The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Grinnell swimming and diving take MWC crown

By David Kim 

The Grinnell Swimming and Diving Mad Dogs and Ducks won the Midwest Conference Meet last weekend at the Russell K. Osgood Pool. The women’s and men’s teams continued their streaks of Conference championships to 13 and 10 years in a row, respectively.

The Mad Dogs scored 866 points and the Mad Ducks 894 points. Lake Forest College, the runner-up to both the men’s and women’s teams, scored 678.5 and 886 points, losing by just 8 eight points to the Women.

Led by Michael Brus ’14 and Imelda Wistey ’14, MWC Men’s and Women’s Swimmers of the Year, the squad broke 16 records last weekend, nine by men and seven by women.

Michael Brus ’14 swims the butterfly during last weekend’s Midwest Conference Championship. Photo taken by Andrew Kelley.

Brus was involved in seven record-breaking performances last weekend, four of which were relays. Beginning with the 400-yard medley relay, Brus along with captain Cy Mistry ’11, Max Fulgoni ’12 and Chris Kaiser-Nyman ’13 broke the school, MWC Championships and overall Conference records with a time of 3:28.13. The previous record was set by Grinnell in 2005 with a time of 3:31.98.

“Everyone had to swim their best and seeing them perform their best [in the relays] was great,” Brus said. “Relays definitely help people swim faster because of the adrenaline. You do whatever you can to win.”

Brus also set a school, MWC Championships and overall Conference records with a time of 50.28 seconds in the 100-backstroke leadoff split in this medley relay.

Brus, Fulgoni, Mistry and Emanuel Spooner ’13 broke the school, MWC Championships and league records in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:34.69.

“I’ve never been so excited for a race in my life,” Mistry said. “I was so giddy after the race I was lost for words.”

Brus and with Fulgoni, Ethan Drutchas ’13 and Joe Lytle ’14 beat the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:07.41. Brus also teamed with Drutchas, Lytle and Tom Lankiewicz ’12 to set another relay record in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:01.16, breaking the previous record from 1986 by more than seven seconds.

Individually, Brus set new records in the 400-yard individual medley (4:02.66) and the 200-yard backstroke (1:49.460). Brus also swam the 100-yard backstroke in 50.30 seconds for a victory.

Beck Ringdahl-Mayland ’13 joined Brus in the phenomenal record-breaking performances, winning the 100-yard breaststroke. He first broke the record in the preliminary round with a time of 58.24 seconds and again in the finals with a time of 57.85 seconds.

“I was feeling really good with my breaststroke in practices,” Ringdahl-Mayland said. “After preliminaries, I felt like I could do it a bit more and I did by beating my personal record by two seconds.”

Cy Mistry ’11 is yelled encouragement by his teammates during Saturday’s Midwest Conference Championships at Russell K. Osgood Pool. Photo taken by Andrew Kelley.

Ringdahl-Mayland was also runner-up in the 200-yard individual medley.

Fulgoni set a new school record in the 50-yard freestyle with 21.20 seconds. He was runner-up in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:49.90.

Swimming wasn’t the only water sport Grinnell excelled in, as Kelley Bruce ’12 earned a score of 483.85 in the one-meter diving event and 498.75 in the three-meter diving event, easily beating both of the school records.

“I knew that [the team] had been training hard all year and everyone was excited to swim fast and dive well, but I think we all took it to the next level,” Bruce said. “The team was extremely coherent this year and I think the support of our teammates allowed everyone to do things they didn’t even realize they were capable of.”

Hannah LaFollette ’11 took second to Bruce in the one-meter event while Allison Miller ’13 was fourth.

Though the women’s team entered the meet an underdog projected to lose to Lake Forest, record-breaking performances led by Wistey shifted the momentum to the Mad Ducks’ side.

Wistey’s individual record-breaking performances were 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:10.55 and 200-yard breaststroke in a time of 2:20.01. The 100-yard breaststroke record also puts Wistey as the fastest women swimmer in Division III in that race.

“I knew I needed to do my best individually to win for the team, but if it wasn’t for the team, it wouldn’t have been possible,” Wistey said.

Wistey was also in two relays that broke the school, MWC Championships and league records. First was the 400-yard medley relay in a time of 3:59.94, which she broke with captain Morgan Horton ’11, Jacqueline Anderson ’11 and Sara Hannemann ’14. The other was the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1:51.10, with Horton, Hannemann and Morgan Bober ’12.

“I think everyone just came together,” Horton said. “It didn’t come down to individual swim so it was a combination of every single person swimming.”

Another win for the women’s team came in the 200-yard freestyle relay, in which Anderson, Wistey, Hannemann and Nikki Pyle ’14 participated. Anderson was runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle as well.

Bober also finished Saturday with a victory in the 100-yard butterfly and came in third in 100-yard breaststroke. Horton finished second in the 100-yard butterfly.

Despite swimming well, the women found themselves down by roughly 20 points to Lake Forest with only two races left in the meet on Sunday. Then Emily Bajet ’12 (S&B Opinion Editor) took her position in lane three. Seeded fifth, she would need to drop several seconds to break it into the top three. Fellow Mad Duck Horton had the fastest time going into the race, with Sarah Stoklosa from Lake Forest ranked second. Bajet dropped five seconds off her time to take third, beating Stoklosa by one second, causing a critical shift in team points.

“For someone that was coming back from study abroad, who’s only been with us for six months, to do her lifetime best time and drop five seconds from this morning was just amazing,” said Head Coach Erin Hurley.

Although Bajet’s performance was impressive, Hurley doesn’t want it to outshine any of the numerous women who turned in races crucial to a Grinnell victory.

“I saw a bunch of women step up. … I could pick out 24 women that had to step up to make that [victory] happen,” Hurley said. “You could go through any of the 20 events and say ‘that’s what made it happen.’ It’s just the order that the events happened.”

Bober believes that hosting the conference in Grinnell gave her and the team the extra motivation to do well.

“Hosting it in our own pool, on our own campus, we can go back to our own rooms and sleep,” she said. “We had friends cheering for us and lots of our parents came in to support the team. Having that support and the pool that we swam in every day was huge.”

The men’s team ended the conference meet on a strong note as two more records fell on Sunday.

Brus, Wistey and Bruce qualified for the nationals, which are scheduled for Mar. 23 in Knoxville, TN. Brus made the A cut in the 200-yard backstroke, giving him automatic bid to Nationals. He made B cuts in 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle.

Mistry explained what it means to qualify for A and B cuts.

“If you get an A cut, you automatically go to the national competition. B cuts are between the A cut line and whatever the B cut line, which changes every year. To be considered for the Nationals, you have to make the B cut.”

Wistey made A cuts in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke. She also made a B cut in the 400-yard individual medley.

“It is such an honor,” Wistey said. “I think I’ll understand more when I get to Nationals. I’m in awe and I’m proud of myself.”

Bruce qualified for B cuts in both of her one-meter and three-meter dives. She was also named the MWC Women’s Diver of the Year for the third time.

“This year, I’m really excited because two of my teammates get to do just that,” Bruce said. “[Brus and Wistey] are going to the NCAA Division III National Championships and I know that they’ll represent Grinnell with pride and very fast swimming.”

Hurley was amazed by the two first-years’ showings.

“Both [Brus and Wistey’s] swimming performances were in a league by themselves,” she said. “With both of them being first-years, it just shows what great competitors they are to be able to handle the pressure and perform as they did.”

Hurley was named the men’s head coach of the year for the third time in her career.

“Coach Erin was great,” Hannemann said. “She kept reiterating that it didn’t matter we won or not, but whether we did our best, which is really encouraging.”

The Pioneers believed that the amazing team spirit enabled them to push them beyond the limit.

“Last weekend was crazy, as records were being broken all over the place, and amazing, as I’ve never had a quicker conference meet before,” Mistry said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the team and it was awesome to end the season in a high note.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *