Tanner Sonnek Garners MIAC Men’s Swimmer of the Year, Men Finish Second At MIAC Championships

Posted on February 19th, 2017 by

Tanner Sonnek receiving MIAC Men's Swimmer of the Year honors. (Photo courtesy of Matt Higgins, MIAC)


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s swimming and diving team totaled 653 points to claim a second place finish out of eight teams Saturday evening at the final day of the MIAC Championships.

The University of St. Thomas took the title with a total of 910 points. After placing fourth a year ago, the Gusties surged ahead to second, led by the performance of Tanner Sonnek (So., North Mankato, Minn.), who earned MIAC Men’s Swimmer of the Year.

“That was kind of our goal, to see if we could get into second place,” said Head Coach Jon Carlson. “The guys were focused after being fourth place last year. It has been their focus all year to get in to the top two. It didn’t look too promising going into the meet but they swam their hearts out and swam for each other. In a sport that is innately individual, when you swim together as a team you can do some special things as a group.”

During the morning preliminary session, Matt Allison (Fy., Grand Rapids, Minn.) and Sonnek each posted top times. Allison was first in the 100-yard freestyle with a NCAA B-cut time of 45.51. Sonnek continued his impressive weekend, earning a NCAA selection and school record time of 2:02.96 in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Sonnek put together an outstanding performance throughout the three day MIAC Championships. Highlighted by his MIAC meet record NCAA Selection Time of 55.10 to win the 100-yard breaststroke, he also added another top time in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:53.06. Repeating as the champion in the 200-yard breaststroke, he clocked a NCAA Selection Time of 2:02.12. Finally, he contributed to four Gustavus relay teams that collected all-conference nods.

“Tanner had an amazing meet,” Carlson commented. “It is well deserved, he stepped up for us big time.”

In the 100-yard freestyle, Matt Allison nearly upset Kenny Bergman of Saint John’s as he finished with a NCAA-B cut all-conference time of 45.43, just .02 seconds behind the two-time reigning champion.

The 400-yard freestyle relay team also earned all-conference honors. Sonnek, Andrew Peters (So., Montevideo, Minn.), Allison, and Adam Peters (Sr., Montevideo, Minn.) came in third place at 3:07.39.

On the three-meter diving board, the Gusties posted four divers in the top seven. Josh Theis (Fy., Henderson, Minn.) led the way with a score of 394.20 points to record to meet a NCAA B Qualifying standard and collect all-conference honors in third place. 

“Our divers really came through for us and made a huge difference in the overall result.”

Throughout the three-day event, Gustavus gathered nine individual all-conference awards along with five relay honors.


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