St. Peter, Minn. – Already a proven leader with accolades unmatched by any athlete in the history of the Gustavus swimming and diving program, junior Alissa Tinklenberg (Willmar, Minn.) did not disappoint at this year’s MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships. Tinklenberg led the Gustavus women’s swimming and diving team to its fourth straight MIAC Championship, winning three individual events and contributing to three first-place relays along the way. For her outstanding performance over the three-day meet, Alissa Tinklenberg has been named the Female February Student-Athlete of the Month.
According to head coach Jon Carlson following Gustavus’ fourth straight MIAC title, Tinklenberg was “absolutely amazing” at this season’s conference meet. Thriving on competition and refusing to lose, Tinklenberg proved herself once again on the conference stage.
Over the three-day span, “Tink” seized gold medals in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:30.70, 100 backstroke with a time of 56:41, and the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:59.92. She successfully defended her 2012 titles in both the 100 and 200 back, breaking her own conference and school record while at the same time becoming the first MIAC woman to break two minutes in the 200. Although it wasn’t a specialty of the team captain’s, Tinklenberg swam the 400 IM to best help the team. The move paid off and Tink shattered Gustavus’s school record by more than six seconds.
In the relays, the junior was just as dominant. She helped the Gusties to titles in the 200-free relay, the 400-free relay, and the 400-medley relay. Her only non-first-place performance of the weekend was a runner-up finish with the Gustavus 800-free relay team. In all, Tinklenberg garnered seven All-Conference honors, accounting for a school record 137 of Gustavus’s 743 points.
Following the final day’s competition, Alissa was named the 2013 MIAC Women’s Swimmer-of-the-Year. She was the first Gustie to be named the Swimmer-of-the-Year since Carrie Gundersen was bestowed the honor as a junior in 2009. The Willmar, Minn. product now six-time individual event champion in her three-year tenure.
Tinklenberg will now gear up for the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships set to take place March 20-23 at the Conroe Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas. Heading into the NCAA Championships, Alissa ranks third in the 200 backstroke, 14th in the 100 backstroke, and 23rd in the 500 freestyle (5:00.90). The Gustavus 200-free relay ranks seventh, the 400-medley relay ranks 10th, and the 400-free relay ranks 12th.
For more information on the upcoming NCAA Championships, follow the link below.