Life after Hurley

The LU Swimming and Diving Team is off to another great season under the tutelage of Kurt Kirner.
Tariq Engineer

The LU Swimming and Diving Team is off to another great season under the tutelage of Kurt Kirner.

Last weekend the Viking men and women swept their opponents at the Lawrence University Triple Dual held on January 18, 2003 right here at Lawrence. On the women’s side, Lawrence defeated Carroll College 163-48, defeated St. Norbert College 124-89, and defeated the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 128-98. On the men’s side, Lawrence defeated Carroll 192-25 and downed UW-Whitewater 151-80.Winners for the Lawrence women were Mara Sarabia in the 1,000 freestyle, Stephanie Novakov in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle, Jodie Primus in the 400 IM, Michelle Uthmeier in the 100 backstroke, and the 200 freestyle relay.

Winners for the Lawrence men were Adam Kolb in the 1,000 freestyle and the 100 freestyle, Chris Perry in the 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke, Nick Heuer in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, David Danenhower in the 400 IM, Tom Towle in the 1-meter diving and 3-meter diving, Tom Carroll in the 500 freestyle, and the 200 freestyle relay (Danenhower, Kolb, Steve Wolfe, Heuer).

Before the meet I talked to Coach Kirner about the team’s prospects for the season. While admitting the loss of Daniel Hurley (class of 2002) left a big void on the team, as Hurley is the kind of swimmer that comes along once in a coach’s career (Hurley finished his career with 12 individual titles and never lost an individual event in which he competed at the conference meet), Coach K feels good about the influx of new talent.

During the course of our conversation, Coach identified the swimmers who he expects to have a good chance of winning conference titles. As far as the men are concerned, Coach K expects senior Tom Carroll, and sophomores Nick Heuer and Tom Towle to all come out on top in their respective disciplines. “Tom Carroll is in a class by himself right now. No one can touch him in the 1,650 free”, said Coach Kirner. Carroll currently has the best time in the conference in the 1,650 free at 17:20.14, over 30 seconds ahead of the second best time.

Nick Heuer is the defending conference champion in the 100 yard and 200 yard breastroke events. He currently has the best time in the 100 at 1:01.22 and the third best time in the 200 at 2:20.03.

Tom Towle finished second in both the 1-m and 3-m diving events last year. This year Tom has gotten off to another strong start. He broke the Gene Davis Invitational 3-meter meet record at the with a total of 416.9 points in early December. Tom also has the best scores in the conference at both the 1-m and 3-m board events, in both the six dive and 11 dive competitions.

Among the women, juniors Jodie Primus and Tiffany Pannier were mentioned as double threats in the 200 and 400 Individual Medleys. According to Coach K, “The two are among the best IM’ers in the conference.”

In the distance events, sophomore Mara Sarabia has been Lawrence’s best performer. Coach K identified Mara as one of the best distance swimmers in the conference. Coach added that senior Alison Van Dyken was Lawrence’s best performer in the sprint events and should be a conference title contender.

Last but not least, Coach K identified freshman Stephanie Novakov as the surprise of the season. “Stephanie has proved to be a very good swimmer, especially in the middle distance events”, said Coach K.

All in all Coach Kirner is optimistic about the team’s chances at conference this year. A good test for the team to see where its at will be the Wisconsin Private College Championships to be held at Lawrence on the 1st of February, two weeks before conference. I urge as many Lawrence students who can attend the meet, to attend the meet. Nothing helps a team like home support.