By Daniel Herrick
The men and women’s swimming & diving teams both were victorious in their final MIAA dual meet of the season last Saturday against Alma. The men’s team won all 16 of the meet’s events en route to a commanding victory: 227-56 points. The women’s team was almost as dominant as the men’s side as they were able to secure 14 of the 16 events on their way to 209-89 victory.
The meet was held in a “virtual” format due to weather conditions. The polar vortex that keeps hitting Michigan with loads of snow was enough to prevent the Scots from safely traveling to Kalamazoo for the meet. Instead, the two teams swam their races in their respective home pools and then compared results in order to score the meet.
The win improved the women’s record to 3-2 in MIAA dual meets. Freshman Colleen Orwin had an impressive day for the Hornets against Alma. She showed off her stroke versatility and took first place in three separate individual races: the 1,000 freestyle (10:59.48), the 200 breaststroke (2:35.25) and the 100 butterfly (1:00.98).
Orwin was not the only Hornet to show off her individual talent on Saturday: freshman Tristyn Edsall, freshman Christina Park and junior Jessica Varana were all victorious in two individual races each.
The men’s team also had four members win in two individual races each in their meet against Alma. Junior Elliot Littman was first in both diving competitions: the 1M dive and 3M dive. These were the two events the women’s team was unable to capture. Joining Littman with two wins each were a trio of sophomores: Jacob Lindquist, Kevin Ewing and Michael Allen.
Both the men and women’s teams will be in action again on Februrary 12-15 for the MIAA Championships being held at Calvin College.
Last season, the men took home the MIAA in a somewhat dominating fashion. The Hornets finished the meet with a total of 895.5 points: 229.5 points more than second-place Calvin. The team will hope to continue this success as they return six underclassmen from last season’s All-MIAA team selections. Among those returning are three swimmers who won individual events at last year’s MIAA Championships. Ewing was last year’s 400 IM champion. Lindquist was the 100 breaststroke winner. And current junior Dylan Shearer was the 200 breaststroke champion.
While the talent is there to make a run at another title, the men are also without four competitors that were selected to the All-MIAA team last season. Among those four was three graduating seniors and current junior Will Guedes. Guedes was the the Most Valuable Diver at last year’s MIAA championship as he won both the 1M and 3M dive competitions. He would go on to win the 2013 NCAA Division III 3M Dive national championship. Guedes, however, chose not to compete this season.
While the men’s team will be looking to repeat some successes from a year ago, the women’s team will hope to improve on their result. At last season’s MIAA championships the women finished in third place with a total of 569.5 points. Hope, with 764.5 points, finished second and this year’s host Calvin took home the MIAA championship with a 802.5 points total.
The MIAA Championships are a four-day event beginning on Wednesday, February 12 and continuing each day through Saturday, the 15th. All four days will take place at Calvin College. The men’s team will be seeking a fourth-straight MIAA title at the competition this year. The women’s team will look to end a 14-year title drought, as they have not won the MIAA since the 1990-91 season.