Indianapolis – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s swimming and diving team gained a great deal of momentum with a strong finish at Wednesday night’s finals of the 2014 NCAA Championships being held at the IUPUI Natatorium. Thanks to the finishes of Alissa Tinklenberg (Sr., Willmar, Minn.) and the 200-medley relay team comprised Tinklenberg, Jennifer Strom (Jr., Rochester, Minn.), Danielle Klunk (Jr., Appleton, Wis.), and Katie Olson (Jr., North Oaks, Minn.), the Gusties earned 21 points and now sit in 10th place following day one of the four-day meet.
After missing out on the finals and a chance at All-America honors in the morning preliminaries by less than one second, the 200-medley relay team bounced back with a much-improved performance to close out Wednesday night. Head Coach Jon Carlson made a move in the relay’s lineup and substituted Jenny Strom for Laura Drake (Sr., Mendota Heights, Minn.). The revamped group won the consolation heat and finished ninth overall with a time of 1:43.98.
“Laura had a good swim in the morning, but we had talked about Jenny swimming the race at night from the beginning,” said Carlson. “Things really started coming together for us, especially on that relay. The team has a ton of confidence going into the rest of the week because of that relay’s performance.”
Alissa Tinklenberg rounded out Gustavus’s competitors in tonight’s finals with a 14th place finish in the 50 free after touching the wall in 23.71.
“I swam as hard as I could but unforturnetely I can’t control what other people do. Like Alex says, there’s no defense in swimming – only offense,” commented Tinklenberg. “Yeah, it’s a bummer but I’m looking forward to tomorrow. My backstrokes felt awesome and my underwaters felt great.”
The NCAA Championships will resume tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (EST) with preliminary races in the 200-free relay, 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 free, and 400-medley relay.
A group of Gustie individuals will compete in both relay events, while Jennifer Strom will swim the 400 IM and Dani Klunk will go in the 100 butterfly.
“Tomorrow is a big day for us with two of our strongest relays going and a pair of individual swims,” said Carlson. “If we are going to make a run at a top ten finish, we are going to need to make an impact tomorrow. The team is on a high from finishing so strong tonight and that will give us a lot of momentum heading into what will be a pretty exciting morning.”
For complete results from tonight and tomorrow morning’s heat sheets, please follow the link below.