MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, February 20. THE Carleton women's swimming and diving team is in first place after the opening day of the 2009 MIAC Championships. The Knights, who scored 168 points, hold a slim 1.5-point lead over defending champion Gustavus, which totaled 166.5 points. The University of St. Thomas is in third place with 142 points, and St. Olaf is in fourth place with 141 points.
Carleton swimmers turned in two of the top performances of the day as Maggie Alexander won the 500 freestyle in a new meet record time of 4:59.91. Alexander's time also met the NCAA Automatic Qualifying standard. The Knights also got a big performance from their 400 medley relay team of Kale Zicafoose, Kate Alexander, Kaarin Taylor, and Becky Alexander, which finished first in a time of 3:52.55. That time broke both the all-time MIAC record of 3:56.19 as well as the championship meet record of 3:56.48.
Other event champions on the day included Alli Beardsley of St. Olaf, who won the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:36.23, Lauren Snyder of St. Olaf, who won the 50 free in a time of 23.73, and the St. Thomas 200 free relay team of Jena Root, Maddie Frost, Ali Krieger, and Becca Ney, which nipped Gustavus by one-hundredth of a second with a time of 1:36.23 in the closest race of the day.
The St. Olaf men's swimming and diving team is in first place after the opening day of the 2009 MIAC Championships. The Ole's, who scored 232 points, lead defending champion Gustavus by 18 points, as the Gusties totaled 214 on the day. Carleton is in third place with 153 points, while St. Thomas and Saint John's are tied for fourth place with 146 points.
The Ole's picked up three first place finishes including the 200 free relay (Jake Koch, Adam Meyer, Kaegan Recher, and Nelson Westby), the 400 medley relay (Meyer, Westby, Erik Witzel, and Brock Edwards), and Ryan Trostrud in one meter diving. The 400 medley relay team shattered the MIAC record and the championship meet record with a time of 3:21.98.
Gustavus's Matt Stewart claimed his third consecutive title in the 500 freestyle in impressive fashion as he broke a 20-year old MIAC record held by K. Casson of St. Olaf (4:27.57) with a time of 4:26.78. Stewart's time also broke the meet record and automatically qualified him for the NCAA Championships. The Gusties dominated the 500 freestyle taking four of the top five spots including Whitaker Davis in third, Skylar Davis in fourth, and John Rice in fifth.
Carleton's Ted Marschall out-dueled rival Nelson Westby of St. Olaf for the second consecutive year to win the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:50.54. Marschall and Westby (1:51.59) both automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Peter Mullee of St. Thomas won the 50 yard freestyle breaking a 10-year old MIAC record with a time of 20.19. Mullee's time also automatically qualified him for the NCAA Championships.
Special thanks to MIAC for contributing this report.