The Gustavus men’s swimming and diving team is set to compete at the 2009-10 MIAC Championships on Feb. 18-20 in the Aquatic Center on the Campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Preliminaries will begin on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
MIAC Championship Preview
The Gustavus men’s swimming and diving team looks forward to the opportunity for a return to the podium at this year’s MIAC Championships to be held this weekend at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. The Gusties are hoping to win their seventh MIAC Championship in the past 10 years. Head Coach Jon Carlson feels that it will be a three-team race with the top competitors being St. Thomas, St. Olaf, and Gustavus. Coach Carlson believes that this year’s meet is so competitive that the first and third place teams may be separated by less than 40 points.
Senior Skylar Davis (Palatine, Ill.) will lead the Gustavus men’s team, as he is the top returning swimmer from last season’s second place squad. Skylar returns as the three-time defending champion in the 1650 freestyle, having set a MIAC record in the event at last season’s MIAC championships. Skylar currently holds the fastest MIAC time in the 1650 freestyle at 16:13.67, and has the second fastest time in both the 500 freestyle and 400 IM with times of 4:39.76 and 4:16.78, respectively. Joining Skylar will be junior Whitaker Davis (Palatine, Ill.), who finished third in both the 500 and 1650 freestyle at the conference meet last season. Whitaker will look to add depth in the freestyle distance events, as he currently holds the third fastest MIAC time in the 200 freestyle (1:44.37), 500 freestyle (4:44.09), 1650 freestyle (16:42.82), and 400 IM (4:16.93).
In addition to the Davis brothers, the Gusties will look to sophomore William Schultze (Mankato, Minn.) and junior Paul Kirihara (Bloomington, Minn.) for strong finishes in the breaststroke and backstroke races. Schultze placed third in the 100 breaststroke at the MIAC Championships last season, and currently holds the second fastest time in both the 100 (1:00.83) and 200 breaststroke (2:12.48). Kirihara has provided solid swims in the backstroke events for the Gusties this season. He is currently the second ranked MIAC swimmer in the 100 backstroke with a time of 53.48, and holds the third fastest time in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:58.19.
The Gusties also will look for contributions from sophomore Matt Van Fossen (Albert Lea, Minn.), junior Sam DeFranco (Andover, Minn.), senior Ross Elenkiwich (Brookings, S.D.), junior John Rice (Madison, Wisc.), junior Craig Nordquist (Plymouth, Minn.), and sophomore Lance Switzer (Apple Valley, Minn.). Van Fossen in the 100 butterfly, DeFranco in the 50 and 100 freestyle, Elenkiwich in the 500 and 1650 freestyle, John Rice in the 500 and 1650 freestyle, Craig Nordquist in the 200 and 400 IM, and Switzer in the 50 and 100 freestyle.
The Gusties also expect to have a strong showing in the relays as they enter with the third fastest times in the 200 medley relay (1:36.86), 200 freestyle relay (1:27.93), and 800 freestyle relay (7:11.90). The Gusties are currently ranked second in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:34.01.