By Kaylie Noll, Swimming World College Intern
The preliminary psych sheet for the 2015-2016 Summit League conference meet has been released to Summit League coaches and teams. This psych sheet is not official and can still be subject to change.
The participating teams are Denver, Eastern Illinois, IUPUI, Omaha, South Dakota, South Dakota State, and Western Illinois. For the last two years, both teams from Denver won the meet by a large margin. This year, Denver is picked to win again for both the men and women.
From Denver, the men’s side boasts strong leadership. Senior All-American Dylan Bunch, current Summit League championship record holder in the 500 freestyle and 1650 freestyle, will be back to claim his titles. His competition is made up of mostly his own teammates, the next five seeds for this weekend’s meet. Ray Bornman is one of those teammates, seeded second in the 500, but also seeded first in 100 and 200 yard freestyles. This is no surprise, as he is the league record holder in both those events. Another league record holder back to defend his title is Timothy Cottam, in both the 100 and 200 breast.
Denver’s women’s team has a foursome of Summit League championship record holders as well in its Johanna Roas, Clara Jenck, Amanda Sanders and Maddie Myers. Roas currently claims the 100 free, 200 free, and 200 individual medley, and is set up with first place seeds in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Jenck has top seed in the 500, and will be looking to win her record-holding event, the mile, as well. Sanders owns both breaststroke records, and by the looks of the psych sheet, is set up to win these again by a long shot. Finally, sophomore Myers shows up as the top seed in her league record, the 400 individual medley, having received the Newcomer of the Championship award last year. Denver’s women currently hold all of the relay league records.
The South Dakota State women were the runners up in 2015 and 2014, and tied the IUPUI ladies for second in the preseason poll. A few team members to watch for the South Dakota State women include sophomore breaststroker Kristin Erf, who earned a league Swimmer of the Week award this season. Senior diver Olivia Olesiak will also be one to watch, having collected three Diver of the Week awards this season. All-leaguers Abby Zenner, Alexandra Yaeger and Hadlie Overhue also should play a role in this weekend’s meet.
The IUPUI men placed second at last year’s championships and were picked to place second in the preseason poll. The team brings six all-league swimmers, headlined by Lennart Kuester. Kuester gained his second career Swimmer of the Week award this season, and boasts a third place seed in the 100 freestyle. IMer Jonathan Stoller, backstroker Aaron Brysch, and distance swimmer Benjamin Levart also enjoy high seeds on this year’s psych sheet.
There will be other men to watch at this weekend’s meet as well, including former Summit league championship MVP winner Chris Neaveill from Western Illinois. Neaveill finished in the top three in the 100 and 200 butterfly last year. The South Dakota State men returns seven all-leaguers, including sprinters Ben Bolinske and Daniel Jacobson. The University of South Dakota brings back all all-leaguers Ian Ford, Jacob Knowles, and diver Dustin Gens.
Other notable women include IUPUI’s all-leaguers Melissa Berger, Alexis Bullard and Madeline Bradford along with strong sprinter Miranda Buha. Berger will make a splash on the boards, while Bullard and Bradford are set to final in the backstroke events. For the University of South Dakota, look at four-time league champion diver Greysen Hertting on the boards and breaststroker Abby Hollub in the pool. Finally, the women-only team from Omaha has all-league sprinter Natalie Renshaw seeding high in the three shortest freestyle events, along with fellow all-leaguers Cassandra Jahn, Hannah Johnson and Morgan Stepp.
The meet will begin Wednesday, February 17th and conclude on Saturday, February 20th.