Swimming sinks in home meet


File Photo

A Western swimmer stays afloat during a meet.

Bradley Piros , Assistant Sports Editor

MACOMB, Ill. — The Western Illinois University women’s swim team hosted the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks in a dual meet at Brophy Hall. The Leathernecks lost 210.5-101.5.

There were still some highlights for Western, especially from senior Erica Hagen. She earned two individual wins on the day including the 100-IM (1:00.50) and the 100-fly (59.42).

She wasn’t the only one to reach first though, as two of her teammates did as well in individual events. Freshman Laramie Reed took first in the 100-breast (1:08.98) and junior Casey Roberts won by only half a second in the 100-free (54.61).

The Leathernecks onlydrew out one more win, this time in the 400-medley relay. The relay included juniors Madison Chao and Miranda Mathus, as well as seniors Marissa Purdum and Hagen. The team won by .02 with a time of 4:04.04.

Western was also able to grab a few second-place touches. Freshman Alexis Dreyer reached second twice in the 1000-free (11:07.91) and the 200-back (2:14.71). Rounding out competition was Mathus, collecting second in the 100-back (1:01.02).

“Omaha was a very tough team to compete against,” said head coach Greg Nauman in an interview with GoLeathernecks.com. “They’ve always been very strong within The Summit League, and they proved it tonight.”

This was the Mavericks first win of the season, boosting them to 1-3 after Saturday’s loss against the Illinois State University Redbirds. Western are now 0-2 in dual meets, after doing well in their opening Purple and Gold Alumni meet back in September at Brophy Hall.

“This was a different meet for us given that we didn’t have the men’s events to give us a bit more rest. We were out the gate strong leading by a small margin after the 50 free. UNO is more accustomed to this format, so they were able to finish the meet out stronger than us,” Nauman said. “We had some great swims and close races that we were able to pull out to win. We had some individuals swimming races that we wanted to get some times on going into our midseason resting meet at IUPUI in two weeks. This created a couple of lineup issues that we needed to do as we look at the bigger picture.”

The good news is that the season is far from over, but the bad news is that they are getting ready to go into one of their toughest meets yet, House of Champions hosted by the IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) Jaguars.

Last year, the women placed 13th out of 14 teams while the men came in at 11th, so they are both looking to do better this time. Some of the teams competing last year were the University of Connecticut (who took first), IUPUI (who hosted), University of Green Bay, Butler University and McKendree University just to name a few.

This should be a really hard-fought meet, just like it was last year. Last time, Hagen earned multiple school records while many of her teammates went for new PR’s. Nauman schedules this meet knowing it will be difficult, doing so to prepare his teams for The Summit League Championships.

They still have a long way between now and Valentine’s Day, when the championships kick off. Until then, they’ll be worrying about House of Champions at IUPUI and they’ll have two weeks to train for it. The meet will begin Nov. 16 and go till Nov. 18.

Twitter: bradjp08