Leathernecks finish first five times in Charleston

Bradley Piros, Sports Editor


CHARLESTON, Ill. — The Western Illinois University men and women’s swim teams took back to the road over the weekend after celebrating Senior Day a week prior. The men took part in a dual meet with the Eastern Illinois University Panthers while the women had a trimeet with EIU as well as the Butler University Bulldogs. Together the teams finished with five first place marks on the day.

The first of those victories came in the second event of the day, the men’s 400-yard medley relay. Making up the team were seniors Brennan Bladel and Connor Owens, junior Garret Kemp and sophomore Adam Peterson. They beat EIU by a little more than two seconds with a time of 3:34.46.

Bladel won the 500-yard free (4:56.56) and took third in the 1000- yard free as he showed off his endurance. Owens also picked up another win, this time in the 100- yard breast with a time of 57.77 seconds, which also happens to be his season best. He also took second in the 200-yard free (1:49.16).

Peterson picked up the last victory for the men when he tied for first in the 50-yard fly with a time of 24.03 seconds. Kemp almost brought home another win, but narrowly finished second in the 50-yard free (21.51).

In the last men’s event of the day, a relay made up of senior Isaiah Pihlstrom, sophomore Tyler Cunningham as well as Bladel and Owens, took second in the 200-yard freestyle relay. They finished only three seconds behind EIU with a time of 1:29.55.

The women kicked things off with a third-place time of 4:13.56 in the 400-yard medley relay. On the team were seniors Casey Roberts and Miranda Mathus, and freshmen Skylar Robinson and Olivia Leslie. Mathus later took third in 100- yard free (55.92) as well as the 200-yard free (1:53.93). Robinson also boasted two third-place times of 33.77 seconds in the 50-yard back and 1:13.36 in the 100-yard breast. Roberts rounded things out in the 50-yard free as she took fourth (26.08).

In the 50-yard back, three Leathernecks filled the top four spots. Leslie won the event with a time of 28.62 seconds while freshman Allison Spielman came in one one-hundredth of a second behind her to take second. Senior Madison Chao took fourth (29.46) and junior Megan Carver finished seventh (30.69).

The women ended the day with a third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle medley. Spielman teamed up with Roberts, Leslie and Mathus and clocked in at a time of 1:43.77. In the end, EIU was victorious as a team. The Western men fell 180.5- 83.5 while the women were bested by EIU (178-80) and Butler (194.5- 67.5). The EIU women beat Butler 140-126 to win out the meet.

The Leathernecks only have one more stop before The Summit League Championships and it will be this weekend when they travel to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes. Events are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. this Friday. Twitter: @bradjp08