The Gustavus men’s swimming and diving team will be sending eight members of the squad to compete at the 2011 NCAA Championships held March 23-26, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. Whitaker Davis was Gustavus’ sole individual automatic qualifier, ranking in the top-five in both the 50 and 1650 freestyle races leading up to the meet. The seven other swimmers competing due to the qualification of the 200 free, 200 medley, and 400 medley relay teams includes Paul Kirihara (Bloomington, Minn.), Billy Schultze (Mankato, Minn.), Matt Van Fossen (Albert Lea, Minn.), Zach Nachtsheim (Shoreview, Minn.), Drew Hedlund (Little Canada, Minn.), Sam Olson-Anstett (Shoreview, Minn.), and Sam DeFranco (Andover, Minn.).
Whitaker Davis, MIAC Champion in both the 500 and 1650 free, ranks second in the 500 with a time of 4:28.94 and fourth in the 1650 with a time of 15:36.96. Davis will also compete in the 200 butterfly, which he ranks 23rd with a time of 1:59.25.
The 200 medley relay team composed of Paul Kirihara, Billy Schultze, Matt Van Fossen, and Zach Nachtsheim ranks 11th with a time of 1:32.32. Kirihara, Schultze, Van Fossen, and Davis make up the 400 medley relay team, ranking 14th with a time of 5:24.15 in the event, while the 200 free relay team of Sam DeFranco, Nachtsheim, Drew Hedlund, and Sam Olson-Anstett ranks 15th with a time of 1:23.33.
Paul Kirihara and Billy Schultze will take part in individual races after hitting NCAA provisional marks in their respective events. Kirihara will race in the 100 (16th, 50.94) and 200 backstroke (28th, 1:53.83), while Schultze will swim the 100 (20th, 57.40) and 200 breaststroke (19th, 2:05.92).
The NCAA Championships will take place in the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and will begin with the 500-free trials on Wednesday, March 23 at 10:00 a.m. Beloit College and The College of Wooster have been selected as co-hosts for the meet.