FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas, January 7. THE Denver men's team won its meet by a score of 165-133 and the women defeated Missouri State 161-139 and fell to Arkansas 168-130. The men swimmers won eight of 14 individual races and the women won five as the University of Denver men's team defeated Missouri State and the women went 1-1 with a win over Missouri State and a loss to host Arkansas Saturday afternoon in swimming action at Arkansas Natatorium.
DU got strong performances from its men's team, as six different swimmers won events, junior Marcus Christianson (Hutchinson, Minn.) won a pair of breaststroke events and junior Aaron Feight (Littleton, Colo.) won both diving competitions. Senior Craig Jollands (Hillcrest, South Africa) got the day started off on the right foot for DU, winning the 1650-freestyle with a time of 16:10.73 as teammate Nathan West (Englewood, Colo.) finished second at 16:15.53. Sophomore Blake Worsley (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) kept the momentum going after he won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:42.64.
Following an MSU win in the 100-back, DU swept all three top places in the 100-breaststroke as Christanson edged Nick Brunger (Castle Rock, Colo.) and Joseph Bales (Brighton, Colo.) for the top spot. Senior Michael Peterson (Ames, Iowa) won the 50-free with a time of 21.20 before Christianson won his second breaststroke event by capturing the 200 with a time of 2:09.46. Brunger wrapped up the individual wins for the Pioneers by winning the 400-yard IM in the final individual race of the afternoon with a time of 4:10.81.
"On the men's side it's nice to have a competition and a win against a conference opponent, and I really think we were led well today by Marcus Christianson with his wins in the breastroke events and Aaron Feight with his two wins in the diving events," head coach Brian Schrader said. "Cody Stambaugh dove well and qualified for the NCAA Zone meet. Mike Peterson, Craig Jollands, and Nick Brunger all had good swims with their wins as well. Some of our younger swimmers are starting to race really well, Gannon Tortura in particular."
On the women's side, junior Kelsey Totura (Castle Rock, Colo.) continued her impressive season with three more victories on Saturday. Totura's first win came in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.30, then followed that with a win in the 50-freestyle at 24.30. Her final win of the day came in the 200-yard back, when she won 2:02.13. Totura's victories were bookended by wins from freshman Amanda McNally (Lone Tree, Colo.) in the 1650-yard freestyle (17:26.22) and sophomore Michele Lowery (Hailey, Idaho) in the 400-IM with a time of 4:29.83. Lowery also finished third in the 200-backstroke.
Despite not winning the 500-yard freestyle, DU swimmers went 2-3-4 as freshman Lindsay Brown (Allen, Texas) finished second, followed by McNally in second and senior Harmony Zeller (Arvada, Colo.) in third. Freshman Olivia Dean (Aurora, Colo.) also swam well for DU, finishing with a second place finish in the 100-yard butterfly at 58.68 and third in the 400-IM at 4:36.23.
"This was a good indicator to see where we were coming off of Christmas training and Holidays and our teams responded well," Schrader said. "Amanda McNally really stepped up today picking up her first win with a great swim in the mile, and Kelsey Totura continues to represent us well with wins in the 100 Back, 50 Free, and 200 Back. Michelle Lowry had a great performance with her time and win in the 400 IM. This meet was also the first meet back for Jackie Bradford and it was great to see her score points for us. Erica Ross and Claire Anderson are starting to come along in the freestyle events and become tough racers. Olivia Dean had solid swims in the butterfly events and IM."
Denver is next in action on Friday, Jan. 19 when the teams host Washington at 3 p.m. MST in El Pomar Natatorium.
Men's Final Team Results
Denver 165, Missouri State 133
Women's Final Team Results
Denver 161, Missouri State 139
Arkansas 185, Missouri State 115
Arkansas 168, Denver 130