2021 SUMMIT LEAGUE SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- April 15 – April 17, 2021
- Hulbert Aquatic Center
- West Fargo, North Dakota
- Short Course Yard (SCY)
On day 2 of the 2021 Summit League Championships, the University of Denver retained the lead for the women while the University of South Dakota stayed on top of the men’s standings. With only one day of racing left to go, it looks as if the South Dakota men will have what it takes to upset the University of Denver and put an end to their 7-year winning streak.
Team Scores After Day 2
- University of Denver – 719.50 Points
- South Dakota State – 484.50 Points
- University of South Dakota – 464 Points
- University of Nebraska Omaha – 341 Points
- Eastern Illinois – 195 Points
- University of South Dakota- 603 Points
- South Dakota State – 493 Points
- University of Denver – 381.50 Points
- Eastern Illinois – 283 Points
- Valparaiso University – 236.50 Points
Continuing with their dominant performance from day 1, the women of the University of Denver picked up gold in all but 1 event on day 2 of the meet. Their first win came from Emily Vandenberg in the 400 IM who swam a 4:18.91, adding to her 200 IM victory of day 1 of the meet. Also returning to the podium was 200 IM bronze medalist, Uma Knaven who swam to a silver medal for Denver (4:20.60) while teammate Charlotte Simon made it a Denver sweep with bronze (4:21.11).
Following Vanderberg’s lead, Inés Marin won a second title by taking first place in the 200 freestyle with a 1:49.47. That pairs with her winning performance in the 100 fly yesterday when she won with a 55.48. 50 freestyle silver medalist Aysia Leckie also collected silver in the 200 freestyle (1:51.32) for Denver while Angie Lindsey made it a second straight sweep for the team, taking bronze with aa 1:52.10.
The first non-Denver individual medalist came in the 100 breast as Caroline Gardner took the bronze medal with a 1:03.46 which was within a second of Sophia Bricker‘s 1:02.88 for gold and Brandi Vu‘s 1:03.16 for silver.
The University of Denver found themselves not in a winning position for the first time in the 100 backstroke as the University of South Dakota’s Sianne Downes out-touched Denver’s Sofia Nosack for the gold. Downes was a 56.64 in the event to get in just ahead of Nosack’s 56.99. South Dakota scored a 1-3 finish as Lucie Anderson joined Nosack on the podium by posting a 57.14 for bronze.
Denver’s final individual victory on the women’s side came in the 3-meter diving event as Olivia Gordon scored 294.50 points for first place. That’s an improvement from her performance on day 1 when she took silver in the 1-meter. Yesterday’s gold medalist Stella Fairbanks dropped to 2nd place today, scoring 274.45 on the 3-meter for the University of South Dakota while Quincee Simonson for South Dakota State was within inches of Fairbanks’ score, scoring a 274.25 for third place.
Denver opened and closed the session with relay wins in the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays. In the former, Gaby Antonini (26.69), Brandi Vu (27.89), Eri Remington (24.87), and Aysia Leckie (22.59) delivered a 1:42.04 for the title. Aysia Leckie returned to provide an anchor split for the team on the 800 freestyle relay, posting a 1:50.94 to follow Ines Marin (1:52.14), Livi Schmid (1:52.10), and Angie Lindsay (1:53.51), making for a composite time of 7:28.69.
The University of Denver is down a couple of men at this year’s championships and the University of South Dakota is taking full advantage by trying to establish the first non-Denver Summit League title in 8 seasons.
Riley Babson provided resistance from Denver in the first individual event of day 2 by winning the men’s 400 IM with a 3:57.20. That was a solid drop from prelims swim of 3:57.20 and enough to establish some distance between himself and silver medalist Cayden Christianson who was a 4:01.56 for South Dakota State. The University of South Dakota made their way onto the podium as well with a 4:03.23 swim from Griffin Wolner.
The win for Babson was an improvement upon his silver medal performance at last year’s Championships. Notably, Trent Panzera was absent from the event and meet this year having won the event last year as a junior.
Next up, Valparaiso University actually nabbed their first win of the session as Dominic May collected the 200 freestyle title. May swam a 1:38.43 to touch just before the University of South Dakota’s Charlie Bean and Denver’s Darragh Mahns who were 1:39.20 and 1:39.57, respectively. That was an improvement for all three of them from where they were in the 50 freestyle on day 1. In the 50, May and Mahns actually tied for fourth place (20.55) while Bean took sixth (20.62).
Denver won a second individual title on day 2 as Kelby Modene hit a 55.67 100 breast to shave 0.10 off his time from prelims. The race was down to the touch, however, as Billy Bennet came in just a fraction of a second later in a 55.74 for Valparaiso while Gavin Wheeler was a 55.88 to take bronze for South Dakota State.
Both of last year’s top 2 finishers; Adriel Sanes and Cy Jager were 1-2 in the event at the 2020 Championships as juniors and aren’t racing this year for Denver. Should they have raced the event this year, they would have likely been able to nab the victory, having posted 52.32 and 53.52 in the final last year, respectively.
One event that hurt Denver significantly was the men’s 100 backstroke. In that event, they didn’t have any swimmers race in either the A or B final. The University of South Dakota went 1-2 in the event thanks to Zach Kopp‘s 49.52 and Brady Torborg‘s 49.97. Marcus Benson also snuck under the 50-second mark for South Dakota State, hitting a 49.98 for the bronze medal.
Patrick Groters would have likely provided some points for Denver in the event had he been present at the meet, having placed second at last year’s championships with a 48.26. Groters won silver as a sophomore last year but didn’t race for Denver during what would have been his junior year.
In terms of relays, the University of South Dakota and the University of Denver won 1 each on day 2 of the meet. South Dakota took the 200 medley relay title as Brady Torborg (22.62), Mack Sathre (25.34), Aidan Gatenbein (21.62), and Zach Kopp (19.85) pulled off a 1:29.43 victory. In the 800 freestyle relay, it was the Denver contingent of Darragh Mahns (1:40.37), Riley Babson (1:40.39), Zachary Bayler (1:40.88), and Mads Rishoj (1:40.42) who put together a 6:42.06 for the win.