Vikings swim closer to conference goals

The Lawrence University men’s and women’s swim teams are in the heart of their training and competition season right now. This past Saturday, Jan. 12, they hosted the Scarlet Hawks of Illinois Tech for a dual meet at the Boldt Natatorium.

It was a really strong showing on the women’s side as there were fast swims across the board. The meet got off to a good start as the 400-yard medley relay team consisting of sophomore Erin Lengel, senior Emmi Zheng, first-year Mizuki Ohama and junior Bridget Duero, combined to win the event in a time of 4:11.61. They continued rolling in the 1000-yard freestyle as first-year Mae Grahs won the event while junior Elise Riggle took second and sophomore Erin Szablewski took fourth. Lengel picked up another Lawrence victory in the 200-yard freestyle and fellow sophomore Mandy Marsh took third in the event.

The Lady Vikes just kept rolling through the meet as Duero won the 50-yard freestyle and first-years Caitlyn Lansing and Leena Meyers were third and fourth, respectively. In the 100-yard butterfly, Ohama won the event while senior Sarah Schweickart took third and junior Alena Hanson was fourth.

Lawrence swept the top three places in the 100-yard freestyle as Lengel, Duero and Marsh took first, second and third, respectively. Grahs picked up her second victory of the meet in the 500-yard freestyle while Szablewski and junior Zoe Mann were fourth and fifth.

There was also a strong showing in the 100-yard breaststroke as Zheng won the event, Lansing was third and sophomore Annika Lund was third. Finally, Lawrence ended the night with another great performance in the 400-yard freestyle relay as the team of Grahs, first-year Laurel Soderquist, Marsh and Schweickart won the event in decisive fashion in a time of 3:58.15.

On the diving side of things, first-year Maddy Smith, Lawrence’s first diver in a number of years, won the 1-meter diving competition with a score of 239.90. She also took first in the 3-meter diving with a score of 244.60. Adding all the victories together, the Lawrence women won the dual meet 153-66.

“The season is going really well,” said Duero. “The women’s team is undefeated in dual meets and both teams have had some really good swims at the meet. We’re at the hardest point in our training right now and are getting hyped up for conference in a month. The women are hoping for second-place.”

There were also some strong swims for the men’s team. Sophomore Anton Hutchinson got things rolling for the Vikes as he won the 1000-yard freestyle by 23 seconds. Hutchinson also picked up a victory in the 500-yard freestyle while sophomore Charlie Phillips was third and senior Jordan Spalding was fourth.

Lawrence also picked up a bunch of second-place finishes in the meet starting with the first event, the 400-yard medley relay. The team of senior Max Stahl, junior Tom Goldberg, Phillips and junior Liam Wulfman took second in a time of 3:49.21. In the 100-yard butterfly Phillips was second, first-year Nuwa Serunjogi was third and first-year John Berg was fourth. Goldberg was also second in the 100-yard freestyle. In the 100-yard backstroke, Wulfman took second and first-year Ben Schrag was fourth. Goldberg added another second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. Schrag was also fourth in the same event. Lawrence added once last second-place in the 400-yard freestyle relay with the team of Spalding, Stahl, Serunjogi and Hutchinson in 3:36.53.

Lawrence lost the dual to Illinois Tech 128-64.

Even with all the training, the swim team has ways of making it fun. Over the December break, the team took a training trip down to Florida.

“Our training trip was super fun,” said Hanson. “The weather was a little chillier than I would have liked, but it was still better than Wisconsin.” The team puts in a lot of work as Hanson said, “We went to Nokomis, FL and swam at the Venice YMCA twice a day.”

Even with all the training, the team still found time for other activities as Hanson described, “On our day off we had a choice to go to the beach or to Universal Studios.” Hanson chose to go to the beach and enjoyed her time there. She said, “We got to look for sand dollars on the beach and play beach volleyball, which was hilarious because swimmers lack hand-eye coordination.”

Within all the fun, the team is having a great season. They hope to continue their momentum all the way to conference in the middle of February. Look for more strong performance from the team this upcoming Saturday, Jan. 19 as they host the Lawrence Triangular at 1 p.m.