The Gustavus men’s swimming and diving team posted an 11th, a 12th and a 13th-place finish during day two of the 2006 NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships to remain in the mix for a top ten team finish. The Gusties enter the final day of competition in 11th place with 70 points, 20 behind tenth place UW-Stevens Point and just a pair of markers ahead of The College of New Jersey in 12th place. 26-time defending champion Kenyon extended the day one lead of 42 points over Denison to 80 points. The Lords have 324 points to the Big Red’s 244.
The Gustavus 200 medley relay team of Scott Hagemeyer (Jr., Willmar, Minn.), Ben Hanson (So., Minnetonka, Minn.), Connor Ziegler (So., Sauk Rapids, Minn.) and Brian Amundson (Jr., Blaine, Minn.) opened the Gustie effort in Friday night’s finals with a 12th place finish in a time of 1:35.09. The relay entered the final with the 12th best time in the morning qualifiers.
A relatively major upset occurred in the 100 butterfly where Emory senior Justin Hake upset three-time defending champion Andrejs Duda of Kenyon, touching home in 48.15 to Duda’s 49.30. Duda was bidding to become only the seventh Division III male swimmer or diver to win a single event all four years. The second-place finish also means he can only match UC San Diego’s Travis Miller’s Division III record of nine individual titles. Connor Ziegler, the only Gustavus swimmer in the field, posted a time of 51.06 seconds, but failed to crack the top-16, finishing 18th.
Freshman Matt Stewart (Burnsville, Minn.)picked up the final individual points for the Gusties on the day, finishing in a tie for 13th place in the 200 freestyle. Stewart’s time of 1:41.78 in the consolation final equaled that of Gregory Bettencourt of Tufts. His morning qualifying time of 1:41.62 broke the school mark of 1:41.64 set by Hanson at the recent MIAC Championships. Hanson (20th, 1:42.75), Amundson (26th, 1:43.44) and Billy Cuevas (34th, 1:44.23) competed in the morning qualifying heats, but were unable to swim their way into the top 16.
The Gusties capped off the evening with an 11th place finish in the 800 freestyle relay. The team of Stewart, Greg Pokorski (So., Rochester, Minn.), Cuevas (Fr., Woodbury, Minn.) and Hanson, which swam in lane eight, became involved in a spirited battle with Kenyon in lane seven and Johns Hopkins in lane one. The Lords outtouched both the Bluejays and Gusties to finish ninth with a time of 6:50.79. JHU finished tenth with a clocking of 6:51.07, while Gustavus touched the wall in 6:51.38.
Gustavus will compete in five of seven events on Saturday, including the 400 freestyle relay, where it has the third-best seed time.