Swimming & Diving Opens Season Tomorrow, Split Squads At Hamline And Saint Mary’s

Posted on October 27th, 2017 by

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s and women’s swimming & diving squads are ready for the 2017-18 season to begin Saturday. The Gusties will send split squads to Hamline and Saint Mary’s. Both meets begin at 1 p.m.

The women are coming off a successful season that saw a second-place finish at the MIAC Championships along with four individuals competing at the NCAA Championships. The men also took second at the conference meet last season and sent two individuals to the national meet.

“I think the team has come back more focused and ready to train hard,” Head Coach Jon Carlson said of the women’s team. “The training has been as good as we’ve ever had in the first five weeks of the season. At this point we are excited to start racing and figure out where we’re at as a team, especially with a lot of talented freshman. I think losing the conference championship last year was tough, but reinvigorated the program. Some of the people that were role players are now stepping up to be big contributors.”

Top returners on the women’s squad include Kennedy Holwerda (Sr., Willmar, Minn.), Kate Reilly (Sr., Hastings, Minn.), and Maggie Webster (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.), who all competed at the NCAA Championships last season. Reilly claimed three individual All-Conference awards (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly) and contributed to four All-Conference relay teams (200 free, 400 free, 200 medley, 400 medley). Webster and Holwerda earned All-Conference as part of the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams. Other returning All-Conference swimmers include Sydney Hallmark (Jr., Cedarburg, Wis.) (500 free, mile), Haley Pesik (So., Eagan, Minn.) (800 free relay), and Maddie Westendorp (So., St. Michael, Minn.) (200 medley relay).

The men’s team has been highlighted the past two seasons by Tanner Sonnek (Jr., North Mankato, Minn.) who earned MIAC Swimmer of the Year and Gustavus Student-Athlete of the Year honors last season. Sonnek set a MIAC meet record in the 100-breaststroke (55.10) and won the 200 individual medley. He also repeated as the 200-breaststroke champion and contributed to four All-Conference relay teams. He finished the season as a two-time All-American, taking fifth in the 200-breaststroke and seventh in the 100-breaststroke.

“The guys want to compete for the conference championship,” Carlson said. “We’re really excited about some of the freshman guys we have coming in. Everybody is focused and putting in the work. It’s hard to focus on February when its October, but they’ve definitely got that focus and are feeding off each other and pushing each other to get better every day at practice.”

Other top returners on the men’s team include Locan Bican (So., Monticello, Minn.) (one-meter diving), Josh Theis (So., Henderson, Minn.) (three-meter diving), Will Clark (So., Northfield, Minn.) (200-free relay), Andrew Peters (Jr., Montevideo, Minn.) (200-free relay), Zach Dawson (So., Eagan, Minn.) (800-free relay), and Frankie Zobitz (Jr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) (200-medley relay), each earning All-Conference last season.

“The seniors on both the men’s and women’s squads are doing a great job of setting the tone and creating a culture of growth, positivity, and really cooperation to help each other out,” Carlson said. “That’s made a big difference. Our junior class has gone from a follower to a leader mode. They are all contributing in big ways as well as important smaller ways. Helping the freshman get acclimated and setting an example in the water.”

2017-18 MEN’S ROSTER

2017-18 WOMEN’S ROSTER

2017-18 SCHEDULE

 

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