The Gustavus men’s swimming team took first place out of eight teams at the Falcon Invitational hosted by UW-River Falls, held Friday and Saturday in the Aquatics Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. Over 500 student-athletes competed in the meet, as the two-day event is one of the largest swim meets in the nation. Gustavus compiled 995 points as St. Thomas took second with 515.5 points and St. John’s finished in third with 476 points.
The Gusties registered three event wins in the first day of competition as the team was lead by Skylar Davis, Paul Kirihara, and Whitaker Davis. Skylar was victorious in both the 500 (4:39.76) and 200 freestyle (1:45.53). Kirihara won the 100 backstroke (53.48) and took eighth in the 100 butterfly. Whitaker finished behind Skylar in second place in both the 500 (4:44.09) and 200 freestyle (1:45.99).
William Schultze had a successful day scoring valuable points by taking third in four events, including the 200 IM (1:59.58) and 100 breaststroke (1:01.18). Other top three finishers in the meet were Matt Van Fossen and Gunnar Teigen. Van Fossen took third in the 100 butterfly (52.51), while Teigen placed third in the 100 backstroke (56.08) and fourth in the 200 freestyle.
Other top Gustavus swimmers included Sam DeFranco taking fourth in the 50 freestyle, Ben Stewart took sixth in the 100 butterfly, David Kramer placed seventh in the 200 IM, Luke Paquin finished sixth in the 200 IM, and Ross Elenkiwich finished fifth in the 100 butterfly.
The 200 freestyle relay team of Schultze, DeFranco, Van Fossen, and Stewart took third (1:28.60), while Schultze, Van Fossen, Kirihara, and Whitaker Davis also took third in the 400 medley relay (3:34.01)
Gustavus registered only one event win on Saturday, yet scored big points in several races as the top eight spots were filled with Gustavus swimmers. In the 400 IM, five Gusties placed in the top eight, as Skylar Davis won the race with a time of 4:16.78.
Top Gustavus finishers included Schultze and Teigen. Schultze took second in the 200 breaststroke (2:12.48) and fifth in the 100 freestyle, while Teigen placed second in the 400 IM (4:28.59) and fourth in the 200 backstroke. Kirihara registered the other top three finish, taking third in the 200 backstroke (1:58.51) while finishing fifth in the 400 IM.
Other top Gustavus swimmers were Whitaker Davis, Stewart, Kramer, Elenkiwich, and John Rice. Whitaker placed fourth in the 200 butterfly, Stewart took sixth in the 200 butterfly, Kramer took sixth in the 200 breaststroke, Elenkiwich finished seventh in the 200 butterfly, and Rice placed seventh in the 400 IM.
Kirihara, Schultze, Van Fossen, and DeFranco teammed up to take second in the 200 medley relay (1:37.41), as Whitaker, Skylar, Roth, and Stewart placed third in the 400 free relay (3:15.42).
Participating teams included Gustavus, St. Thomas, St. John’s, Luther College, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Oshkosh, UW-La Crosse, and UW-River Falls.