Women Fourth, Men Jump to Fifth on Final Day of League Championships
By Kaylie Noll
After a long four days, the Green Bay swimming and diving teams closed out the 2017 Horizon League Championships with more brand-new records, as well as a 4th place showing on the women’s side and a 5th place finish on the men’s side.
Head coach Reed Robelot praised the team’s efforts and gave a brief glance into the future: “Our men closed out a close team race today to take a good step up in the ranks. The women battled all the way through the meet, but this morning we came up short during a few key moments. Ultimately, we wanted to be one spot higher in both the men's and women's team placing. Considering some of the obstacles we faced this year, we did a pretty good job of moving forward from last year. Some of our individual event scorers overcame quite a lot of adversity to help their team. Having all of our scoring-roster seniors contribute and earn second swims makes us feel good about the way they finished their careers. Now it will be up to the younger generation to take our program to the next level of commitment and success."
The last finals session opened with the longest event in the entire sport, the 1650 freestyle. Stephanie Garvin finished in a season-best time of 17:11.06. The junior was neck-and-neck with the lane next to her up to the 1000-yard mark, until her gutsy performance pulled her ahead to give her a comfortable fifth place finish. Sophomore Rosalyn Stoa also scored in the event, breaking 18 minutes to finish 11th in 17:51.17.
The freshman distance duo of Tyler Lustig and Jack VanZee proved their immense value in the mile, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively. VanZee dropped over 40 seconds to steal a spot on the podium with a time of 16:04.93. Lustig re-set his own freshman record that he claimed in November at the House of Champions invitational by nearly seven seconds, posting a quick 15:51.90.
Allissa Smith represented the women in the consolation final of the 200 backstroke. The freshman closed her first conference meet with a new best time of 2:02.28, taking tenth place in the process.
The men put three swimmers into the B final of the 200 back. Thomas Everson led the way with a personal best time of 1:49.16. The junior claimed ninth place, dropping over a second from his prelims time. Sophomore Charles Warren moved up into 13th, touching the wall at 1:52.11. Brian Borden, a junior, ended his weekend with a 15th place finish.
Sprinter Alicia Hanson was the only Phoenix for both the men and the women to make finals in the 100 freestyle. The sophomore won the B final with a quick 51.41. Later, leading off the 400 freestyle relay, she went even faster, touching the wall at 51.07.
Freshman Clare Martell returned to the consolation finals for the longer breaststroke event, the 200. In prelims, she went a best time of 2:22.49, and at night, she moved up a place to take home 14th place.
On the men’s side, redshirt senior Collin Morgan ended his career with a podium finish. His time of 2:03.35 in prelims was approximately six seconds faster than his seed, and in finals, he dropped another tenth of a second to earn sixth place overall.
Austin Sturdivant also finished his collegiate journey in the 200 breast. Putting his heart into the race, he went out quick, and ended up 16th to score for the Phoenix. Teammate Noah Hanold was in the same heat, dropping time from his morning swim and ending up 15th.
Haley Lucas competed in the A final for the 200 butterfly, another last swim. The senior’s primary event rounded out the heat with a time of 2:05.71. Marissa Warren, though only in her third year of eligibility, also raced for the last time in the B final of the event. The junior, graduating early, grabbed 11th with a season-best 2:06.28. Sophomore Annika Engstrom also competed in the consolation heat, dropping nearly two seconds from the morning to go 2:07.03 and hold seed at 14th place.
Riley Darling turned heads in prelims of the 200 butterfly, taking the first place seed for finals and also breaking the Green Bay freshman record in 1:49.56. In finals, the 5’10” freshman stood next to giants, and still came away with a third place finish and another new best time of 1:49.44
In the B final, sophomore Eli Broman lowered his time from the morning by a second, touching the wall at 1:52.29 for 11th. Meanwhile Lustig, fresh off the mile earlier in the evening, still managed to touch one of his competitors out to receive 15th place.
Senior James Wise and junior Michael Klemm again made the A final in diving. They competed on the 3-meter board this time around, with Wise finishing 7th and Klemm taking 4th, both higher than their places in years previous. Klemm scored 288.00 points, not a single difficulty level under 2.8. Wise was 14 points behind with 274.25 points. His best dive, the forward 2 ½ somersault with one twist in the pike position, earned an impressive 57.00 points. Freshman Derrick Prenot also scoredvital points for the team in the consolation final, earning 11th place with a score of 250.25
The last relay was the 400 freestyle. The women, made up of Hanson, Stoa, senior Janna Check, and Garvin went in with the ‘last one fast one’ mindset and took fourth place with a time of 3:26.02. The team ended up fourth as well, the same place as last year. Meanwhile, the men had tallied up all the multiple scoring possibilities and realized that without a disqualification, they were going to accomplish their goal of defeating in-state rival Panthers. Knowing this, senior Derick Goodson, sophomore Nicholas Garcia, freshman Garrett Spencer, and junior Alec Rutkowski executed safe starts and posted a time of 3:06.29 for sixth, securing a team finish of fifth, one place higher than last year.