Saint Thomas Women, Gustavus Men Take Leads into Final Day of MIACs

by SwimSwam Contributors 1

February 17th, 2019 News

Courtesy: Andy Hardt, AKA Live Stream Andy


  • Dates: Thursday, February 14-Sunday, February 17, 2019
  • Location: University of Minnesota Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center – Minneapolis, MN
  • Hosts: Gustavus Adolphus College, Hamline University
  • Defending Champion: St. Thomas men; St. Thomas women (results)
  • Live Results
  • Live Video
  • Championship Central

The 2019 MIAC Championships took shape on Day 3, as the Gustavus men and St. Thomas women solidified their hold on the top spot. The Gustavus crowd is delirious at the success of their men’s team, who have been second to St. Thomas the past two years, and are now on the verge of turning the tables. The St. Thomas women are in the process of fending off what we all knew would be a spirited challenge from St. Kate’s after the latter got perhaps the best recruiting class in MIAC history.

Team Scores After Day 3:


  1. Saint Thomas – 517
  2. Saint Catherine – 392
  3. Gustavus Adolphua – 364
  4. Saint Olaf – 316
  5. Carleton College – 288
  6. College of Saint Benedict – 198
  7. Hamline University – 120
  8. Concordia – 101
  9. Saint Mary’s – 69
  10. Macalaster – 56
  11. Augsburg – 53


  1. Gustavus Adolphus – 684.5
  2. Saint Thomas – 536.5
  3. Sasint Olaf – 315
  4. Saint John’s – 267
  5. Carleton College – 257
  6. Macalaster – 155
  7. Hamline – 138
  8. Saint Mary’s – 82

Video Recap

Women 400 IM

1. Hannah Svendsen (St. Catherine) 4:30.15

2. Linnea Rizzo (St. Olaf) 4:32.60

3. Ana Berklid (St. Benedict) 4:35.28

4. Helen Jensen (St. Olaf) 4:35.86

5. Maya Knutson (St. Olaf) 4:36.00

6. Alison Cameron (Carleton) 4:37.64

7. Gretchen Behrens (St. Thomas) 4:40.63

8. Haley Pesik (Gustavus) 4:40.64

Svendsen was the top MIAC time coming into this meet, the top seed this morning, and she got the win here, but it was not an easy win as she was challenged by Rizzo, Jensen, and a surprising Birklid. After Cameron led the butterfly (1:01.12), Svendsen took over by halfway (2:10.83). But Birklid (2:11.15) was close behind, and never really faded as much as Svendsen slowly pulled away. Meanwhile, Rizzo moved up the field, but with nearly identical finishing splits to Svendsen, she never quite mounted the challenge she had saddled.

Men 400 IM

1. Josh Muntifering (Gustavus) 4:03.29

2. Zach Dawson (Gustavus) 4:03.77

3. Sjon Greseth (St. Olaf) 4:07.32

4. Logan Shafer (St. Thomas) 4:09.67

5. Max Larson (St. Thomas) 4:12.69

6. Lucas Manke (St. Thomas) 4:17.16

7. Thomas Fitzloff (Gustavus) 4:17.45

8. Jacob Upton (St. John’s) 4:18.35

Muntifering took out the final in (53.51) and (1:54.63), which was actually two seconds slower to halfway than he hit the halfway in the morning (1:52.53), when he swam 4:03.81. At 300, he had gained those two seconds back on his morning self, had a 4.70 margin on Dawson in second, and looked set to coast to victory. But Muntifering started to feel his early pace on the freestyle, at the same time as Dawson kicked into gear. Dawson (54.06) outsplit Muntifering (58.28) by over 4 seconds over the last hundred, including nearly 3 seconds on the last 50 (26.44-29.20), as he nearly stole a win that seemed in the bag. But Muntifering managed to hold on, and Dawson settled for second. Greseth (27.82-26.43) had a similar close to Dawson from farther back to nab third.

Women 100 butterfly

1. Anna Astrup (St. Thomas) 56.54

2. Kate Smarjesse (St. Thomas) 56.64

3. Haley Cassens (St. Thomas) 57.79

4. Katelyn Strauss (St. Thomas) 57.90

5. Paige Pawlenty (St. Thomas) 58.43

6. Michelle Simms (Gustavus) 58.52

7. Emma Lederer (Carleton) 58.96

8. Ann Van Hout (St. Thomas) 59.07

It was a St. Thomas 1-2-3-4-5, a remarkable event for those women as they solidified their grip on the meet. Asrup was first to the 50 wall (26.49), with Smarjesse in second (26.70), and the field close behind. Smarjesse squeezed the gap on the second 50, and the outcome was uncertain even at the final touch, but Astrup barely held on to win by a tenth. Cassens, Strauss, and Pawlenty rounded out the Tommies’ sweep of the top of the podium.

Men 100 butterfly

1. John Loepfe (St. Olaf) 49.48

2. Tom Negaard (St. Thomas) 49.57

3. Marcel Hones (St. Olaf) 50.49

4. Ryan Sklar (Gustavus) 51.03

4. Omar Omar (St. Thomas) 51.03

6. Nate Stone (St. Thomas) 51.20

7. Stevie Fitch (Carleton) 51.80

8. Eli Offman (Carleton) 51.99

Loepfe and Negaard took their annual duel from the 100 backstroke in previous years to the 100 butterfly this time. But the victor was again Loepfe, as he caught Negaard off the last wall, and won on the touch. Negaard (22.65) was the early leader, with Loepfe (23.17) in second. But Loepfe made up the gap in the next 30 yards, setting the stage for the dramatic finish. Negaard, rigging up, was forced to take an extra stroke, but it could not quite get him past Loepfe, who timed his finish perfectly. Hones was clear best of the rest in third.

Women 200 freestyle

1. Maggie Menso (St. Catherine) 1:50.64

2. Marissa Wolff (St. Olaf) 1:51.30

3. Alex Howard (St. Thomas) 1:53.23

4. Kasey Ericson (St. Thomas) 1:54.22

5. Mira Schroeder (St. Thomas) 1:54.58

6. Caroline Mather (Carleton) 1:54.66

7. Maggie Webster (Gustavus) 1:55.14

8. Amelia Bjorklund (Gustavus) 1:56.00

Like in the 500 freestyle, Menso won ahead of Wolff. But unlike the 500, the 200 was in doubt until the final strokes. Wolff took the race out (54.28), along with Mather and Schroeder in the far lanes. Menso was just 5th (55.12) at the 100. But she held the margin from Wolff on the third 50, and when they hit the last 25, it became clear that Menso had another gear. She rocketed away from Wolff to win a title that was much closer than the eventual time gap. Menso’s last 50 was 27.32, over a second faster than anyone else in the field.

Men 200 freestyle

1. Nolan Larson (Gustavus) 1:39.29

2. Matt Allison (Gustavus) 1:40.17

3. Dutch Franko-Dynes (Gustavus) 1:41.77

4. Andrew Peters (Gustavus) 1:42.53

5. Adam Boerner (St. Thomas) 1:43.11

6. Jack Dalluge (Carleton) 1:44.01

7. Sam Johnson (St. Thomas) 1:44.32

8. Eamonn McCullough (Gustavus) 1:46.18

Larson came in as the top seed (1:40.70) after a morning swim in which he went out in 50.83 before dropping a 24.04 third 50 and negative splitting the race. Larson had a much more classically paced race tonight, as he led at the 100 (48.91). But Larson still had a strong back half, which allowed him to get under the 1:40 barrier, and exactly match last years DIII Nationals selection time. Allison (49.28) was right behind his teammate at the hundred, and held on to nearly go under 1:40 himself. Behind those two, Franko-Dynes and Peters gave Gustavus a 1-2-3-4 domination of this event.

Women 100 breast

1. Jordyn Wentzel (St. Catherine) 1:01.75 (MIAC record)

2. Franceska Hernandez-Nietling (St. Catherine) 1:04.33

3. Ada Meyer (Carleton) 1:04.49

4. Sophia Nevin (St. Olaf) 1:04.72

5. Madeline Westendorp (Gustavus) 1:05.13

6. Ashley Christensen (St. Thomas) 1:05.51

7. Hailey Auran (Gustavus) 1:05.69

8. Ella Benoit (Gustavus) 1:07.72

It was a fast 100 breastroke final,with four swimmers under 1:05, but no one was near Wentzel, who broke her MIAC record, established earlier this season, by four one-hundredths. Wentzel’s time would have been second at Nationals last year, and she will go into that meet hoping to contend. It was a tight battle behind Wentzel for second as Hernandez-Nietling, Meyer, and Westendorp all dropped time from their morning swims.

Men 100 breast

1. Tanner Sonnek (Gustavus) 54.66

2. Noah Faldet (St. Thomas) 56.03

3. Jack Heinzel (Carleton) 56.23

4. Bryce Hoppe (St. Thomas) 57.48

5. Riley Fairbanks (Gustavus) 57.50

6. Gus Reynolds (St. Olaf) 58.72

7. Eli Greenblat (St. John’s) 58.97

8. Sam Deyak (Gustavus) 59.13

The biggest drama in this event came in the morning, when Sonnek swam 54.28 to break Nelson Westby’s decade-old mark of 54.48. Sonnek, a Senior, had long been close to the mark, and had a big celebration after breaking it. Tonight, he wasn’t quite able to hit the same time, but still got the easy win. Faldet (25.75) was only half a second behind Sonnek at the 50 wall, and held on for second, just holding off Heinzel.

Women 100 back

1. Kelly Punyko (St. Olaf) 56.92

2. Taylor Martinek (Hamline) 56.98

3. Mikayla Von Wahlde (Saint Benedict) 57.22

4. Kirsten Nelson (St. Thomas) 57.99

5. Kyle Fraser-Mines (Carleton) 59.88

6. Erin Rudd (St. Thomas) 1:00.03

7. Emma Lederer (Carleton) 1:00.57

8. Lauren Christiansen (Saint Benedict) 1:00.66

The anticipated duel between Seniors Punyko and Martinek materialized, along with a challenge from Von Wahlde. Punyko (27.24) took the race out, with Martinek in third (27.86). But the defending champ pulled back on the second 50, and nearly pulled even, but it was Punyko just barely getting the win at the wall for her first individual MIAC title in what was likely her last chance.

Men 100 back

1. John Loepfe (St. Olaf) 49.75

2. Abe Eyman Casey (St. Olaf) 51.17

3. John Gahnz (St. Thomas) 51.51

4. Mitchell Dockendorf (St. John’s) 52.08

5. Sam Larson (St. Thomas) 53.62

6. Frankie Zobitz (Gustavus) 53.64

7. CJ Hansen (St. Thomas) 53.71

8. Spencer Atkinson (St. John’s) 54.00

Loepfe had climbed to the top step of the podium in the 100 fly earlier in the night, but that didn’t stop him from dominating the 100 back. He was first to the 25 wall, and by 50 (23.91), the race was over for first as he had over half a second on his teammate Eyman Casey (24.58). Eyman Casey wasn’t able to match his prelims time (50.51), but it didn’t matter as Loepfe won easily here. Gahnz inched up on Eyman Casey in the second 50, but was unable to close the gap.

Men 1 meter diving

1. Logan Bican (Gustavus) 461.95

2. Leif Jorgensen (St. Olaf) 452.15

3. Kieren Cuddy (Macalester) 450.70

4. Jonathan Bovee (Gustavus) 430.50

5. Sam Serleth (St. Thomas) 419.90

6. Andrew Godfrey (St. Thomas) 402.70

7. Carson Scholberg (Gustavus) 401.40

8. Josh Theis (Gustavus) 390.05

Bican led after the each of the first four dives by around a 30 point margin. But he faltered a bit on the fifth dive, and great dives by Jorgensen and Cuddy sprung those two within a few points. But it was Bican who had the best sixth round dive of those three, and he took the title.

Women 200 freestyle relay

1. St. Thomas 1:35.86

2. Gustavus 1:36.08

3. St. Catherine 1:36.45

4. Carleton 1:37.26

5. St. Olaf 1:39.67

6. Saint Benedict 1:40.71

7. Concordia 1:43.74

8. Macalester 1:43.95

After Maggie Webster (23.60) won the “50 rematch” on the leadoff against Macy Klein (23.64) and Caroline Mather (23.69), Gustavus led the first three-quarters of the race. But a 23.55 third split from Alex Howard brought St. Thomas all but even, and Mira Schroeder (23.96) beat out Haley Pesik (24.27) to take the win. St. Kate’s came in the top seed, but they fell behind on the middle legs, and even a 23.37 anchor from Jordyn Wentzel wasn’t enough to catch the leading duo.

Men 200 freestyle relay

1. Gustavus 1:22.73

2. St. Thomas 1:23.12

3. Carleton 1:24.94

4. St. Olaf 1:26.02

5. St. John’s 1:27.50

6. Hamline 1:29.28

7. Macalester 1:31.33

8. St. Mary’s 1:39.36

Matt Allison, the 50 champ yesterday, sent Gustavus out to an early lead (20.55), ahead of St. Thomas’ Tom Negaard (20.91) and Carleton’s Jack Heinzel (21.03). Nolan Larson (20.77), Andrew Peters (20.64), and Tanner Sonnek (20.77) all split 20-point as well to bring the Gusties home. St. Thomas looked poised throughout the race, but never made a dent in that early gap, despite 20-point splits by Garrett Riley (20.61) and Omar Omar (20.58). Interestingly, Sonnek was very close to jumping on his take-off, and a lot of the crowd thought that he did leave early (I didn’t see it). But after the St. Thomas coaches talked to the referees, the referees consulted and determined that the changeover was indeed legal.

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3 years ago

MIACs is one of my favorite meets of the whole year. Having daily recaps on swimswam is beyond my wildest dreams. It may not be the fastest or most prestigious meet, but you can’t beat the team atmosphere and rivalries. I love it. Thanks Andy!