Minneapolis – The Gustavus men’s swimming and diving team earned a total of 160 points and sit in fourth place after the opening day of competition at the 2012 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships being held at the Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota. St. Olaf and St. Thomas both scored 222 points on day one and sit in a tie for first place after day one. Saint John’s rounded out the top-three in third with 167 points.
“The men are off to a good start. Specifically, our 200 IM swimmers performed phenomenal today,” commented Head Coach Jon Carlson. “We are hoping to build on today and come out with even more intensity tomorrow.”
The Gusties earned a total of 53 points from the 200 individual medley alone. Senior Billy Schultze (Mankato, Minn.) was the top Gustavus performer in the race, touching the wall in an NCAA B cut time of 1:54.30. Behind Schultze, Gustie swimmers locked up the fifth, seventh, and eighth place spots. Freshman Zac Solis (Centennial, Colo.) came in fifth with a time of 1:55.35. Senior Matt Van Fossen (Albert Lea, Minn.) finished seventh in 2:00.16, and senior Steven Manley (Apple Valley, Minn.) placed eighth in 2:00.48.
Other top individual performers included seniors Zach Nachtsheim (Shoreview, Minn.) and Ben Stewart (Burnsville, Minn.). Nachtsheim, who ranked 12th entering the race, turned in a fourth place finish in the 50 free after going 21.12. Stewart was Gustavus’ top swimmer in the 500 free, taking 10th with a time of 4:48.10.
The Gustavus relays had a solid night with two finishes on the podium. The 200-free relay team consisting of Schultze, sophomore Sam Olson-Anstett (Shoreview, Minn.), Nachtsheim, and freshman Kurt Youngdahl (Wayzata, Minn.) took runner-up after recording a time of 1:23.93. The 200-free relay fell to St. Thomas by just over :01-second in the race. Freshman Ross Larson (Brookings, S.D.), Schultze, Van Fossen, and Nachtsheim rounded out the day by teaming up to take third in the 400-medley relay with a time of 3:27.93.
Following each race, all eight finalists were honored with a podium awards ceremony during Thursday night’s session, and the top three finishers in each event received MIAC All-Conference honors and received medals for their achievement.
The 2012 MIAC Championships will continue tomorrow morning with preliminary rounds beginning at 10:30 a.m.