First Month Into The Season: Analysis of the Summit League

By Katya Vakshteyn, Swimming World College Intern

BROOKINGS – A new year of swimming has settled in among the teams in the Summit League, which consists of seven teams: Denver University, Eastern Illinois University, IUPUI, University of Nebraska – Omaha, University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, and Western Illinois University.

Summit League teams have been training hard and keeping the end in mind as they set their sights on the 2015 Summit League Conference Championships in May. Preseason polls on both the men’s and women’s side placed defending champions Denver University as the favorites to take home the titles for a second year in a row. On the men’s side, IUPUI and South Dakota State were picked second and third, while the two flipped spots on the women’s side with SDSU expected to top IUPUI for second.

The Summit League Championships are set to take place on February 18-21 at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis

Denver Dominates the Leaderboards

Competition in the pool this month has been fierce. On the women’s side, Denver currently leads the league, holding top times of the season in 11 of the events. Impressive swims came from Madeline Myers with a 5:01.94 in the 500 free, Samantha Corea with a 55.43 in the 100 back, and freshman Naomi Einhellig with a 2:05.54 in the 200 backstroke. On the men’s side, Denver also dominated, taking the top spots in 10 events. Freshman Ryno Bornman currently holds the top time in the 200 free with a 1:41.19, and junior Andrew Torres posted an impressive time of 49.26 in the 100 fly.

After dominating the leaderboards for the month of October, it comes as no surprise that both the men’s and women’s swimmers of the week for the week of October 21 came from Denver University. Dylan Bunch took away his fourth career swimmer of the week award after three first-place finishes over swimming powerhouse Missouri State. Corea pocketed the award for the women’s side. Corea had five first-place finishes, two individual and three relays. Currently, Corea leads the Summit League in both the 100 and 200 yard backstroke and her times broke the Robinson Natatorium pool records in both events.

USD Women Sweep Swimmers/Divers of the Week

The first swimmers of the week (September 28- October 13) were awarded this month. Sophomore Coyote Sam Schutt from USD claimed the women’s award for the first swimmer of the week. This is Schutt’s second career win for swimmer of the week and it came from her first-place sweep in three individual events at the USD vs. Minnesota State meet. Schutt posted times of 59.60 in the 100 meter free and 2:08.12 in the 200 meter free. Schutt was awarded her second consecutive swimmer of the week for award the week of October 14th, and her third career award. She claimed four top-three finishes during two days, and her current 200 freestyle time of 1:52.44 leads the league.

The first divers of the week were also announced this month. Greysen Hertting from USD picked up her 11th, 12th, and 13th career diver of the week award. Hertting took first place on both boards at her meet against Minnesota State. Hertting’s score finished .4 points shy of an NCAA Zone qualifying score, but she currently leads the Summit League in 3-meter diving. Competing against Iowa State, Hertting won the 3-meter dive with a score of 293.65 and took second in 1 meter with a score of 275.55. Both scores were enough to qualify Hertting for NCAA Zones and keep her atop the league in both boards.

Looking Ahead

Upcoming meets to look out for this month include SDSU vs Nebraska, Denver vs UNLV, and SDSU vs USD. New swimmers and divers of the week will also be announced for the first week of November.

Katya Vakshteyn is a freshman middle-distance freestyler at South Dakota State University.  Prior to college, she spent 10 years training with the Kansas City Blazers and was a high school state runner-up in the 200 free in Kansas.