Last weekend, the Grinnell College’s Swimming and Diving Teams attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcon Invitational in Minneapolis. The women’s team had 183 points and finished in seventh place while the men finished in sixth with 425 points.
At the meet, Cyrus Mistry ’11 received honors as the runner-up in the 200 breaststroke.
“It was a very competitive atmosphere,” Mistry said. “You felt very motivated to swim and dive.”
Adding on to Mistry’s sentiments, Valerie Stimac ’09 echoed a familiar theme. “It was challenging,” said Stimac, who won third place in the 100 freestyle in Minneapolis. “A lot of people stepped up. It hurt a lot, but there were good times.”
The Wisconsin-River Falls Falcon Invitational included Division I & II swimmers and divers, as well as Division III. However, the Pioneers were in the division with mostly D3 teams.
Tom Lankiewicz ’12 added to the team’s wins by grabbing fourth-place in the 400-meter individual medley.
Adding a first-place victory in the one-meter diving event was Kelly Bruce ’12. Bruce also won fourth-place in the three-meter diving event.
The team produced better times during Saturday morning’s meet compared to Friday’s.
“The first morning we were a little hesitant to get out and race, but Friday night we came back and swam really well,” Stimac said, providing an overview of the invitational. “The energy and intensity from Friday night really carried over into Saturday morning.”
“The prelims-finals atmosphere was really cool too. I hadn’t really experienced that at a collegiate-level yet and it was really intense and a lot of fun.”
One of the teams Grinnell faced off against was Luther College, whom the Pioneers will face twice during the month of January.
“[Luther] was very prepared for this last meet,” Mistry said.
The meet helped the team prepare for their goal of winning conference again, and so far the team’s spirits are still riding high.
“Right now, the attitude is mostly about buckling down,” Mistry said.
Competition between the men and women’s teams is solely for the purpose of building character on the team and the team members believe that each individual team member has an important place on the team.
“I think it’s really different swimming with both men and women. In my high school, I didn’t have that and it’s a good way to be pushed to become better,” said Bruce.