2021 SUMMIT LEAGUE SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- April 15 – April 17, 2021
- Hulbert Aquatic Center
- West Fargo, North Dakota
- Short Course Yard (SCY)
The 2021 Summit League Championships wrapped up over the weekend as the University of South Dakota men managed to surge to victory by scoring 912.50 points total which was nearly 100 more than runners-up South Dakota State and third-place finishers the University of Denver. With the win, South Dakota put an end to Denver’s 7-year win streak at the meet.
On the women’s side, the Denver women managed to keep their win streak alive and repeated as champions for the 7th-straight year. Denver established an early lead in the meet and maintaine it throughout, ending with 1,052.50 total points which was well ahead of South Dakota State’s 703.50 and the University of South Dakota’s 663.
Final Team Standings
- South Dakota – 915.5
- South Dakota State – 827.5
- Denver – 575.50
- Eastern Illinois – 447
- Valparaiso – 405.50
- Denver – 1,052.50
- South Dakota State – 703.50
- South Dakota – 663
- Omaha – 548
- Eastern Illinois – 324
On the men’s side of the meet, the University of South Dakota closed out the 2021 Summit League Championships with another successful day of racing which led to their defeat of defending champions and winners of the last 7 championships titles, the University of Denver.
Among those contributing to the win for South Dakota was Mack Sathre as he raced to victory in the men’s 100 IM with a 51.21, narrowly defeating South Dakota State’s Gavin Wheeler and teammate Parker Sonnabend who tied for silver with a 51.56. Charlie Bean followed Sathre’s lead in the 100 freestyle a few events later by posting a 44.92 for the win as the only sub-45 swimmer in the field. Denver collected the silver medal in the event as Darragh Mahns was a 45.16, while Valparaiso’s Dominic May notched a 45.23 for bronze.
Notably, 2 of last year’s medalists in the men’s 100 freestyle in the form of Cameron Auchinachie and Sidney Farber won swam the event last year as juniors but were not back at this year’s championships.
In the 200 breast, South Dakota’s Jacob Leichner just out-touched Denver’s Alex Lynch with a 2:01.39 to Lynch’s 2:01.78. The win for Leichner was a contract from last year’s A final which featured no swimmers from the University of South Dakota. In 2020, Denver went swept the podium in the event in the form of then-juniors Adriel Sanes (1:55.70) and Cy Jager (2:00.49), and sophomore Harrison Fudge (2:01.54). This year, Lerichner and Lynch were joined on the podium by Denver’s Alexander Blom with a 2:02.70.
In the two individual swimming events where the University of South Dakota didn’t take gold, Eastern Illinois’ Miguel Turcois stepped in as 200 backstroke champion with a 1:49.69 while South Dakota State’s Max White won the 200 fly in a 1:51.96. South Dakota State picked up their final win in the men’s 3-meter diving event as Zach Boyd scored 329.50 to Seth O’Dea‘s 311.50 for the University of South Dakota and Erik Thompson‘s 299.85 for South Dakota State.
In the 400 freestyle relay, the University of South Dakota nearly cracked the 4-minute mark as Zach Kopp, Cooper Fuchs, Mack Sathre, and Charlie Bean came together to post a 3:00.10. That was enough to deliver one last win at the meet, getting in ahead of Denver’s 3:04.00 and Eastern Illinois’ 3:05.11.
Denver’s Brandi Vu collected her first individual win of the meet on day 3 of the championships, collecting gold in the 100 IM. She was a 56.60 in the event, getting in a full 2 seconds ahead of South Dakota’s Cassie Ketterling and Isabel Fairbanks who posted times of 58.66 and 58.71 for silver and bronze. Vu’s win was an improvement upon her previous first-place finishes in the 200 IM and 100 breast in which she took silver.
Following Vu’s win, teammate Sofia Nosach took the 200 backstroke in a 2:01.16 which was also her first win of the meet after collecting silver in both the 500 free and 100 back. Nosack’s win was a bit slower than what she swam at the meet last year (2:00.48) but a step up her 2020 second-place finish to Natalie Arky. Denver’s Livi Schmid also returned to the podium this year, moving from bronze last year to silver this year with her a 2:02.74 while Lucie Anderson was a 2:02.85 for third.
Interestingly, Aysia Leckie made it three straight events where a Denver swimmer took gold after having won 2 silvers earlier on in the meet. Leckie won the 100 freestyle with a 50.90 to add to silver medals in the 50 and 200 free. South Dakota State’s Elisabeth Timmer managed to get into the wall with a 51.27 for the silver medal while Eri Remington was bronze for Denver in a 51.35.
Charlotte Simon continued Denver’s day 3 winning streak in the 200 breast as she dropped 2.51 seconds from her morning swim to win the event in a 2:13.60. That was a second better than teammate Emily Vandenurg who touched with a 2:14.67 for silver. Sophie Bricker made it a sweep for Denver by hitting a bronze medal-garnering 2:17.55.
In the fifth and final individual swimming event, Uma Knaven gave Denver the 5th win in the 200 fly by hitting a 2:02.98 to out-swim Maddie Lavin‘s 2:04.98 silver medal swim for South Dakota and teammate Daniela Alfaro Saldana‘s 2:05.51 for bronze. In the final event of the women’s meet, Eri Remington, Aysia Leckie, Livi Schmid, and Ines Marin threw together a 3:24.51 400 freestyle relay, nabbing one final victory for Denver and finalizing the results 2021 Summit League team title.