LUST does well at conference championships

Kyle Nodarse

The Lawrence men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs headed down to Grinnell, Iowa for the conference championships this past weekend and had great success across the board.
The women opened the meet with a strong third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Sam Szynskie, Emily Mohr, Jenna Budde and Becca Hamlyn swam the race in 1:44.46, netting an early 42 points for the Lady Vikes. To make things even better, the men followed suit with a third-place finish of their own in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Tom Smith, Nate Kontny, Peter Brengel and Collin McCanna swam the race in 1:29.26.
Next was the 500-yard freestyle and that was when the meet got interesting. Hayley Vatch broke not only the pool record but the conference championships’ record as well, swimming the race in 5:08.28. Hamlyn also took fourth, giving the Vikes 46 points for the race. Kyle Griffin swam to a fourth-place finish as well in the men’s 500-yard freestyle, swimming in 4:57.21.
Smith swam the 200-yard IM in 2:00.62 to pick up another 22 points for Lawrence, while Nick Johnson came in sixth and picked up another 18 points. David Dulak came in 10th and gathered 11 points. In the women’s 50-yard freestyle, Szynskie swam to a sixth-place finish in a time of 26.49, picking up another 18 points. Mohr picked up another 7 points with a time of 26.38.
The relay teams came up big again in the 400-yard medley relay, grabbing a fourth-place finish and 40 points in a time of 4:14.35. In the 1-meter diving, Jessy Adams picked up a sixth-place finish and 18 points after earning close to 300 points in the finals.
The second day of competition continued to go well for the Lady Vikes, as they opened the day with a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Kelsey Gray, Szynskie, Hamlyn and Mohr swam a time of 1:57.64. Peter Brengel, Matt Yauch, Smith and Johnson again followed suit, picking up second place and 44 points with a time of 1:39.60 in the men’s event.
Griffin picked up another 20 points for the men’s team, as he swam a 4:34.16 in the 400-yard IM. Yauch won the second final in a time of 4:42.40, picking up another 16 points. In the 100-yard butterfly, Hamlyn and Szynskie earned a combined 40 points with times of 1:01.21 and 1:04.86.
Vatch broke her second pool record of the weekend in the 200-yard freestyle, in a time of 1:57.03. Combined with Sara Bostrom, the Lady Vikes earned another 65 points in the event, as Budde and Chrissie Nelson swam well enough to earn 10th and 11th place. Smith swam the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:00.81, which was good enough for a second-place finish and 22 points, while Jared Blommel picked up 20 points and fourth place with a time of 1:02.19.
Peter Brengel broke the meet record in the 100-yard backstroke, missing out on the pool record by 0.01 seconds. He swam a 52.13 and picked up 26 points. The Lady Vikes came back out and picked up a fourth-place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay in a time of 8:22.88. The men then swam a great race in the 800-yard freestyle, swimming the race in 7:35.98 and earning 44 points for the Vikings.
Vatch opened day three with a meet and pool record in the 1,650-yard freestyle, swimming that in 17:45.10. To back it up, Griffin picked up a fourth-place finish in the men’s event with a time of 17:12.37. To continue the last-day success, Gray picked up a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:21.18.
On the men’s side, Peter Brengel won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:01.24. Dulak took seventh in a time of 2:09.39. An event later, he picked up another victory in the 100-yard freestyle, swimming in 48.62. Smith took sixth place with a time of 50.14.
In the 200-yard breaststroke, Blommel, Johnson and Yauch respectively picked up fourth-, fifith- and sixth-place finishes, earning a combined 57 points. Hamlyn took third place in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:21.04. The relays picked up again as the Lady Vikes took home fourth place in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:45.22. To follow suit, the men picked up second place in the 400-yard freestyle relay in a time of 3:17.78.
Overall, through 40 events, with 10 schools competing, the men’s and women’s teams had a great weekend at the conference championships. The women took second place for the tournament with 583 points. The men took home third place with a total of 613 points. Vatch and Peter Brengel picked up swimmer of the year honors.