The 2019 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships continued with MIAC records by St. Kate’s swimmers Maggie Menso, and Jordyn Wentzel, while on the men’s side, Gustavus had a dominant day as they threaten to knock off defending champs St. Thomas.
On the women’s side, St. Thomas leads by 18 points over St. Kate’s, with Gustavus a further 30 points to the arrears. On the men’s side, Gustavus has opened up a large 80-point margin over St. Thomas, as they threaten to put the meet out of reach.
Women 500 freestyle
1. Maggie Menso (St. Catherine) 4:51.31 (MIAC record and top time in DIII)
2. Marissa Wolff (St. Olaf) 5:00.06
3. Alex Howard (St. Thomas) 5:04.35
4. Gretchen Behrens (St. Thomas) 5:05.55
5. Kasey Ericson (St. Thomas) 5:05.59
6. Katelyn Strauss (St. Thomas) 5:06.76
7. Caitlin Croasdell (St. Olaf) 5:07.45
8. Sydney Hallmark (Gustavus) 5:08.46
Menso had a monster swim to win her first MIAC title. In the process, she took a full 5 seconds off her MIAC record, set at midseason, and posted the top time so far this year in Division III. All of Menso’s splits were under 30 seconds, and she brought it home strong (27.70). Menso is clearly a pure distance swimmer who was not on the St. Kate’s 400 medley relay, and she is supposedly better at the 1650 then the 500. It will be exciting to see what sort of time Menso can drop there on Day 4.
Marissa Wolff bravely tried to hold Menso’s draft, and was still within two seconds and halfway. Wolff faded to narrowly miss the 5-minute barrier, but was rewarded with a PR and second place. Third place went to Alex Howard, who after coming close to missing the final dropped four seconds in her second swim to overtake everyone but Menso and Wolff.
Men 500 freestyle
1. Sjon Greseth (St. Olaf) 4:37.71
2. Adam Boerner (St. Thomas) 4:37.77
3. Zach Dawson (Gustavus) 4:38.37
4. Dutch Franko-Dynes (Gustavus) 4:42.38
5. Nate Stone (St. Thomas) 4:42.64
6. Sam Johnson (St. Thomas) 4:43.07
7. Nate Ruegemer (St. Thomas) 4:44.96
8. Paul Reischmann (Macalester) 4:48.85
After losing the top three finishers from 2018, the top end of the men’s 500 free was a few seconds behind where it normally is. But the result of that was the most exciting finish we’ve seen in years, as Sjon Greseth rocketed home the last 25 to just barely catch Adam Boerner. Boerner led most of the race, and made what seemed like a decisive move when he dropped down to 27.58 on his antepenultimate 50. But Greseth held the gap the 50 after and then used a 26.60 last 50 to make up almost two seconds and win the touch.
Zach Dawson clearly had the same ideas as Greseth, as he started from only slightly farther back at the 450, and his 26.62 last 50 nearly brought him into the photo finish as well. Overall, though, St. Thomas had four of the top 8 as they fought to bank points before Gustavus’ strong 200 IM and 50 free.
Women 200 IM
1. Jordyn Wentzel (St Catherine) 2:01.75 (MIAC record)
2. Hannah Svendsen (St. Catherine) 2:07.92
3. Haley Pesik (Gustavus) 2:07.99
4. Franceska Hernandez-Nietling (St. Catherine) 2:08.16
5. Anna Astup (St. Thomas) 2:08.36
6. Helen Jensen (St. Olaf) 2:08.70
7. Ana Berklid (St. Benedict) 2:10.21
8. Hailey Auran (Gustavus) 2:12.75
Wentzel did not let her teammate Menso hog all the spotlight, as she as well broke her own MIAC record to win the event, and put up a time near the top of Division III. Wentzel led (57.35) from Astrup at the 100, and then broke it open on the breaststroke leg (35.11), before a 29.29 freestyle sealed the deal.
It was a fight for second as Svendsen came from 5th at the 150 to outtouch Pesik, Hernandez-Nietling, Astrup, and Jensen for a St. Kate’s 1-2.
Men 200 IM
1. Nolan Larson (Gustavus) 1:51.53
2. Josh Muntifering (Gustavus) 1:53.02
3. Tanner Sonnek (Gustavus) 1:53.07
4. Mitchell Dockendorf (St. John’s) 1:54.60
5. Riley Fairbanks (Gustavus) 1:54.80
6. Max Larson (St. Thomas) 1:55.73
7. Ryan Sklar (Gustavus) 1:56.08
8. John Gahnz (St. Thomas) 1:56.45
Nolan Larson repeated as 200 IM champion, as Gustavus dominated this event. Larson never trailed, and his 26.58 freestyle split was the fastest in the field by almost a second. Behind Larson, Muntifering and Sonnek rounded out a Gustavus 1-2-3, and Gustavus had 5 in the top 7.
Women 50 free
1. Maggie Webster (Gustavus) 23.37
2. Caroline Mather (Carleton) 23.40
3. Macy Klein (St. Catherine) 23.48
4. Kate Smarjesse (St. Thomas) 24.15
5. Taylor Martinek (Hamline) 24.49
6. Alyssa Lokensgard (Gustavus) 24.53
7. Sydney Grohman (St. Catherine) 24.69
8. Ella Henderson (St. Catherine) 24.71
It was a tight battle between the three favorites, but in the end Webster repeated as champ. Mather seemed to have the lead off the turn, but Webster fought back in the last 10 meters to win the battle of the Seniors. Klein, only a freshman, may be the future of this event as the St. Kate’s revolution continues.
Men 50 free
1. Matt Allison (Gustavus) 20.53
2. Jack Heinzel (Carleton) 20.78
3. Tom Negaard (St. Thomas) 21.11
4. Will Clark (Gustavus) 21.16
5. Andrew Peters (Gustavus) 21.30
6. Sam Deyak (Gustavus) 21.31
7. Garrett Riley (St. Thomas) 21.44
8. Nick Reeves (Carleton) 21.54
Allison led another ace event for the Gusties, as they had 4 in the top 6. Allison, who won this event two years ago, announced his return emphatically, with equal 20.53 prelims and finals swims. Heinzel has been a Sophomore revelation for Carleton this year, as he dropped another tenth off his prelim time. Heinzel was reportedly a 22 in the 50 last year, and a 23 or even 24 two years ago in high school. What this means is that Heinzel may never in his life swum a 21. This is the sort of story that could only happen on the DIII (or DII) level, because on a DI school a swimmer like Heinzel would never get a shot.
Behind those two, Tom Neegard outtouched Will Clark for third.
Women 3 meter diving
1. Peyton Eckman (St. Thomas) 415.70
2. Mallory Jarvi (Saint Benedict) 412.35
3. Kapani Kirkland (Carleton) 397.05
4. Gabby Page (St. Catherine) 395.80
5. Janelle Mueller (St. Thomas) 392.10
6. Kellie Pruitt (St. Thomas) 388.50
7. Emily An (Gustavus) 349.05
8. Cassie Lehman (Augsburg) 325.65
Eckman held off Jarvi’s charge to win her first MIAC title in her first event. After Eckmann led the prelims by 22 points, Jarvi made it much closer the second time around. But Eckman held strong to win by 3 points. Kirkland was the best of the rest in a close battle for third.
Women 400 medley relay
1. St. Catherine 3:49.12
2. St. Olaf 3:50.54
3. St. Thomas 3:51.45
4. Carleton 3:53.85
5. Gustavus 3:56.31
6. Saint Benedict 4:03.90
7. Hamline 4:05.13
8. Concordia 4:09.49
Kelly Punyko (56.77) brough St. Olaf to an early lead, which Sophia Nevin extended with a 1:03.51 breaststroke split. St. Kate’s at this point was back in third, but a 55.31 butterfly from Jordyn Wentzel brought them all the way into the lead before Mary Klein pounded home in 50.42. St. Olaf held on for second, ahead of St. Thomas in third, and Carleton and Gustavus in fourth and fifth.
Men 400 medley relay
1. Gustavus 3:21.37
2. St. Thomas 3:22.14
3. St. Olaf 3:25.34
4. Carleton 3:29.84
5. St. John’s 3:30.84
6. Hamline 3:37.71
7. Macalester 3:42.46
Like in the women’s event, St. Olaf took the lead on the backstroke in the men’s event, this time with John Loepfe (49.96). St. Thomas and Gustavus were on the move, however, and Noah Faldet (55.18) took the Tommies into the lead after the breaststroke, while Tanner Sonnek (54.33) took Gustavus into second. But Gustavus wasn’t done. After Nolan Larson’s butterfly leg (49.89) brought them nearly even with St. Thomas, they won going away after a sparkling 44.26 anchor by Matt Allison.
The 2019 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships resumes tomorrow with Day 3. Prelims start at 10:30, and finals start at 6:30. Go to https://www.miacathletics.com/ playoffs/2018-19/sd. To watch, click on Live Video, and you can also find Live Results, and results and video from previous sessions.