The Lawrence Swim team made a splash this weekend at LU’s own Boldt Natatorium in what is their only home meet of the season. The meet, featuring Division III school UW- Whitewater and the number two team in the conference Lake Forest, proved to be extremely competitive, with the women who finish second behind Whitewater and the men finishingthird. The meet was highlighted by senior Hayley Cardinal who earned her fourth Midwest Conference Swimmer of the Week award of the season.
The Vikings saw their competitors not as intimidating opponents, but instead as challengers who could push them to even better results. “I personally always try to get an in-season best time every time I race,” said Cardinal. “I knew I would be facing some really fast racers, so I wanted to take advantage of having the competition.” Cardinal indeed took advantage of the strong competition by earning victories in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:07 and the 200-yard breaststroke at 2:28. Cardinal also took second in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:20 and additionally took second in the 200-yard medley with teammates senior Emily Flack, junior Paige Witter, and freshman Lizzy Garcia. Another highlight from the women was Witter’s second place finish in both the 100 and 200-yard butterfly in respective times of 1:02 and 2:18 putting her in second in the conference for the 200-butterfly. Freshmen Garcia and Sarah Schweickart also made valuable contributions with third place finishes in their races proving that the future is bright for the Lady Vikes. “Our goal is usually to shoot for third, but we just beat the team (Lake Forest) that always places second,” reflects Cardinal. “I’m looking forward to see what these strong women will accomplish at the end of the season.”
Leading the shorthanded men’s team was junior Christian Bell whose 23.1 in the 50-yard freestyle was good for fourth place. “Our men’s team is incredibly flexible and strives to earn as many points as they can by working hard to place well, said Cardinal. They’ve overcome a lot and I’m beyond proud of them and their dedication.”
The Viking swim team looks forward to one more regular season meet at the Carthage Invite before the Midwest Conference championship. “Carthage has a very fast pool with a lot of teams that will help push us to reach seed times that will place us well going into conference prelims,” said Cardinal. As with most Lawrence teams, conference is the summit of all of the season’s hard work. The team is in the midst of their hardest training of the year. Known by swimmers as the “power phase,” the Vikings are squeezing every last bit of conditioning and strength building before tapering for conference. Look for the Vikings to make a statement at Carthage this week, and if you see any swimmers struggling to walk up the stairs from Andrew Commons, feel free to give them a hand.