Swimming and diving prepares for MIAC Championships

By Patrick Murphy

Women’s Swimming After an eighth-place finish in last year’s MIAC Championships, the Macalester women’s swimming and diving team came into this season looking to make moves up the conference standings. To this point in the season, the Scots have posted a string of performances that have put conference opponents on notice that the blue and orange are on track to make some noise at the MIAC Championships in mid-February. In the team’s final tune-up before the conference championships, a throng of Scots turned in winning performances while hosting Grinnell on Senior Day at the Riley Pool last Saturday afternoon. Grace Fleming led the charge with a pair of first-place finishes for the Scots in the 1650-yard freestyle (18:59.69) and 500-yard freestyle (5:25.16). Fleming is one of several seniors the team will lean on for a career performance in the upcoming championships. Karoline Hart ’12, a former MIAC breaststroke champion, posted another first-place finish for Mac against Grinnell in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.91). Rounding out the party of seniors celebrating Senior Day with victories was Clare Pillsbury ’12, who won the 200-yard breaststroke (2:42.64). Not to be left out, several underclassmen joined in the action with impressive wins of their own. Alese Halvorson ’15 was victorious in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.64. Renee Jordan ’14 took the top spot in 3-meter diving. Jordan has already established herself as one of the top DIII divers in the country as a sophomore. After placing second in the MIAC Championships at 1-meter last season, Jordan is looking to improve in her second go-around in a few weeks. It would appear she’s well positioned for a big performance. Jordan was recognized as the MIAC Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week the second week of January after winning both the six and eleven-dive events from 1-meter in a double dual meet against St. Olaf and Hamline. Not only did Jordan handily win the events, but she also achieved the national qualifying standard in both events, in addition to setting new Macalester records in both. The team will take to the water at the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Center for the MIAC Championships beginning Feb. 16. Men’s Swimming Rather than spending winter break at home sleeping in, the Macalester men’s swimming and diving team had other plans: a late December trip to Florida. Their annual winter training trip included plenty of ol’ fashioned Speedos and suffering. The squad returned to the (unseasonably warm) tundra the first week of January and stayed busy, competing in four meets throughout the month. The first day back from Florida, the Scots competed in a MIAC double dual meet with St. Olaf and Hamline, splitting the contest with a 81-37 victory over Hamline and a 93-30 defeat to the hosting Olies. The Scots were led with a strong third-place performance in the 200-yard medley relay. The Mac relay team consisted of Wojciech Michno ’15, Nathan Schachtman ’14, Domi Lauko ’14, and Clark Jacobson ’14. Michno also placed third for the scots in the 100-yard backstroke, turning in a time of 1:07.26. On Saturday, the Scots hosted Grinnell in their final meet before the MIAC Championships in mid February. The Scots fell 83-124, but showed marked improvement from the Grinnell Invitational of a week earlier. The squad lost a pair of record-holders to graduation last spring in Nathan Young ’11 and Jeff Yamashita ’11, but has seen several underclassmen swimmers step up this season. “Our underclassmen in particular have stepped it up this season, so that while we might not be breaking many records, we can still definitely hold our own in the pool,” said Domi Lauko ’14. “I’m also compelled to mention our divers, whose numbers have more or less tripled since last year and continue to do phenomenally. Socially, the team has remained the tightknit, fun-loving, and enthusiastic group that I grew to love last year.” The MIAC Championships begin Feb. 16 at the University of Minnesota. The Scots will look to turn in strong performances, while gaining valuable experience against top-notch competition. refresh –>