Swimmers gear up for last two big meets -dlh

Andy York

The Lawrence University swimming and diving teams are gearing up for their last two big meets of the year. The Wisconsin Private College Championships, which will take place here tomorrow afternoon at noon, and the Midwest Conference meet which takes place at Grinnell during reading period.
The season has been a good one according to LU coach Kurt Kirner. The women’s team has been boosted by a number of surprises. “We have been really lucky to find a number of girls who weren’t recruited who came out and have done amazingly for us. Alice Shepro and Danielle Jordan especially.” They, along with a good freshman class of recruited swimmers, have put the Vikings near where they can compete for a top finish in the MWC.
The women won a meet against rival St. Norbert this past weekend 170-108. “Ever since we lost to them for third in the conference meet last year, our goal has been to get them back, and we have beaten them every time we have faced this season.”
The men have a core nucleus back, guys who are juniors and seniors and have been in leadership positions for their entire LU career. “You have the nucleus guys, and you throw in the points we are getting from our freshmen and sophomore swimmers and we have a very good chance and second place behind Grinnell in the MWC. The reason they win the conference every year is because they are the only team that can field a full 18 man team, we have 13.”
The men competed at the St. Kate’s invitational this past weekend in St. Paul. The men finished second, only behind St. Thomas, a catholic school out of St. Paul. Again it was a numbers game. “We took first and second in the last event, the 1650 freestyle, but they took fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. The points add up, and they beat us.” Leading the Vikings was Chris Sarisan, who was named MWC swimmer of the week for his efforts won the 200 IM, the 400 IM, and the 1650 freestyle Saturday.
Sarisan is one of many Viking swimmers who have a chance at both Wisconsin Private gold, and MWC gold. Other Viking men to watch are Adam Kolb in the 500 and 200 freestyle, Chris Perry in the 100 fly, Nick Heuer in the 50 free and the 100 and 200 backstrokes, and Steve Vander Naalt in the 200 breaststroke. All the men have currently one of the top three times in the MWC.
The women have four swimmers who are in the top three in the MWC in their events, and several others who are ready to break through. Sam Heinritz in diving, Mara Sarabia in the 1650 free, Alice Shepro in the 200 and 500 free and Danielle Jordan in the 50 free all have one of the top times or scores in the conference. Looking to break out is Meggin Brittain in the backstroke events. Brittain, a sophomore won two MWC titles last season, but has been bothered by sickness all season so far. Two other swimmers to watch are Meredith Claycomb and Jenni Hair in the IM events. Also, Marisssa Vallette, in the diving competition will be competing with her teammate Heinritz for the crown.
The Wisconsin Private College Meet starts at noon in the Boldt Natatorium in the Rec Center.