We’re off and running (well, swimming)! The pool doors opened up and all athletes were quick to get their warm up in. There is a definite excitement in the pool area. All teams know the scores are at zero and anything is possible. Coming out in the first session is important as it tends to set a team’s pace for the rest of the weekend (not that there isn’t time to rebound from a slow start). There are only five events this morning; the 500 free, 200 IM, the 50 free, women’s 3m diving and the men’s 1m diving.
The women had a great morning! Anna Eames kicked off the Gusties in the 500 with her fastest college time of 5:16.68. In the final heat of the morning, a trio of Gusties swept the heat to set themselves up in the top 8 for the night. The Gusties are seeded 1, 4, 6, 9 in finals. In the 200 IM, Abby Lyle and Stephanie Korba found the top eight after solid swims in the morning. In the 50 free, it was Kelsey Lucia and Katie Olson leading the way. Both cracked 24.0 for the first time this season and are seeded second and third. On the boards, Alicia Alvarado is sixth after prelims with a strong chance to move up to fifth. The 200 free relay and 400 medley relay will be swum tonight. The Gustie women are seeded first in both events. Look for Gustavus to build a big lead after the first day.
The men had an up and down morning overall. The 500 started with Ben Stewart and Kyle Herold. Both went season bests. Stewart is seeded ninth (meaning he can’t move up) tonight while Herold is seeded 17th, missing finals by a mere .22 seconds. However, the Gusties rebounded in the 200 IM by placing four swimmers in the top-eight. A trio of seniors (Matt Van Fossen, Steven Manley, and Billy Schultze) swam great races and edged out a couple of Oles to make the top eight. In the 50, it was a senior stepping up again. Zach Nachtsheim is seeded fourth and went 21.17. That time is well over a half second faster than Nachtsheim’s best time. The Gustie men also have two swimmers in the consolation heat. Sam Hanson, the lone diver for the Gustie men, is seeded sixth after prelims with a chance to move up to fourth. In the relays tonight, the Gusties are seeded second and fourth. They will look to move in both.
A quick session leaves plenty of time for athletes to go get lunch (the choices seem endless on the U of M campus, with Noodles and Big Ten’s being a couple of the favorites). After lunch, a quick snooze and before you know, we’re back at the pool for the finals session and the chance to score some points.
Gunnar Teigen, a senior on the Gustavus swimming and diving team, is an intern for the Gustavus Adolphus Sports Information Department. Teigen will be blogging from the 2012 MIAC Championships to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the conference championships through the eyes of one of the student-athletes competiting. Teigen will be posting a new installment his feature blog, “Deck Pass To The 2012 MIAC Swim & Dive Championships” following each day of competition.