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The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
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Michael Lozada
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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Swimming and diving dominate macalester

As their season draws to an end and the Midwestern Conference Championships draw closer, the Grinnell swimming and diving teams enter their home stretch period. After a successful home invitational meet two weekends ago, the Pioneers once again emerged victorious at last weekend’s meet against Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Summer White '15 dives earlier this season.  Photo credit John Brady
Summer White ’15 dives earlier this season.
Photo credit John Brady.

The men’s swimming and diving team beat Macalester 165-60 in a meet that saw several records get set. Among the winners was Tristan Knoth ’17 who took first place in the 50 freestyle event with a score of 22.61 and was a member of the winning 200 freestyle relay team.

“Personally I thought I swam pretty well. I was really happy with all my swims. Mostly, at this point it’s much less about the overall team result,” Knoth said. “It’s more about gearing up for Conference and getting our individual swims down.”

Daniel Goldstein ’16 once again broke pool records in one- and three-meter diving. His scores of 284.50 and 312.60, respectively, earned him a place at the NCAA Division III Regional. Nick Roberson ’18 also helped Pioneers win four events by placing first in the 100-yard backstroke, the 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly, while also contributing to the 200 medley relay team’s victory.

Looking forward to Conference, Knoth said that the team is poised to do well.

“I’m really excited. I thought we had a great season of training so far. We’re in a great position to swim really fast at Conference,” he said.

The women’s swimming and diving team scored a victory as well over Macalester with a final score of 170-78.

Maria Venneri, Haley O’Neill and Malena Maxwell (all ’18), Chloe Briney, Beth Tsuha and Ana Karin Kozjek (all ’17) and Beth Gillig ’15 each won multiple events for Grinnell.

“As a team, our win was great because we really came together,” Gillig said. “We had people in all kinds of events and all kinds of strokes and I think that’s a testament to where we are as a program and where we are right now in the season.”

In spite of the victories against Macalester, however, there were some differences in this weekend’s meet that challenged the swimmers and divers.

“A lot of people swam different events than they normally do, so our coach was trying people out and swimming a new event after you’ve been swimming one for a while—that’s kind of challenging,” Gillig said.

Despite the added difficulty, the swimmers’ best efforts were still reflected in some of their scores. Venneri won first place in the 100-yard backstroke, Gillig was first in the 100 butterfly, O’Neill won the 100 freestyle and Maxwell won in the 1650 freestyle and 200 backstroke.

“It was the second time I swam the mile and I dropped, I think, 30 seconds from when I swam it in Florida. So that was a big accomplishment. Overall, as a team, we helped cheer each other on and supported each other and that definitely helped us win against Macalester,” Maxwell said of her 1650 freestyle which she completed in 19:13.12.

With two weekends away from conference, the fourth-year athletes are beginning to prepare for their last meet as Grinnellians.

“This is my last conference and that makes it very special to me and I’m just going to try and enjoy it, appreciate everyone on my team who’s there with me for this last meet of mine, have fun, live in the moment and do the best I can do. It’s going to be a great finish to the season,” Gillig said.

The Pioneers will host the University of Nebraska Swim Club Friday at Russell K. Osgood Natatorium at 6:30 p.m.

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