Men's Swim-Dive finishes 3-peat

Men's Swim-Dive finishes 3-peat

MIAC Championships website

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It was a banner weekend for Tommie Swim-Dive at the three-day MIAC Championships in Dinkytown.

And both the men's and women's squads will be bringing back conference championship banners as souvenirs.

Five more individual and relay victories were captured Saturday night as the Tommie men and women each surpassed 900 team points.

The UST men pulled off a team title three-peat and made it five MIAC crowns in eight seasons. St. Thomas scored 910 and topped closest pursuer Gustavus' 653 points. UST's Scott Blanchard was named MIAC Coach of the Year on the men's side.

The Tommie women repeated as conference champions as they scored 908 points and topped runner-up Gustavus' 684.5 total

St. Thomas won 21 swim races and two men's diving events on the weekend, including all 10 relays. In the process, Tommie athletes broke six school records.

Senior Emma Paulson led the way with one individual and one relay victory, and she was a repeat honoree as MIAC Swimmer of the Year. Paulson won all seven races she competed in this weekend and pushed her three-year total of MIAC meet victories to 18.

Soph Alex Howard had a hand in six wins over the three-day competition.

Paulson won Saturday's 200 back in a meet-record time of 1:50.80, the fastest time in Division III so far in 2017. She closed the weekend as she joined Tiana Molitor, Kate Smarjesse and Howard on the winning 400 free relay in 3:27.48, which ranks 11th in Division III.

Katelyn Strauss won Saturday's 200 Fly in a meet and UST record 2:03.61, the eighth best time in Division III this season.

Junior Andrew Grabowski capped a diving sweep as he won the three-meter board with a 522.10 score. He's has won five of six career MIAC diving titles thus far and was a repeat men's winner as Diver of the Year

The UST men capped off the meet by winning the 400 free relay in 3:03.92 with Nick Cox, Tom Negaard, Bailey Biwer and Mikey Solfelt. That's the 13th best time in the naion.

Biwer was in on six weekend victories, while Negaard and Solfelt contributed to four each. Negaard was second in Saturday's 200 back (1:52.80).

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Friday night story

St. Thomas Swim-Dive took control of the team races Friday night in day two of the three-day MIAC Championships.

Tommie men and women combined for nine wins in 15 Friday night championship finals events, led by sweeps of the 200 medley and 800 free relays.

The Tommie women have 580 points and opened up a 120-point lead on second-place Gustavus. The Tommie men have all but wrapped up their third consecutive championship with 611 points and a 213-point cushion on Gustavus and 223-point margin over St. Olaf.

The UST men won their first four races. They broke a school record in the 200 medley relay in 1:31.01 with Tom Negaard, Eric Schuld, Bailey Biwer and Mikey Solfelt. That's also the 11th fastest time in Division III.

UST later won the 800 free relay in 6:47.08 with Biwer, Brady Anderson, Luke Schneeman and Warren Melton. That time ranks 13th in Division III.

Melton (1:40.21) led a 1-3-4 Tommie finish in the 200 free. Luke Schneeman (1:42.85) and Brady Anderson (1:44.25) joined him in the top four.

Biwer (49.11) won the 100 fly and led a 1-2-3-4-6 Tommie finish. He was followed by teammates Nick Cox (49.49), Omar Omar (51.16), Solfelt (51.39) and James Bussey (51.77).

Max Larson (4:06.24) and Jason Tri (4:07.54) placed 1-2 in the 400 IM.

Glass (57.10) and Alex Robb (58.35) placed 3-6 in the 100 breaststroke.

Negaard (50.81) and Joe Herrli (52.83) placed 2-6 in the 100 back.

The UST women won the 200 medley relay in 1:43.71 with Tiana Molitor, Melissa Rose, Haley Cassens and Emma Paulson. That time ranks eighth best nationally.

The Toms later claimed the 800 free relay with Katelyn Strauss, Alex Howard, Kate Smarjesse and Molly Vancil in 7:40.08, the 18th best time thus far in Division III.

Paulson led a 1-2-4 UST finish in the 100 back. Her winning time of 55.39 is the third best tome in Division III. Teammates Kirsten Nelson (57.31) and Molitor (57.69) placed second and fourth.

Howard won the 200 free (1:52.81).

UST had a 2-3-4-7- finish in the 100 breaststroke led by Rose, Christensen, Falconer and Voss.

Strauss took second in the 100 fly (56.69), and teammates Cassens (58.11) and Kate Smarjesse (58.60) placed 4-5.

Nicole Herrli took third in the 400 IM (4:34.02).

UST took a fourth in three-meter diving with Kellie Pruitt, who scored 359.95.

The action continues with Saturday's 10:30 a.m. qualifying round and later the 6:30 p.m. finals.

 

Thursday night story

St. Thomas Swimming and Diving exploded out of the gates Thursday night on the first night of the MIAC Championships, winning nine of 11 events to take the team leads in the men's and women's chases.

In the process, Tommie athletes broke four school records and posted six top-12 Division III times during the evening session.

With the first of three competition days in the books, the Tommie women have 227 points and hold a 21.5-point lead over second place Gusatvus. Those teams finished 1-2 last year.

The UST men have 275 points and hold a 63-point lead over Gustavus. The Tommie men are seeking their third consecutive MIAC team crown.

Junior Bailer Biwer re-broke a school record he set Thursday morning in the 500 free prelims. He won the finals race in 4:28.61, the eighth-ranked D-III time on the season. Warren Melton took second (4:36.93) and Jason Tri took sixth (4:43.72).

Senior Emma Paulson won the 50 free in 23.02, the second best time in the nation.

Paulson joined Tiana Molitor, Katelyn Strauss and Alex Howard to win the 200 free relay in 1:33.49. That time broke meet and MIAC all-time records, and also ranks second nationally. Paulson had a 22.42 split on the second leg.

The women's 400 medley relay broke a school record and recorded D-III's eighth-best time of the season as it won in 3:48.09 with Paulson, Melissa Rose, Strauss and Howard.

The men's 400 medley relay also recorded the No. 8 time in the nation as it won in 3:20.93 with Tom Negaard, Colin Glass, Biwer and Mikey Solfelt.

The men's 200 free relay broke a six-year-old St. Thomas record as it won in 1:22.77 with Nick Cox, Negaard, Luke Schneeman and Solfelt. That time ranks 12th in Division III.

In the women's 500 free, Howard (5:02.01) and Strauss (5:03.88) placed 1-2. In the women's 200 IM, Nicole Herrli placed first (2:06.77), just off her own 2016 school record.

In the men's 50 free, Negaard (20.88) and Solfelt (20.95) placed 3-4. UST got a 3-5-6 finish in the men's 200 IM from freshman Joe Herrli (1:55.70), Max Larson (1:56.06) and Brady Anderson (1:56.80).

Junior Andrew Grabowski won one-meter diving with a 472.05 score.

Other men's scorers Thursday were in the 50 free with Schneeman (10th, 21.39), Omar Omar (11th, 21.60) and Hunter Nielsen (11th, 21.60); in the 200 IM with Eric Schuld (11th, 1:59.54), James Bussey (13th, 2:00.09) and Glass (16th, 2:01.70); in the 500 free with Charles Hynes (11th, 4:49.65).

Other women's scorers Thursday were in the 100 Im with Carly Johnson (7th, 2:12.92), Maura Shea (8th, 2:14.37); the 50 free with Molitor (9th, 24.14), Kate Smarjesse (10th, 24.37) and Haley Cassens (15th, 24.73); and the 500 free with Paige Pawlenty (10th, 2:15.77) and Molly Vancil (13th, 5:16.38).

 

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Thursday morning story

St. Thomas junior Bailey Biwer has set his first individual school record, during Thursday's qualifying session at the MIAC Swim-Dive Championships.

The three-day meet began Thursday morning at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Dinkytown.

Biwer clocked 4:33.18 in the 500 free prelims for the fastest qualifying time. That broke teammate Warren's Melton's 4:33.30 Tommie record time from 2016. The time is also an NCAA B cut qualifying time and ranks 21st nationally.

The Tommie men, seeking a third consecutive team crown, advanced to the finals (top eight) or consolation finals (ninth through 16th) with 16 of their 17 athlete opportunities in three Thursday pool prelims (50 free, 500 free 200 IM).

Biwer, Melton and Jason Tri qualified for the 500 free finals. Nick Cox, Mikey Solfelt and Tom Negaard moved on to the finals in the 50 free. Joe Herrli, Max Larson and Brady Anderson advanced to the 200 IM finals, Herrli with the fastest time.

Two-time MIAC Diver-of-the-Year Andrew Grabowski of St. Thomas had the best score in one-meter prelims at 461.95. Kyle Reid sits in 11th (327.20).

On the women's side, the Tommies advanced in 14 of 15 Thursday prelim opportunities to either the finals or consolation finals as they look to repeat as MIAC champs.

Emma Paulson posted the fastest time in the 50 free, and Alex Howard and Katelyn Strauss had the top two times in the 500 free.

Nicole Herrli, Carly Johnson and Maura Shea advnced to the finals in the 200 IM.

The 200 free and 400 medley relays will be contested tonight for men and women, plus the finals of men's one-meter diving, as well as the 50 and 500 free plus the 200 IM.