This past weekend, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted a dual meet at Obermiller Pool against Coe and Luther College’s. Both men’s and women’s teams lost to Luther, but won against Coe. More importantly, though, 50 swimmers shed their times, and one provisionally qualified for the NCAA Nationals Meet in diving.
Kelly Bruce ’12 earned the qualification by winning the women’s one-meter dive where she scored 248.45 points.
“I felt a lot of pressure this weekend because I knew it was one of two final chances to get the qualifying score,” Bruce said. “But I’ve been pretty consistent on the one-meter board this year, so I was optimistic.”
Now she waits while a committee reviews videotapes of her dives and decides if she will attend the National Meet this spring in Minneapolis. “I’m not sure how likely it is that I will get to go to Nationals,” Bruce said. “But it is a great accomplishment to even be considered and I couldn’t have asked for any more.”
Her teammates shared her enthusiasm for the accomplishment. “Seeing her do that already was so great, and she’s really humble about it too,” added fellow teammate and good friend Morgan Bober ’12. “She didn’t get to go to Florida [to face Connecticut College] with us, so for her to do that is incredible.”
Bruce won the three-meter dive as well. Other swimmers who won two meets for the women’s side were Bober and Amy Hadow ’10. Bober won the 100-yard backstroke, Hadow won the 100-yard butterfly, and both were a part of the winning 400-yard medley relay team with Alex Peitz ’10 and Valerie Stimac ’09.
Women swimmers who finished runner-up in their respective events were Chloe Moryl ‘10 (the S&B’s features editor) in the 50-yard freestyle, Stimac in the 200 IM, and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Casey Strickler ‘12, Margaret Smith ‘09, Meghan McDoniel ‘10 and Morgan Horton ‘11 (the S&B’s opinion editor).
On the men’s side, Paul Gagne ’11 won the 1,000-yard freestyle, Tom Lankiewicz ’12 won the 200 IM, and Nick Smith ’10 won the one-meter dive. “It felt good [to win], but the goal was to drop time, and I accomplished that,” Gagne said on his performance.
Lankiewicz was also a runner-up in the 500 freestyle and as part of the 400 freestyle relay team with Marco Fulgoni ’12, Jon Willuhn ‘10 and Ross Noecker ’11.
With so many swimmers and divers performing well, the teams are in great condition for the MWC championships, which are only two weeks away. “This is the best that I’ve ever seen this team swim before conference in the three years that I’ve been here,” Gagne said. “We are in great shape to have a good finish to the season.”