St. Peter, Minn. – After a dominant showing in the relays on day one of the 2013 MIAC Championships, the Gustavus women’s swimming and diving team is in first place with 204 points. The Gusties recorded two relay wins and benefited from three individual All-Conference performances on the opening day. The University of St. Thomas sits in second place with 175 points, while St. Olaf rounds out the top three in third with 157 points. The 2013 MIAC Swimming & Diving Championships are being held over the weekend at the Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
“I was very pleased with how both the men and women swam,” said head coach Jon Carlson. “We had a lot of inspiring swims this evening. The women did a great job setting the tone and grabbing the lead today. With that said, we have to gear up for a very important two-day stretch and continue to inspire with our swims.”
The 400-medley relay team comprised of Alissa Tinklenberg (Jr., Willmar, Minn.), Jennifer Strom (So., Rochester, Minn.), Laura Drake (Jr., Mendota Heights, Minn.), and Katie Olson (So., North Oaks, Minn.) stole the show by winning the race by less than one second over St. Thomas with a record-breaking time of 3:51.67. The group’s time topped the previous MIAC meet record of 3:52.55 set by Carleton in 2009.
In the 200-freestyle relay earlier in the night, Tinklenberg, Sarah Hund (Sr., Willmar, Minn.), Tarin Anding (Fy., Sartell, Minn.), and Olson teamed up to take gold with a time of 1:34.89 – reaching the NCAA B cut qualifying criteria. The team also edged a second place St. Thomas team by less than :01 second.
On an individual level, three Gusties earned All-Conference distinction by virtue of a finish inside the top three. Katie Olson led the way with a runner-up finish in the 50 free with an NCAA B cut time of 23.69. Olson was edged by Carleton’s Sophie Pilhofer who won the race in 23.43.
McKenna Jones (So., Faribault, Minn.) and Jennifer Strom both recorded third place finishes to garner All-MIAC marks. Jones swam a 5:08.64 in the 500 free, and Strom touched the wall in 2:09.22 in the 200 individual medley.
In both the 500 free and 200 IM, Gustavus had three swimmers finish within the top eight. Anna Eames (Sr., Hopkins, Minn.) went fifth (5:13.75) and Leah Anderson (Fy., Apple Valley, Minn.) placed sixth (5:14.12) in the 500 free, while Laura Drake came in fifth (2:10.35) and Abby Lyle (Jr., Buffalo, Wy.) took sixth (2:10.55) in the 200 IM. Sarah Hund rounded out Gustavus’ top swimmers of Thursday evening with a seventh place swim in the 50 free (54.52).
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 medals for their achievement. Thursday’s updated team scores and All-Conference honorees in each event are listed below, and complete results from the session are available online here.
The MIAC Championships continue Friday with two more sessions, followed by the final two on Saturday. The preliminary round begins at 10:30 a.m. with the finals set to start Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. All remaining sessions will be broadcast live online by Webcast America (click here) and all will also have live results available.
In addition, the MIAC has set up an exclusive Web site for the 2013 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships. The site features an event schedule, ticket information, venue information and a map, as well as links to the live broadcast and live results, and the site will be constantly updated throughout the event with heat sheets, recaps, photos and more.