Necks swim towards finish line

Brennan Bladel swims the freestyle event in a home meet.


Brennan Bladel swims the freestyle event in a home meet.

Brie Coder, Copy Editor

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INDIANAPOLIS — It has all come down to this. The Western Illinois University men and women’s swim and dive teams will be swimming and or diving towards the finish line at the House of Champions this Friday through Sunday.

Even though The Summit League Championships are three months away, this meet coming up is considered the midterms for these teams. What happens this weekend will determine what works well for the team, and what still needs to be practiced to better the Purple and Golds stance and rankings for their upcoming meets next semester.

The last time the Leatherneck men’s team competed was back in October at the IUPUI in Indianapolis. Junior Brennan Bladel won in the individual 100-back, and came in third in the 200-IM with 1:56.91. In his first competition of the season, senior Chance McQuigg registered a second-place finish in the 100-breast at a time of 58.49

Four astonishing third place finishes concluded the individual men’s competitions. The first came from freshman Adam Peterson in the 100-free (53.55). Second came from junior Phillip Kudela in the 100-free (47.74). Third was from freshman newcomer Nicholas Kontos in the 200-back (2:00.50). The final swimmer was junior Connor Owens in the 200-back, coming in at 2:16.34.

In the 200-medley relay team, senior Samir Almhiemid, McQuigg, Bladel and Peterson wrapped up the event, locking in a second place finish at 1:35.23.

The Purple and Gold women’s swim and diving teams’ last meet prior to House of Champions was here at home against University of Nebraska Omaha on Nov. 2. At this event, senior Erica Hagen earned two individual wins in the 100-IM (1:00.40) and in the 100-fly (59.42).

In addition to Hagen’s impressive times, two more first place finishes came in the individual competitions and in the 400-medley relay.

Freshman Laramie Reed and junior Casey Roberts capitalized in the individual meets including the 100-breast (1:08.98) and the 100-free with 54.61. In the 100-free, Roberts was .05 seconds ahead of one of the Omaha competitors.

The squad of juniors Madison Chao and Miranda Mathus, senior Marissa Purdum and Hagen concluded the home event, when they won the 400-medley relay by .02 seconds with a time of 4:04.04.

As of Nov. 6, Hagen was named The Summit League swimmer of the week, which makes it her second time she has earned this career honor. Not only has Hagen received this honor, but so has Bladel and junior diver Colin Parker after their last meet back in October. These three Summit League honorees will be quite the threat to the other teams heading to Indianapolis this weekend.

Both teams will have one more meet to finish up the current year before the new year starts. Western will be on the road once more to take on Truman State on Dec. 1, in Kirksville, Mo. at 1 p.m.

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