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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Swim team dominates

A week after a grueling, two-day home invitational, Grinnell’s swimmers and divers took a trip to the Twin Cities for a meet against Macalester College on Jan. 25. The Pioneers had a big numerical advantage over Macalester and swept the meet, setting five pool records and one new school record in the 1650-yard freestyle.

The men’s team beat Macalester 150-93, and the women’s team left the pool with a 178-117 win. Head coach Erin Hurley was very pleased with her teams’ victories and the records they set.

“To be able to do that three weeks out from Conference, because we haven’t started to rest, is pretty good,” she said.

The athletes’ moods mirrored their coach’s, as well.

“The team did really well and it’s really exciting where we’re at in the season,” said Beth Gillig ’15, who won four events herself. “We’re exhausted and yet people are still setting pool records.”

The Macalester meet was the teams’ only overnight trip, and while the travel can be a hassle, teams enjoyed the competition.

Last season, Michael Brus ’14 set Grinnell’s school record in the 1650-yard freestyle, an event that he does not usually swim. So it was a pleasant surprise when not only he won the event, but also rewrote the school record book. Brus clocked in at 16:33.11, almost two seconds faster than his time last season.

“We try to get him to [swim the mile] once a year, and we thought, ‘well, let’s give him one more shot.’” Hurley said. “Usually he goes out very fast, and tries to hang on, while [during this race] he was very even-paced, and never peaked. He was really good with his conservation.”

Brus admitted that he definitely felt the fatigue in his arms after the race.

“It wasn’t in my mind to try and break my record,” he said. “I was just going out to swim my race.”

Ian Dixon-Anderson ’17 continued his dominating first-year performance, winning the 200-yard butterfly race with a time of 1:59.13. He also took part in setting the Macalester pool record in the 800-yard freestyle relay along with Joseph Lytle ’14, Ben Weideman ’15 and Kevin Bennett ’16. Their time was 7:27.82.

The record came in spite of Hurley’s decision to split the best relay swimmers into two teams, making for a competitive race. The record-breakers out-touched the A relay team, which included Brus, by a little more than two seconds and beat Macalester’s relay team by nearly a minute.

On the women’s side, Jalyn Marks ’16 joined the record-setting show on her 200-yard butterfly event with a time of 2:18.88. When assistant coach Tim Hammond came to take her picture as a record-breaker, she thought he was joking until she learned that the record was for Macalester’s pool.

“It was a pretty smooth race,” she said. “It’s a time that I’ve been getting pretty consistently throughout the season.”

Daniel Goldstein ’16 won both one-meter and three-meter diving, which were uncontested by Macalester divers. He set the pool record with a score of 287.75 in the one-meter event.

“It was not the best I’ve ever done, but it was pretty close,” he said.

Along with five record-breaking performances, the Pioneers collected numerous victories. The men won every single event, while the women claimed 12 events.

Perhaps more important than the competition was the opportunity the meet gave for swimmers to try their Conference events, and for the coaches to change lineups and look at performances as the regular season draws to a close.

“[The meet] gave people a chance to swim some events that they were looking at for Conference,” Hurley said. “We still get to determine who will be swimming for points during Conference, and who will be swimming for exhibition.”

Next week, the Conference swimmers will begin their “taper,” which means they will swim less in practice and rest more, resulting in better race times in Conference, when they really count.

The next event for Grinnell’s swimmers and divers is a home meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight against Simpson College and the University of Nebraska Swim Club. The team’s last meet before Conference will be against Coe College in Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Two weeks later, the team will compete for the Midwest Conference title in the Russell K. Osgood Pool Feb. 14 to 16.

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