Six Gusties To Represent Gustavus At NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships

Posted on March 19th, 2018 by

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus swimming team will be well-represented at the NCAA Division III Championships this week, which takes place Wednesday through Saturday at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind. Kennedy Holwerda (Sr., Willmar, Minn.), Alyssa Lokensgard (So., St. Peter, Minn.), Kate Reilly (Sr., Hastings, Minn.), Maggie Webster (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.), and Madeline Westendorp (So., St. Michael, Minn.) represent the women’s team, and Tanner Sonnek (Jr., North Mankato, Minn.) represents the men’s squad.

The women will compete in four different events, while Sonnek will race in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. The women are in two relays – the 200 medley and 200 freestyle – and two individual races – Reilly and Webster in the 50 free, and Webster in the 100 free.

Reilly returns as the most experienced competitor on the national stage, having raced at the NCAA Championships in the previous three years. Reilly is ranked ninth in the 50 free with a time of 23.49, and is a key member of the 200 medley and 200 free relay teams, which rank 15th and fifth, respectively. Last season at the national meet, Reilly took 26th in the 50 free.

“Kate is one the legendary sprinters in our program,” Head Coach Jon Carlson said. “She’s been to nationals every single year and always comes up big when we need her to perform her best. I expect this national meet to be no different. She’s a gamer who loves to compete.”

Webster enters the national meet ranked third in the 50 free with a school record time of 23.13 and is 24th in the 100 free at 51.59. Webster is also a member of the 200 medley and 200 free relay teams. Last season at the NCAA meet, Webster took 35th in the 50 free.

“Maggie is a perfect example of what hard work and doing things right will do for you,” Carlson said. “She consistently does all the right things and does them to the best of her ability. She never lets herself have a bad day. She’s worked her tail off to get where she is now. If you saw her times in high school you wouldn’t consider her to be in the running to be a school record holder with some of the sprinters we’ve had come through here, but frankly, she earned that right.”

Holwerda is set to compete at the national meet for the second straight year, this season as a member of the 200 medley and 200 free relay teams. Last season, the Gusties took 25th in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:47.77.

“Kennedy may be one of the most versatile swimmers I’ve ever had,” Carlson said. “It’s one thing to be versatile, but to be versatile and perform at a high level is absolutely remarkable. She can fill any slot that we have. I’m so excited for her. The amount of dedication and mental energy that she’s put in to not only her own swimming, but the team as a whole, has been exactly what a coach would hope for.”

Westendorp makes her first NCAA Championships appearance as a member of the 200 medley relay team, which has a season-best time of 1:44.66.

“Maddie is a person who has bought into what we’ve done here and another one who made herself from a good swimmer into a national level swimmer by her work ethic and positive attitude,” Carlson said. “Nothing shakes her attitude. She just keeps going and trusts what we do, and it’s paid off big time.”

Lokensgard is also making her first appearance at the national meet as a member of the 200 free relay team. The relay team enters the meet with a season-best time of 1:33.73.

“Alyssa is one of the most talented athletes, but our biggest challenge was convincing her that she was that talented,” Carlson said. “She believes it now and realizes there really is no limit to her potential. It’s starting to show in her performances. While I’m excited for her this year at nationals, we’re just starting to see how fast she can go.”

As the lone male Gustavus swimmer at the national meet, Sonnek returns as a two-time All-American. Last season he finished fifth in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 1:58.98 and seventh in the 100 breaststroke, touching the wall in 54.81. This season he enters with times of 54.79 in the 100, which ranks third, and 2:00.61 in the 200, which ranks fourth.

“Tanner is about as disciplined of an athlete as I’ve ever coached,” Carlson said. “He is very in tune with how he rides in the water and how he feels the water. He takes it to that next level where he’s not satisfied until he feels himself going cleanly through the water. Most people pay attention to propulsion, but he is always trying to eliminate resistance as well as improving his grab on the water.”

Schedule of events: WATCH LIVE | LIVE RESULTS

Wednesday – Trials begin at 9 a.m., finals begin at 5 p.m.

50 freestyle (Reilly, Webster) is the sixth event in both the trials and finals.

200 medley relay (Holwerda, Reilly, Webster, Westendorp) is the ninth event in both the trials and finals.

Thursday – Trails begin at 9 a.m., finals begin at 5 p.m.

200 freestyle relay (Holwerda, Lokensgard, Reilly, Webster) is the second event in both the trials and finals.

Friday – Trials begin at 9 a.m., finals begin at 5 p.m.

100 breaststroke (Sonnek) is the fifth event in both the trials and finals.

Saturday – Trials begin at 9 a.m., finals begin at 5 p.m.

100 freestyle (Webster) is the second event in the trials and fourth event in the finals.

200 breaststroke (Sonnek) is the fifth event in both the trials and finals.

 

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