Grinnell hosts own invitational, both teams finish second

swim1webThis past weekend in the depths of Obermiller Pool, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed their own invitational, with both teams finishing second.

On the women’s side, Kelly Bruce ’12 set a school record the opening day of the invitational, scoring 379.5 points in the one-meter diving event, while Valerie Stimac ’09 claimed first place in the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard freestyle. Stimac also joined the winning 400-yard medley relay team, which included Morgan Bober ’12, Alex Peitz ’10, and Amy Hadow ’10. The team finished with 497 points overall, second only to Luther College’s 631 points.

One the men’s side, Thomas Lankiewicz ’12 was victorious in the 400-yard IM. Grinnell also had a couple of runner-up finishes: Dan Neely ’09, Max Fulgoni ’12, Thomas Olson ’10, and Michael Schoelz ’12 in the 400-yard freestyle relay, and Neely, Fulgoni, Olsen, and Cy Mistry ’11 in the 200-yard medley relay.

Neeley said he thought that the men’s and women’s swimming teams performed spectacularly at the home invite.

“We’re at a point in the season where our bodies are tuckered out, but we all jumped in and swam hard in spite of fatigue,” Neeley said. “We had season bests and personal records throughout the meet, and great dives, too. Coming straight off the bus and into a meet like that, we were great.”

The invitational included swimming and diving teams from Macalester, Augustana, Coe, Luther, and Morningside. Luther College ranked first at the meet, finishing with a total of 311 points.
At last year’s invitational, Grinnell’s men’s and women’s teams ranked second and third, respectively.

In preparation for the invitational and conference, both teams traveled to Naples, Florida for 11 days and on January 8 competed against Connecticut College.

At the Naples meet, Stimac won the 100-yard freestyle. Stimac was also a part of the winning 200-yard relay team, which also consisted of Morgan Horton ’11 (the S&B’s opinion editor), Casey Strickler ’12, and Meghan McDoniel ’10. Final team standings from Naples ranked Connecticut College first place in both the men and women’s meets with scores of 144-62 and 138-72.

“The Florida training trip was wonderful,” said Caitlin Short ’12 “Besides lots of swimming and hard work, I think I speak for everyone when I say that it was a great bonding experience.”
As the end of the season approaches, the team is looking forward to their final meet.

“As the season comes to a close I am looking forward to conference, where we plan to kick some ass,” Lankiewicz said. “I have really high expectation for myself and for the team at that meet.
The team’s next meet will be January 24 at Carleton College against Carleton and St. Cloud State.