Swim and dive flops in Omaha meet

Bradley Piros, Courier Staff

VERMILLION, S.D. – The Western Illinois University swim and dive teams took to the pool last Saturday, as both the men and the women competed in a dual meet with the University of South Dakota. This was the first meet for the men since coming back from winter break, not competing since Dec. 2. The women on the other hand had back-to-back meets. Friday, they went up against the University of Omaha, losing 84-139, and then the following day they’re back in competition against the Coyotes.

Needless to say, it was a rough meet for both teams, as the men lost (191-92), and the women as well (177-103). The Leathernecks did however win in four different singles events, as well as the 200-meter medley relay. The team of Taylor Winkel, Miranda Mathus (sophomores), Erica Hagen and Marissa Purdum (freshmen) finished first by only half a second with a time of 2:05.31. These four would go on to win in individual events as well later that day.

Hagen had an easy win in the 100-meter breast (1:14.97) but touched second in the 200-meter breast with a time of 2:53.82 as well as the 200-meter IM (2:40.63). Mathus also got on the score sheet when she won the 200-meter free, coming in at 2:13.39. She also touched second in the 100-meter fly (1:08.07).

Along with these two, many others were able to pick up some second-place finishes. Purdum came back to get second in the 50-meter free (28.19). Sophomore Amy Borgstede finished second in the 200-meter fly (2:40.31) and freshman Claire Straetker got a time of 2:37.05 in the 200-meter back. To finish off the list, freshman Amanda Schaefer took second in the 400-meter free (4:56.46).

The men got themselves a couple of wins throughout the day as well, led by sophomore Philip Kudela as he won 400-meter free (4:15.46) and freshman Samir Almhiemid in the 100-meter fly (59.44). Sophomore Brennan Bladel settled for second, but unfortunately lost in the 100-meter coming in at 1:00.67. He also finished second in the 200-meter back with a time of 2:14.80.

Freshman Chance McQuigg finished in the number two spot in the 100-meter breast with a time of 1:06.82. Sophomore Connor Owens took second as well in the 200-meter breast event, scoring a time of 2:32.22.

Lastly, the 200-meter medley relay team of Bladel, McQuigg, Kudela and Almhiemid scored second with a time of 1:48.31. The same group took 2nd in the 200-meter free relay (1:37.84).

Head Coach Greg Naumann cut his team some slack.

“This meet was a lot tougher to judge on how we were swimming because it was short course meters instead of our usually short course yards,” Naumann said. “The times were all slower just because the length of the pool is slightly longer, I felt like we started out a lot better than what I saw at Omaha. We had some good wins during the meet, which was awesome, but we had just too few to stay up with USD.”

In the end, he was happy with his teams’ performances and reminded us that the women swam in back-to-back meets, this past weekend. The final regular season meet is this Friday against the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. Both teams hope to bounce back and finish the season out strong. The meet is set to begin at 6 p.m.

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