The Albion College swimmers knew winning events was essential as it faced a big deficit after 1-meter diving. The Britons responded by winning six of seven events to pull out a 155-144 victory over Kalamazoo College in a dual meet inside the Dean Aquatic Center.
“Kalamazoo jumped out early, but our guys did not give up,” Albion Coach Jake Taber said. “It would have been easy to throw in the towel as the meet unfolded.
“I expect this win to be a confidence builder and to carry over in training for the next couple of weeks,” he added, noting Albion swims again Nov. 14 against Division II Hillsdale College.
The wave of momentum started to form when Derek Bosko and David Aldayfinished first and second in the 100-yard freestyle and Sebastian Tostado led Albion to one-two finishes in the 200 backstroke and 200 IM. Parker Belmore was the runner-up to Tostado in the backstroke and Lucas Harder was second in the IM.
Riding the wave, first-year swimmer Harder came inches from upsetting All-American Dylan Shearer in the 200 breaststroke and Blake Blair won the 500 freestyle for his second first-place performance of the day after winning the 1,000 freestyle earlier.
“Blake has been training well and he swam under control,” Taber said. “He won an important race in the 500.
“Lucas is gaining an understanding on the way to run the (200 breaststroke),” Taber added. Harder, who won the 100 breaststroke, was nipped by 33-hundreths of a second in the 200.
The meet came down to the final event – the 400 freestyle relay – as the Britons team of sophomores (Bosko and Nick Deppner) and first-year swimmers (Alday and Belmore) swam to a six-second victory.
“We asked for quite a bit from our youth today and everyone stepped up to meet the challenge,” Taber said.
WOMEN – Kalamazoo defeats Albion in dual meet
Anna Hargrove won the backstroke events, Laura Steavensonwon the 200-yard freestyle and Sarah Kilbride won the 100-yard butterfly in Albion’s 175-122 loss to Kalamazoo in a women’s swimming & diving dual meet.
Albion Coach Jake Taber said the team scores did not reflect the competitiveness of the meet.
“Our strength is in our numbers and depth,” Taber said. “We ran into a Kalamazoo team with a ton of firepower. Even the races that did not go our way, we were in them.
“We asked a lot of our first-year athletes as we’ll get better as the season goes on,” Taber added.
Hargrove, the defending Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association champion in the 100-yard backstroke, finished the 100 in 1:02.67 for about a second and a half victory over Christina Park. Hargrove’s margin over Park in the 200 was just eight hundredths of a second.
Steavenson, who is able to train consistently after recovering from hip surgeries, finished the 200 freestyle in 2:01.16 for a 1.2-second margin over Tristyn Edsall. Steavenson added a second-place finish in the 500 free, completing the race in 5:29.37.
Kilbride won the butterfly by more than a second over Miranda Doepker. She also scored second-place points in the 200 butterfly.
“Sarah is exciting,” Taber said. “She has a ton of ability. I expect her to swim with more confidence.”
Kylene Slocum scored second-place points in the 100 breaststroke and third place points at the 200 distance. Hailey Sambor finished second in the 200 breaststroke and she was third in the 100.
College Swimming News courtesy of Albion College.
Julia Russell was the runner-up in 1-meter diving and Meghan Meader was second in 3-meter.
Albion’s next meet is Nov. 14 at Division II Hillsdale College.