The Gustavus men’s swimming and diving team took part in the Minnesota Challenge hosted by the University of Minnesota at the U of M Aquatics Center on Friday and Saturday. While no team scores were kept, Gustavus swam well against a quality field that included teams from NCAA Division I, II, and III. The Gustie relay teams sparked the squad during the weekend as the 400 and 800 free relay teams posted second place finishes and the 400 medley relay team posted a third place finish.
The Gusties started the meet with a fourth place finish in the 200 free relay on Friday evening. The team of Dave Pearson, Tyler Wakefield, Clem Auyeung, and Matt Stewart posted a time of 1:25.96. Later on Friday evening, the 400 medley relay team of Paul Kirihara, Billy Schultze, Matt Stewart, and Tyler Wakefield finished third in a time of 3:33.85. On Saturday, the 800 free relay team of Matt Stewart, Skylar Davis, Whitaker Davis, and Dave Pearson finished second (7:03.08), while the 400 free relay team of Matt Stewart, Clem Auyeung, Dave Pearson, and Tyler Wakefield also placed second (3:10.62). Gustie relay teams took three of the top six spots in the 400 free relay as the Gustie team of Gunnar Tiegen, Lance Switzer, Peter Roth, and Zach Nachtsheim tied another Gustavus relay team of Craig Nordquist, Whitaker Davis, Skylar Davis, and Billy Schultze for fifth place with identical times of 3:17.93.
Individually, some of the top performances of the weekend included Dave Pearson (54.22), Paul Kirihara (54.66), and Zach Nachtsheim (54.85) finishing fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively in the 100 backstroke, Matt Stewart finishing sixth in the 100 butterfly (51.72) and seventh in the 200 butterfly (1:57.00), Casey Enevoldsen placing seventh in the 1650 freestyle (17:04.38), and Skylar Davis finishing seventh in the 400 individual medley (4:21.16).
The Gusties will now spend the next two weeks tapering for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships which will be held at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center, Feb. 19-21. The Gusties, who are the defending champions, have won six MIAC titles in the past seven years.