and Yoshi Ludwig in the fly. Pugh has posted the fastest time this year in the 50 backstroke (28.03), while Ludwig has recorded the second fastest time in the 100 fly (1:01.39) and the fourth fastest time in the 200 fly (2:19.11).
The team also looks to be strong in the relays. The 400 medley relay team which consists of Haynes, Pfau, Ludwig, and Watkins has the top time in the MIAC this season at 4:07.52. The 200 medley relay team which consists of Haynes, Pfau, Ericka Hickey, and Watkins has the second fastest time (1:53.52), and the 400 free relay team consisting of Emily Degnan, Watkins, Krista Koenen, and Emma Espel has also posted the second fastest time of 3:43.76.