This past weekend, Lawrence University men’s and women’s swimming and diving team hosted their fifth and final home meet of the season: the Lawrence Double Dual. The meet was made up of two other teams, Lake Forest College and University of Wisconsin– Whitewater, making up a triangular competition between the three. For the men’s side of the meet, Lawrence fell to both UW-Whitewater and Lake Forest, 134-59 and 154-64 respectively. The competition between the men’s team of UW-Whitewater and Lake Forest was much closer in point distinction, with Lake Forest falling to Whitewater 123-98.
For the women’s side of the meet, the Vikings fell to UW-Whitewater 125-111 and came out on top of Lake Forest 141-94. Lake Forest also fell to UW-Whitewater 140-93. Regardless of the outcome of the team, the Vikings still had several spectacular performances individually and with relay teams.
The Lawrence Double Dual had a phenomenal atmosphere that really encouraged all the athletes from each team to thrive in the competition. Many athletes from all three schools happened to be in the area and came to support their swimmers. This includes the vast support that the Vikings received from students and faculty alike during this past meet and previous meets. The Boldt Natatorium was filled with a large crowd, which helps confidence grow within athletes. Especially for the Vikings, having friends, professors and family there to support allows them to get hyped up and give them something to swim for, which is their home crowd. This idea was proven to be true during several events and for many of the Vikings on both the men’s and women’s side of the meet.
Many seasonal bests were raced this past weekend and the Vikings even came out with a few firsts in individual events, as well as relays and medleys. Freshman Mizuki Ohama, performed extremely well and swam the Midwest Conference Best Time of 59.84 in the 100-yard butterfly, winning the race and posting a new personal best. Ohama also placed second in the 200-yard individual medley.
Junior Elise Riggle had a season best in her 1000-yard freestyle race, placing second in the event at 11:37.84. Senior Lizzy Garcia placed second in the 100-yard freestyle event with a time of 57.08, just .06 off from the first-place competitor from UW-Whitewater. Freshman Mae Grahs took first in the 500-yard freestyle event with a time of 5:39.54, finishing two seconds ahead of the next competitor. Senior Emmi Zheng and freshman Caitlyn Lansing took first and second, respectively, in the 100-yard breaststroke event. The women were able to take first in the 200-yard medley relay with a team comprised of sophomore Erin Lengel, Zheng, Ohama and Garcia. On the diving side of the meet, freshman Maddy Smith, placed first in the one-meter dive with a score of 199.35 points. Smith also placed second in the three-meter dive with a score of 199.00, two points behind first place and four points ahead of third.
On the men’s side of the meet, sophomore Anton Hutchinson placed first in the 1000-yard freestyle event with a time of 10:12.79. Hutchinson also posted a season best in the 500-yard freestyle event by six seconds with a time of 4:54.87. Junior Tom Goldberg placed second in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.42. Goldberg also placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke event. The men were able to grab a third place in the 200-yard medley relay with senior Max Stahl, Goldberg, junior Liam Wulfman and Hutchinson.
“Our main focus is on refining race strategy, being able to compete at a high level while broken down physically and finding a way to win against some great competition,” said Head Coach Andrew Fleek.
Going into this double dual and looking ahead at the Wisconsin Private College Championships, this was their large focus and will keep this in mind when looking ahead to the Midwest Conference Championship. The next meet will be the Wisconsin Private College Championships at Carthage College this upcoming weekend.
After this meet, the team will take a three week break from competition before heading to the Midwest Conference (MWC) Championships. During this time they will focus on their health and improving the strengths and times so that they are able to compete during the Championships against some of the best athletes in the conference.