St. Peter, Minn. – With stage two in the books, the Gustavus women’s swimming and diving team is one step closer achieving its goal of winning a fourth straight MIAC Championship. The Gusties registered 284 points on day two of the MIAC Championships, holding their spot ahead of the field with a two-day total of 488 points.
St. Thomas is currently in second with 463 points, while St. Olaf sits in third with 419 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.
“The women stepped up big this morning and were able to build on that great start with a strong finish tonight,” said Head Coach Jon Carlson. “It is going to be a close meet and a battle tomorrow, but we knew that coming in. We’re pleasantly surprised to be in the lead right now and we’ll hopefully ride this momentum into tomorrow.”
Gustavus earned two All-Conference marks in the relay events and added four individual All-Conference performances on the second day.
Jennifer Strom (So., Rochester, Minn.) and Alissa Tinklenberg (Jr., Willmar, Minn.) led the Gusties with gold medal swims on the second day. Strom was the talk of the morning preliminary session when she swam a 1:03.57 to set a new MIAC and meet record, breaking her own MIAC record. Her time in the morning breaks her own school record of 1:04.60 set last year as well. In the championship final, Strom went 1:03.85 take the top spot on the podium and defend her title from last year.
“Jennifer Strom’s breaststroke was amazing today,” said Carlson about his sophomore. “She shattered the MIAC and meet record with her swim and the team couldn’t be happier for her.”
Alissa Tinklenberg provided her squad big points with a pair of wins in the 400 IM and 100 backstroke. In the 400 IM, Tinklenberg swam a 4:30.70 in the finals, while in the 100 backstroke, she successfully defended her 2012 title after touching the wall in 56:41. Tink’s time in the 400 IM is the fastest in the history of the women’s swimming and diving program at Gustavus. She topped Marnie Luke’s 2011 time of 4:37.25 by nearly seven seconds.
“To score a pair of wins like Alissa did today was terrific. Winning the 400 IM and 100 back on the same day is not easy to do and Alissa made it look effortless,” commented Carlson.
The Gusties also benefited from the All-Conference performances contributed by Abby Lyle (Jr., Buffalo, Wy.) and the 200-medley and 800-free relay teams. Lyle earned silver in the 400 IM after finishing behind her teammate Tinklenberg with a time of 4:37.71.
The 200-free medley relay team comprised of Ashley Lager (St. Peter, Minn.), Strom, Kayla Hutsell (Fry., Apple Valley, Minn.), and Katie Olson (So., North Oaks, Minn.) rounded out the day’s top performers with a third place finish in 1:45.87.
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 conclude Saturday with two sessions. The final-day preliminary round begins at 10:30 a.m. with the finals set to start Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. However, the doors for the evening session will begin at 3 p.m., as the men’s 3-meter and women’s 1-meter diving prelims will begin at 3:45 and prelim heats of the 1,650-yard freestyle will also take place in the afternoon and will be completed by 5:30 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.