Indianapolis – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s swimming and diving team scored 55 points on Saturday night to finish in seventh place with a four-day total of 154 points at the 2014 NCAA Championships held this week at the IUPUI Natatorium. Just six Gustie women’s swimmers turned in what is the highest team finish and highest point total in the history of Gustavus women’s swimming and diving.
“It’s a long week of swimming, which many times can make you exhausted as a coach. But truthfully, I got more excited and more energized heading into every session,” said Head Coach Jon Carlson. “There were so many inspiring swims and I couldn’t be prouder of the team and each individual athlete. With only six swimmers, it is truly amazing what was accomplished here in Indy this week.”
Gustavus’s night began with Katie Olson (Jr., North Oaks, Minn.) swimming the 100 freestyle. After breaking her own school record in the morning prelims with a time of 51.19, Olson followed up with a 51.36 on Saturday night. She finished second in the consolation final and 10th overall, achieving All-America Honorable Mention distinction.
“Katie’s swim tonight was tough and smart,” commented Carlson. “Every time she swims, she seems to break her own school record. Having to do the 100 free four times in one day is tasking for anyone, but she rose to the occasion each and every race.”
Next in line was Alissa Tinklenberg (Sr., Willmar, Minn.) swimming in her best event, the 200 backstroke. Tinklenberg touched the wall in 2:00.33 for a fourth place finish in the final individual event of her collegiate career. Her finish was the second-highest in program history at the NCAA Championships behind Beth DeLaRosby’s third place swim in the 50 free in 2004. It was also Tinklenberg’s second individual All-American performance of the meet. Alissa Tinklenberg finished the meet an All-American in the 200-free relay, 400-free relay, 400-medley relay, 100 back, and 200 back. She is the most decorated swimmer in Gustavus history with 12 All-American swims (5 individual, 7 relay) to her credit.
“What I saw tonight from Alissa was the same thing I’ve seen from her over and over again during her time here,” Carlson said about Tinklenberg. “She continues to amaze and inspire. I know everyone has to graduate, but we lost a true treasure and a special girl tonight when Tink swam her final two races.”
Following Tinklenberg was Jenny Strom (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) in the 200 breaststroke. Strom, who narrowly missed out on the finals with her morning swim, once again came up with a big performance in the tonight’s consolation finals. Strom won her consolation race by over a second, recording a time of 2:18.59 place ninth overall.
“Jenny capped off an amazing meet with one of the toughest swims I’ve ever seen,” Carlson stated. “She went out a little quick and was in fifth with 25 yards to go. On sure will power and determination, she was able to beat everyone in her heat and secure ninth place.”
To close out the 2014 NCAA Championships, the 400-free relay team of Katie Olson, Tarin Anding (So., Sartell, Minn.), Danielle Klunk (Jr., Appleton, Wis.), and Alissa Tinklenberg went 3:27.20 to take seventh and earn All-America status.
Over the course of the four-day meet, Gustavus tallied five All-America honors and four All-America Honor Mention marks.