The first day of the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center went as expected, as the reigning 2005 MIAC champions in both the women’s and men’s competition are atop the overall standings.
The defending MIAC champion St. Olaf women’s swimming and diving team jumped into first place with 234 points followed by Gustavus Adolphus (179), Carleton (165), Saint Benedict (145.5) and Macalester (113). On the men’s side, defending MIAC champion Gustavus Adolphus earned 221 points to claim the lead, closely followed by St. Olaf with 206 points, Saint John’s (158), Carleton (107) and St. Thomas (83).
The Gustavus Adolphus men’s swimming and diving team opened the MIAC championships with a bang, as Gustavus’ Ben Hanson and Matt Stewart each broke the meet record of 4:36.90 set by Hanson last year in the 500-yard freestyle. Hanson earned his second consecutive MIAC crown and automatic qualifying time while setting a new meet record at 4:32.46. Stewart and Joe Anderson of St. Olaf each collected provisional qualifying times. Meanwhile, Gustavus’ Brian Amundson, Clement Auyeung, Tyler Wakefield and Scott Hagemeyer set a new MIAC record and provided an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:22.77 in the 200-yard freestyle relay. St. Olaf (Jacob Koch, Nelson Westby, Paul Evensen, JC Chambers) and Saint John’s (Sam Christianson, Joey Chapman, Casey Larson, Kerry O’Neill) finished second and third, respectively, but both recorded provisional qualifying times. Hagemeyer then went on to win the 50-yard freestyle with a provisional qualifying time of 20.88, followed by four others that also set provisional qualifying times: St. Olaf’s Koch (20.94), Gustavus’ Amundson (21.10), Saint John’s Christianson (21.24) and St. Thomas’ TJ Hardy (21.29).
In the women’s competition, Concordia’s Annie Cullen won her second consecutive MIAC title in 3-meter diving with a score of 228.70, while Heather Lendway of Macalester won her second consecutive MIAC title in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:04.65 and gained a provisional qualifying time. Gustavus’ Krista Koenen, Emma Espel, Emily Degnan and Laura Watkins won the women’s 200-yard freestyle relay with a provisional qualifying time of 1:38.56.
Ted Marschall of Carleton broke the meet record of 1:53.43 and received an automatic bid in the men’s 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:52.23. St. Olaf’s Nelson Westby took second place honors in addition to a provisional qualifying time. Tom Kukla, Ben Wareham, Nelson Westby and Jacob Koch of St. Olaf set a new MIAC record and achieved a provisional qualifying time in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:24.39.
Other event champions included Carleton’s Jen Gratz winning the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.62, and Sara Pfau of Gustavus taking the 200-yard individual medley at 2:11.96. Carleton’s Jenny Grover, Molly Miller, Kaarin Taylor and Becky Alexander won the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 4:01.74.
(Release courtesy of Saint John’s sports information. Saint John’s and St. Ben’s are serving as hosts for the 2006 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships)