Minnesota State Reclaims Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Title

2021 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championships

Minnesota State (Mankato) won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate (NSIC) title this season, defeating defending champions St. Cloud State by about 160 points. MNSUM last won the title in 2018, after which St. Cloud held the title for the past two seasons.

Final Team Scores

  1. Minnesota State University (Mankato)  – 1033.5
  2. St. Cloud State University – 858.5
  3. University of Sioux Falls – 767.5
  4. University of Mary – 514.5
  5. Augustana University (Sd) – 358
  6. Northern State University – 209
  7. Minnesota State University (Moorhead) – 198
  8. Southwest Minnesota State University – 150
  9. Concordia St. Paul – 4

The Minnesota Mavericks won the 200 medley and 800 free relays and placed 2nd in the 400 free and 400 medley relays. The Mavericks had a particularly close race in the 400 free relay with 1st place team Sioux Falls who won by .25. Minnesota’s relay of freshmen Ella DeFever (52.17), Liv Meinberg (52.19), Elise Mishmash (52.20), and sophomore Lauren Szolyga (52.15) outsplit Sioux Falls on the first half of the relay. But Sioux Falls’ last 2 legs, swam by Ursula Demarquet (51.84) and Lizzy Spaans (51.73), made up enough ground to claim victory.

Alongside the relays, many of Minnesota State’s points came from solid 2-3 finishes in the 100 breast (Emily Goodman and Darah Coleman), 100 free (Meinberg and DeFever), and 200 breast (Kailyn Arps and Goodman.) Goodman’s 200 breast performance was more than 2 seconds faster than her previous lifetime best from last season’s NSIC Championships where she placed 4th. DeFever’s 52.17 from the relay was also a lifetime best by .13.

Going into this meet, Arps had never broken 2:22.00 (her best time from the 2019 NSIC Championships) in the 200 breast, but her 2nd place finish on Saturday was with a time of 2:20.43. Juniors Anja Enervold and Katie Streiff clocked the Maverick’s only 2 individual event wins in the 200 back (2:02.50) and 100 IM (58.97), respectively.

Augustana’s Taylor Beagle earned the highest amount of points (76), giving her the title of NSIC Swimmer of the Meet alongside NSIC Swimmer of the Year, both for the second year in a row. She started off by winning the 1000 free with a time of 10:10.03, outdoing her own NSIC record from last season by about .6.

Beagle also won the 400 IM on Thursday (4:27.40), placed 3rd in the 500 free on Friday (4:59.76) and claimed 1st in the 1650 free on the final day (17:04.93).  All of her swims except the 1000 and 1650 freestyle were lifetime bests, as her fastest mile time still stands at 17:01.39 from 2019 NCAA DII Championships. She came within 2 seconds of her lifetime best 1000 free time, set at last year’s NCAA Championships.

Another NSIC record was set in the pool by Victoria Murillo from the University of Mary in the 500 free, as she touched the wall 1st with a time of 4:56.55.

Mary University senior Abbey Zajdzinski swept both butterfly events, coming within about half-a-second of her lifetime best 100 fly with a time of 55.78 and posting a new best 200 fly time (2:05.06). Sioux Falls’ Chantal Kasch took home victories in the 100 breast (1:03.42) and 200 breast (2:18.51).

Spaans, a Sioux Falls junior, touched the wall 1st in the 200 IM (2:05.90) and the 100 back (56.04), defending her 2020 NSIC Championship titles in both. Her lifetime bests still stand at 2:04.92 and 55.55, both from the 2019 Augustana Invitational.

In the 100 free, Mary’s Breena Delegge was the only swimmer to break 52.00 as she touched the wall in 1st with a time of 51.83, within .64 of her lifetime best which won the event at last season’s NSIC Championships.

On the diving boards, senior Mady Brinkman from St. Cloud swept both the 1-meter and 3-meter events, defending her 2020 Championship titles in both events. On 1-meter she narrowly outscored her sophomore teammate Meredith Matchinsky by less than 4 points, but she won the 3-meter by 11 points and set a new NSIC record of 472.40 points. St Cloud’s Alyssa Doherty and Matchinsky snagged 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Brinkman’s performance earned her the title of NSIC Diver of the Year for the 2nd year in a row. 

This is Minnesota’s 2nd NSIC Championship title under head coach Nathan Owens who was named the NSIC Swim Coach of the Year this season.

All Event Winners

Repeat champions are marked with an ‘*’

Wednesday

  • 200 IM: Lizzy Spaans* (USF), 2:05.90
  • 50 free: Jenna Krahn (USF), 23.45
  • 1000 free: Taylor Beagle* (AU), 10:10.03 
  • 200 medley relay: MNSUM, 1:43.79

Thursday

  • 400 IM: Taylor Beagle* (AU), 4:27.40
  • 100 fly: Abbey Zajdzinski (MARY), 55.78 
  • 200 free: Victoria Murillo* (MARY), 1:50.82 *
  • 1-meter: Mady Brinkman* (STCL), 430.40 points
  • 200 free relay: STCL*, 1:35.30 
  • 400 medley relay: USF*, 3:49.01

Friday

  • 500 free: Victoria Murillo* (MARY), 4:56.55
  • 100 back: Lizzy Spaans* (USF), 56.04
  • 100 breast: Chantal Kasch* (USF), 1:03.42
  • 200 fly: Abbey Zajdzinski (MARY), 2:05.06
  • 800 free relay: MNSUM, 7:38.68

Saturday

  • 100 IM: Katie Streiff* (MNSUM), 58.97
  • 100 free: Breena Delegge (MARY), 51.83 
  • 200 back: Anja Enervold* (MNSUM), 2:02.50 *
  • 200 breast:  Chantal Kasch* (USF), 2:18.51
  • 1650 free: Taylor Beagle* (AU), 17:04.93
  • 3-meter: Mady Brinkman* (STCL), 482.65 points 
  • 400 free relay: USF, 3:28.46 

Next up for the conference will be the Division II NCAA Championships, scheduled for March 17-20 at the CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama. The NCAA will announce the invitees on March 6th.

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Ferb
1 month ago

Congratulations to MSU-Mankato on the championship, and thank you to SwimSwam for the coverage!

Former MSU Parent
1 month ago

Congratulations MAVS!! This program is a hidden gem and the Coaches, Nathan & Sophie, are taking this program in the right direction. Very excited for the future of this program!