Grinnell Wins Midwest Conference; 7 Straight For Women, 4 For Men

Press releases courtesy of the Midwest Conference (NCAA Division III):

Full results

Day 1

Women:

GRINNELL, Iowa – Defending Midwest Conference (MWC) Swimming and Diving Champions Grinnell College are out to an 88 points lead after day one of the conference meet. The Pioneers built their lead after winning every swimming event and posting two MWC records.

Results

1. Grinnell 321 6. Ripon 63
2. Lake Forest 233 7. Beloit 55
3. Lawrence 159 8. Monmouth 54
4. Illinois College 106 9. Knox 40
5. St. Norbert 70

Grinnell didn’t waste any time on grabbing the lead as the Pioneers set a new meet and MWC record in the opening event on Friday evening. The quartet of Enya Gamble, Olivia Konieczny, Kaia Clarke, and Madeline Peak won the 200-yard freestyle relay in a new conference best time of 1:37.47. Peak put her name in the record book twice as is the new meet and MWC record holder in the 50-yard freestyle as she took first with a time of 24.04.

Peak concluded her evening by anchoring the 400-yard medley relay team of Nicole Schlegel, November Brown, and Becca Teske to a win with a time of 3:57.75. Schlegel added a first place finished in the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2:09.51 while teammate Mckynley Larson took the top spot in the 500-yard freestyle with her time of 5:11.09.

The 1-meter dive was the lone event Grinnell did not pick up the win in but the Pioneers still took finished 2-3 and grabbed a total of 45 points in the event. Celeste Kaspar was the runner-up with as score of 360.80 followed by Sophie Wojdylo in third with 359.25 points. Elaine Thut added a dozen points with a seventh place finish (321.90).

Lake Forest College’s Lizzie Johns successfully defended her 1-meter title with a score of 388.15. Wojdylo was the top freshman in the event but Lawrence University’s Maddy Smith wasn’t far behind as she took fourth with 345.15 points. Fellow freshman Donna Jenkins of Illinois College entered the conference meet off a school record setting performance to take sixth with a score of 331.20.

Illinois College’s highest finish on the day came from Hannah Marks who was the runner-up in the 200 IM with a time of 2:12.13. The Foresters received two runner-up finishes on the day starting by taking second in the 200 freestyle relay. The foursome of Susan Guo, Sarah Burchart, Kylie Morgan, and Kerry Mullen swam a time of 1:38.30. Mullen also added a second place finish in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.26 while Guo was third in the 500 freestyle (5:17.61) as the two led Lake Forest into second place heading into day two.

Lawrence University is currently in third place after its 400-medley relay team of Erin Lengel, Emmi Zheng, Mizuki Ohama, and Lizzy Garcia finished in second with a time of 3:58.93. The Vikings highest individual finisher was Bridget Duero who placed fourth in the 500 freestyle (5:23.05) after anchoring the 200 freestyle relay to a third place showing.

The 2019 MWC Swimming and Diving Championship continues tomorrow with the morning prelims at 10:00 am and finals at 5:30 pm. Heat sheets, results, and live video can be found at the championship page.

Men:

GRINNELL, Iowa – After the opening day of the Midwest Conference (MWC) Swimming and Diving Championship, Lake Forest College holds a slim nine point lead over Grinnell College. The Foresters sit atop the standings heading into day two after a 1-2-3 finish in the 500-yard freestyle and a win in the opening relay event.

Results

1. Lake Forest 245 6. Illinois College 68
2. Grinnell 236 7. Ripon 66
3. Monmouth 118 8. Beloit 57
4. St. Norbert 101 9. Knox 24
5. Lawrence 82

The foursome of Nathan Ulm, Max Rowland, Graeme Witte, and Blake Rhodes began the Friday evening session by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay in a time of 1:25.61. The Pioneer team of Mitchell Sevier, Albert Ford, Christopher Zhang, and Ben Grubb finished runner-up with a time of 1:26.01, just ahead of the Monmouth College quartet’s time of 1:26.27.

Rowland came right back and won the next event as he led the Foresters sweep of the top three spots in the 500 freestyle. Lake Forest has dominated the distance events all season and that continued at the conference meet. The Foresters claimed four of the top-five places and scored two more in the B-Final for a total of 79 points in the one event. Rowland finished first with a time of 4:38.81 followed by teammates Aaron Helms (4:41.66) and Alec Pittman (4:42.04).

Lawrence University’s Anton Hutchinson broke up the Lake Forest’s attempt at the 1-2-3-4 finish as he grabbed fourth place with a time of 4:43.98, nearly five seconds ahead of Sebastian Wagoner’s 4:48.70. Hutchinson had the top individual finish on the day for the Vikings and anchored a pair of relays to fourth place finishes.

The same trio of teams from the 200 freestyle relay also took the top-three spots in the 400-yard medley relay. However, this time the Grinnell foursome of Jackson Thompson, Dante Smith, Paul Cover, and Grubb was the winning team with a time of 3:29.53 followed by the Scots’ team of Preston Bocchi, Andrew Shie, Jake Hall, and Logan Hoepfner in a time of 3:30.73. Lake Forest’s Graeme Witte out touched the Lawrence team by .05 for third in 3:31.86.

Bocchi also added an individual win in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.89 ahead of runner-up Grubb in 21.28. Four of Grubb’s fellow Pioneers competed in the A-Final of the 200-yard individual medley but none of them were able to catch Illinois College’s Davide Sanna. Sanna and Grinnell’s Zhang entered the conference meet as the only two MWC swimmers to break two minutes in the event so far this season with Zhang leading Sanna by .71 seconds. However, Sanna was able to get the better of Zhang in both the prelims and finals on Friday and won the 200 IM in 1:55.61 to Zhang’s 1:57.54.

St. Norbert College sits in fourth place after day one of the Green Knights first ever MWC Swimming and Diving Championship meet. Ben Stolberg provided St. Norbert’s top performance on the day as he placed third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.59. Green Knight diver Jaxsen Schermacher also added 15 points to the team score as he placed fourth in the 3-meter dive with a score of 302.55.

Lake Forest’s Heath Ogawa, reigning MWC Diver of the Year, divided his title with a score of 528.05. Ogawa was followed by the Pioneer duo of Grant Lattery and Jon Rebelsky who finished with totals of 348.90 and 316.40 respectively.

The 2019 MWC Swimming and Diving Championship continues tomorrow with the morning prelims at 10:00 am and finals at 5:30 pm. Heat sheets, results, and live video can be found at the championship page.

Day 2

Women:

GRINNELL, Iowa – The Midwest Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship is on its way to staying with Grinnell College as the Pioneers extended their lead to 233 points. Even though Grinnell nearly has the title wrapped up the battle for second still may come down to the wire as Lake Forest College holds a 41 point lead over Lawrence University entering the final day of competition.

Results

1. Grinnell 700 6. Monmouth 134
2. Lake Forest 467 7. Beloit 120
3. Lawrence 426 8. Knox 104
4. Illinois College 225 9. Ripon 101
5. St. Norbert 152

The Vikings closed the gap on the Foresters behind two wins from Erin Lengel including leading a 1-2 finish in the 200 freestyle and Maddy Smith grabbing second in the 3-meter dive by 1.05 points. Lengel won the 100 backstroke in 58.62 after grabbing the win in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:55.39. Teammate Bridget Duero finished in second with a time of 1:59.28 while the trio of Mae Grahs, Mandy Marsh, and Smith added 16 points in the B-Final.

Smith’s best performance, however, came on the diving board as she edged the Foresters Lizzie Johns for second and an extra point for her team with her score of 383.35. Johns, the 1-meter champion, had to settle for third with a score of 382.30. Grinnell freshman Sophie Wojdylo got the win after finishing third yesterday with a total of 408.55. Fellow Pioneer Celeste Kaspar took fourth with a score of 366.90.

Lawrence finished the day with by placing second in the 800 freestyle relay as the team of Duero, Marsh, Elise Riggle, and Grahs recorded a time of 8:14.57. The Vikings also earned runner-up finishes from Emmi Zheng in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.21) and Mizuki Ohama in the 100 butterfly (58.30). The Foresters’ Susan Guo out touched Ohama by .06 to take the win in the 100 fly (58.24) and help Lake Forest maintain its hold on second place.

In contrast to Friday evening, where the Pioneers won all but one event, Saturday saw winners from four different schools. Hannah Marks of Illinois College was one of the four as she finished first by almost three seconds in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:05.61.

However, the winningest swimmer on the day was still a Pioneer as Grinnell’s Nikki Schlegel had a pair relay victories and an individual win. Schlegel started the day off by swimming the lead leg of the Pioneers 200 medley relay with November Brown, Marguerite Devine-Mraz, and Madeline Peak as they won the event with a time of 1:48.24. The freshman then got right back in the pool as she won the next event, the 400 IM, in a time of 4:38.97. Schlegel closed out her day by anchoring the team of Mckynley Larson, Becca Teske, and Devine-Mraz to a win in the 800 freestyle relay (7:53.35).

Grinnell looks to make it a lucky seven straight Midwest Conference Swimming and Diving Championships tomorrow starting with prelims at 9:00 a.m. followed by the finals at 4:30 p.m. Heat sheets, results, and live video can be found at the championship page.

Men:

GRINNELL, Iowa – Grinnell College entered the second day of the Midwest Conference (MWC) Swimming and Diving Championship trailing Lake Forest College by nine points. The Pioneers ended the day with an 88-point lead on the Foresters after winning both relay events and taking home one individual event title.

Results

1. Grinnell 582 6. Illinois College 176
2. Lake Forest 494 7. Ripon 172
3. Monmouth 259 8. Beloit 129
4. St. Norbert 243 9. Knox 46
5. Lawrence 225

Jackson Thompson, Brodie Mikuta, Paul Cover, and Mitchell Sevier opened Saturday’s evening session with a win in the 200-medley relay (1:35.95) then Sevier closed out the night by joining with Chris Zhang, Albert Ford, and Ben Grubb to win the 800-freestyle relay (6:58.22). Grubb anchored the relay to a four-second win following his win in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:42.13.

Ford also competed in the A-Final of the 200 free and finished fourth in a time of 1:45.38. The Pioneers also got top-three finishes from Zhang in the 400 individual medley (4:11.28), Cover in the 100 butterfly (51.32), and Dante Smith in the 100 breaststroke (59.27).

Over in the diving pool, the Grinnell duo of Grant Lattery and Jon Rebelsky entered the 1-meter competition after placing second and third on the 3-meter board on Friday. This time Lattery took third with a total of 354.70 and Rebelsky finished fourth with a score of 319.95. Beloit College’s Wil Kangas-Olson claimed second place with a score of 37.55 to bump the Pioneers’ pair down a spot.

Defending champion and last night’s 3-meter winner, Lake Forest’s Heath Ogawa once again claimed the 1-meter crown with his score of 499.05. Ogawa’s win helped the Foresters keep Grinnell’s lead under 100 points and a good 235 points clear of Monmouth College in third.

After sweeping the top three spots in the 500 freestyle, Lake Forest nearly pulled it off again in the 400 IM as Max Rowland picked up his second win of the weekend and Alec Pittman finished runner-up with times of 4:07.43 and 4:09.65 respectively. Evan Weller was the third Forester to touch, as he took fourth in 4:16.83.

The Scots started their day off with a second place showing in the 200-medley relay by the team of Preston Bocchi, Andrew Shie, Jake Hall, and Logan Hoepfner (1:36.14). Shie was just getting warmed up as later on he would win the 100 breaststroke in a time of 57.72. Bocchi, the 2018 100 backstroke champion, was the runner-up in this year’s event with a time of 51.20.

A day after becoming the first ever MWC champion in Illinois College program history, Davide Sanna made it 2-for-2 as he took down Bocchi in the 100 back as he went under 50 seconds with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 49.44. St. Norbert College also got its first MWC champion as he won the 100 butterfly by .28 seconds in a time of 51.04. The Green Knights remain in fourth place and just 16 points behind Monmouth heading into the final day of their first conference meet.

The Midwest Conference Swimming and Diving Championship concludes tomorrow with the morning session at 9:00 a.m. and the evening finals at 4:30 p.m. Heat sheets, results, and live video can be found at the championship page.

Day 3

Women:

GRINNELL, Iowa – Grinnell College claimed its seventh straight Midwest Conference (MWC) Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship in dominating fashion once again. The Pioneers took first place by 322 points over runner-up Lawrence University. The Vikings came back from a 41-point deficit entering the final day to overtake Lake Forest College for second place honors on Sunday evening.

Results

1. Grinnell 973 6. Monmouth 181
2. Lawrence 651 7. Ripon 162
3. Lake Forest 613 8. Beloit 157
4. Illinois College 325 9. Knox 138
5. St. Norbert 242

After an individual win yesterday as well as leading the Pioneers to a pair of relay victories, Grinnell’s Nicole Schlegel took the 200 backstroke by four seconds in a time of 2:06.38. She finished her impressive weekend by anchoring the relay team of Enya Gamble, Madeline Peak, and Kaia Clarke to first place in the 400 freestyle relay (3:34.90). Schlegel’s efforts earned her the Newcomer of the Year honors.

Grinnell’s over 300-point team victory was boosted by Mckynley Larson’s win in the opening event of the third day. Larson made it a sweep of the distance events as she won the 1650 freestyle in a time of 18:01.25 after taking first in the 500 free on Friday. The Pioneers also had a pair of third place finishes as Maria Eure joined Schlegel in placing in the 200 backstroke with her time of 2:12.12 while Peak took third in the 100 free in 53.55 after winning the 50 free in a meet record time.

Peak was just .03 seconds behind the runner-up Susan Guo of Lake Forest and .72 from first place. Lawrence University’s Erin Lengel took home the win in the event as she set a new meet and MWC record of 52.83. Lengel’s record was one of three individual win’s on the weekend for the sophomore as she helped the Vikings flip a 41-point deficit to a 38-point second place finish over the Foresters. Lengel captured Swimmer of the Year honors and head coach Andrew Fleek earned Coach of the Year.

Lawrence freshman Mizuki Ohama also added 20 points to the Vikings score as she won the 200 butterfly in a time of 2:09.37. This after just missing the 100 fly title by .06 seconds yesterday. Senior Emmi Zheng added her second runner-up finish of the weekend as she placed second in the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:32.19 while Elise Riggle was second in the 1650 free with a time of 18:35.72.

The Vikings were able to edge Lake Forest in the final standings, however, the Foresters did get the better of Lawrence in the closing event of the weekend. The foursome of Guo, Kylie Morgan, Kerry Mullen, and Fallon Longfield finished two seconds in front of the Vikings to finish runner-up in the 400 freestyle relay (3:37.83). Longfield also added a second place finish in the 200 backstroke with her time of 2:10.40.

Longfield’s teammate, diver Lizzie Johns earned Diver of the Year honors after she finished first in the 1-meter and took third on the 3-meter board. She finished with a meet best score of 770.45 on both boards.

The second to last individual win on the day went to Illinois College’s Hannah Marks who became a two-time winner at the 2019 conference meet as she claimed the top spot in the 200 breaststroke. Marks defeated Zheng by nearly six seconds with her time of 2:24.43.

The final award of the weekend went to Ripon College’s Sara Olk as she claimed the Midwest Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Elite 20 Award for the third straight year. The Anthropology major earned the award for achieving the highest grade-point average among the student-athletes competing in the MWC Championship meet.

Find the full list of award winners and the complete results at the championship page.

Men:

GRINNELL, Iowa – Grinnell College won its fourth consecutive Midwest Conference (MWC) Swimming and Diving Championship on Sunday evening. The Pioneers finished 80 points ahead of runner-up Lake Forest College, which was their closest victory over Foresters since a 29-point win in 2016 to start the streak.

Results

1. Grinnell 821 6. Ripon 265
2. Lake Forest 741 7. Illinois College 255
3. Monmouth 379 8. Beloit 172
4. St. Norbert 336 9. Knox 64
5. Lawrence 321

Grinnell held onto its day two lead behind Ben Grubb’s second with of the weekend. After winning the 200 freestyle, Grubb added the 100 title to his name as he out touched Alec Sutton of Ripon College by .4 seconds to win in a time of 46.52. Pioneer teammates Mitchell Sevier and Christopher Zhang finished in fifth and sixth in the same race with times of 47.50 and 47.72 respectively.

The Pioneers closed out their fourth straight conference title with a win in the final event of the weekend. Sevier, Zhang, Albert Ford, and Grubb took first place by nearly two seconds with their time of 3:07.34. Grinnell also received 40 points from a trio of swimmers in the 200 butterfly as Paul Cover and Sean Hopkins were fourth (2:00.74) and fifth (2:02.28), respectively, while Steven Sharpe placed eighth (2:09.09).

Lake Forest cut into the gap between it and the Pioneers by eight points on Sunday as the Foresters got 1-2-3 sweeps in two events on the day and three over the weekend. Alec Pittman, Aaron Helms, and Max Rowland took the top three spots in the 500 freestyle all the way back on the day one of the championship. Sunday they repeated the feat in the first individual event of the night, the marathon 1650 freestyle.

Pittman earned the win in a time of 16:18.96 less than a second in front of Helms 16:19.14. Rowland rounded out the trio with his time of 16:27.00. As Lake Forest did in the 500, it had four of the top five finishers in the 1650 as Jeff Nebel touched in 16:43.04 for fifth. The other sweep of the day came in the 200 butterfly where Thomas Anderson took home the title in a time of 1:55.46 followed closely by Evan Weller’s 1:56.70 and Helms’ 1:58.21.

Grubb wasn’t the only repeat winner on the day as two freshman, one from Illinois College and one from Monmouth College earned their third and second victories respectively. The Blueboys’ Davide Sanna made it a 3-for-3 weekend as he won the 200 backstroke by four seconds in 1:48.46. The win gave him a sweep of the backstroke events along with his title in the 200 IM. Shie also swept an event, in his case, the breaststroke as he won the 200 breaststroke in similar fashion as Sanna took the backstroke. The Scot won by nearly four seconds in a time of 2:06.60 after winning the 100 yesterday.

Sanna’s three victories earned him the men’s Swimmer of the Year while Shie claimed Newcomer of the Year honors. Senior diver Heath Ogawa of Lake Forest received Diver of the Year after sweeping the 1-meter and 3-meter boards for the third consecutive season.

Other notable performances came from Monmouth’s Preston Bocchi who finished runner-up to Sanna for the second straight day as he swam 1:52.23 in the 200 backstroke. St. Norbert College had an impressive fourth place showing in its first ever MWC Championship meet behind 200 freestyle winner Ben Stolberg who added a third place finish in the 100 free on Sunday (46.97).

Finally, Lawrence University’s Anton Hutchinson crashed the Forester party in the 1650 freestyle, as he took fourth in a time of 16:40.72. He also prevented a Lake Forest sweep of the top four spots with a fourth place finsh in the 500 on Friday.

Grinnell College earned it’s fourth consecutive Midwest Conference Swimming and Diving Championship and 16th in the last 18 years behind 2019 Coach of the Year Erin Hurley. The final award of weekend went to Knox College’s Joe Hilger who received the Elite 20 award. The biochemistry major claimed the award for achieving the highest grade-point average among the student-athletes competing in the MWC Championship meet.

Find the full list of award winners and the complete results at the championship page.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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