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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Swim teams make waves at Conference

By Carly Klingensmith

The MIAC swim championships took place this past weekend at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. Both men’s and women’s teams competed hard and were very successful. The men’s team finished seventh out of eight teams. Captain Jeff Yamashita ’11 led the team. He competed in three consolation finals in the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly. In fact, Yamashita almost made it to the championship finals in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 53.48. Yamashita now holds the second fastest times in Macalester history in both the in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard with times of 21.95 and 47.79.

Jackson Gilkey ’13, Ted Metz ’13, Paolo Venneri ’12 and Christian Bangert ’13 had a strong performance in the 800-yard freestlye, finishing in sixth place with a time of 7:47.85.

Lone Bobbi Gass ’10 was impressed with the effort and swim performance of the men’s team.

“The team put forth a tremendous amount of effort at the Conference meet and it truly showed. There were numerous lifetime best swims. We wouldn’t have been able to beat Hamline, our closest competitor, if everyone had not worked their butts off,” Gass ’10 said.

Yamashita agreed that the team swam extremely well at the championships.

“The team ultimately became closer during the championship meet and everyone did their best and it was expressed in the water,” Yamashita ’11 said.

The women’s team finished eighth out of 11 teams in the MIAC championships, but broke four school records in the process. Karoline Hart ’12 broke the school record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.66. She finished 11th overall. Clare Pillsbury ’12 broke the record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2.14.26 and finished 13th overall.

Two relay teams also broke school records. The 200-yard freestyle team comprised of Suzanne Oh ’13, captain Sarah Ellerton ’10, captain Anna Gajewski ’10 and Hart finished seventh overall with a time of 1.39.69. The 400-yard freestlye team comprised of Hart, Ellerton, Gajewski and Grace Flemming ’12 broke the school record with a time of 3.40.05, finishing seventh overall.

These broken records are especially impressive because some of them were set in what are now banned suits (suits that are made of polyurethane-based materials and suits that go below the knees and above the belly button for men and above the shoulders for women).

In addition, Flemming became the third swimmer in Macalester history, with a time of 17:54.82, to finish the 1650-yard freestyle in less than 18 minutes.

Senior Katherine Horstkotte ’10 was extremely proud of her team, despite their small numbers.

“Both our men and women teams are smaller than most of the other teams in the conference,” Horstkotte said. “Pretty much everyone who swam dropped time from their season best, up to that point. A lot of people had lifetime best times. The enthusiasm on deck was great, too. Everyone was up and cheering for all six sessions of the meet, two sessions a day: prelims in the mornings and finals at night. A few of us lost our voices almost completely. Regardless of if it was the slowest heat or the finals, everyone was cheering.”

Both teams hope to build off this successful season and keep improving for next year.

“Our goal for next season is to maintain the close-knit family oriented atmosphere of the team, achieve personal records in our swimming events, and do our best both in the pool and in the classroom,” Yamashita said.

Horstkotte hopes that the positive attitude and enthusiasm of the teams will carry over to next season.

“I hope the team keeps up its enthusiasm and sense of humor. Staying positive is a key part in swimming fast. It’s hard to remember that during J-term when you’re doing doubles and you’re some of the only people on campus. That shared experience does bring the team together,” she said.

All-in-all the Macalester swim teams had a rewarding season. “The team gave everything they got and left it in the pool,” Horskotte said.

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