Monthly Archives

February 2009

Coaches, Swimming & Diving

Words Fail

We had such a phenomenal day, on so many levels, that trying to describe it simply won’t do it justice.
You had to be there…like about 150 of our parents, UST students, and swimming alumni were. The atmosphere was just electric, and we started to roll as both women’s and men’s 200 Medley Relays took second, both shattering the school records and making strong national cuts.
Then, Elise Andersen won consols in the 400 IM, improving nine seconds from her prelim time. Then in the men’s IM, Andrew Spratt, Ian Watters, Kirk Stearns, and Matt Moore all went lifetime bests (5th, 4th, 9th and School Record, respectively).
Amy Krueger and Ali Krieger went lifetime bests in the 100 Fly, then Erik Huls won the men’s 100 fly with an Automatic NCAA qualifying time, an MIAC Meet Record, and another UST school record.
In the 200 Free, Layla Clauss and monica Beggs moved up, then Maddie Frost swam the second fastest 200 Free in school history, going 1:55.95, missing the record by less than 3 tenths.
100 Breast…Jill Otterson moved up a place, and Krista Horejsi went her lifetime best by two seconds. six men qualified, all held place or moved up, with Jeff Buchholz and Jamie Byrnes going 1-2 in the consol heat, before Grant Frost, John Stark and Nick Frost went 4-5-7 respectively.
Then, the 100 Back, and the women’s domination of both the consols and the finals. Four women (Lexi Marthaler, Lauren Williamson, Ali Krieger and Amy Krueger all set lifetime bests in the consols, and Jena Root and Becca Ney went 1-3 in the Champ Final, with Jena breaking her own MIAC All-time record and the Meet Record, and easily making the Automatic NCAA qualifying standard.
Then, in the men’s 100 Back, Alec Nielsen and Seth Warren went bests in the consol heat (and 9th and 14th on the All-Time Top 15 list), before Peter Mullee won the 100 Back with a Meet Record (although his lead-off leg in the 400 Medley Relay last night was faster yet, and well below the NCAA Automatic qualifying time).
The 800 Free Relays each swam beautifully, with great splits from some very tired arms.
The spirit was amazing…the emotions running high all night long. There’s no question that we’re swimming the best meet we’ve had in a long, long time…and that’s saying something after last year’s incredible championship. We set six school records today, bringing the total for the meet to 15…with a full day left to go.
If you’re reading this, and want to join the fun, come down to the Aquatic Center at the U of M, prelims start at 10:30, with finals at 6:30. You may not believe your eyes.

Coaches, Swimming & Diving

Nine New School Records in One Day

Last year, we were ecstatic at breaking 14 school records during the incredible season we enjoyed.
Already, after only one day of the MIAC Championships, we have set nine new records, and three Automatic National Cuts (Peter Mullee’s 50 Free and 100 Back) and Jena Root’s 100 Back). Becca Ney also posted a 50 Free time that is a scant tenth of a second from the A Cut. Incredible.
We won the 200 Free Relay with a time that will certainly be among those considered for nationals, and we have a better relay coming tomorrow in the 200 Medley.
It’s too late (almost 11:30 PM), and I’m heading to bed…but watch the Tommiesports.com site for updates, and I’ll try to keep this blog current.
Suffice it to say that we’re having an incredible meet, and I’m so proud of our kids that I could just burst.
If any of you need something to do Friday or Saturday night, come to the Aquatic Center and watch us swim and dive. You won’t be disappointed.

Coaches, Swimming & Diving

What a day!

Where do I start? I have good news and more good news.
Well, here goes: We set four new school records in the prelims of six events and the Board of Trustees voted to build a new pool!!!
Andrew Spratt destroyed the 500 school record (set by Enda Moore 14 years ago) with a 4:43.72, dropping more time than anyone in the champ finals. Ian Watters took 16th with a 20-second drop and lifetime PR.
Then, in heat 5 of the women’s 50, Jena Root broke Becca Ney’s 50 Free record, going 24.14 and making a national cut. Then, two heats later, Becca set another new record, going 23.81 to qualify first with a time just a tenth off the automatic national qualifying time. In the same heat, Maddie Frost dropped more time than anyone in the finals, with a 24.69 (the 4th fastest in UST history), qualifying in a tie for 9th. Those three women join Ali Krieger tonight, in what will be a run at both the 200 Free Relay school record and the national qualifying standard.
In the very next event, Erik Huls and Peter Mullee share the last heat of the 50 Free. Erik touched Peter out, and in the process broke TJ Hardy’s school record, going 20.91. Those two will join Nick Frost (Maddie’s brother) and Alec Nielsen as they make a run at the 200 Free Relay school record.
And we may not be done. Peter Mullee and Jena Root will be leading off the 400 Medley Relays tonight (two more records possible there), and both relays have a great chance to see school records, too.
Stay tuned…we’re just getting started!
And, in case you missed it, the new athletic center project was approved by the Trustees today, and construction will start in May. A brand new, 25 yard x 38 yard (diving area separated by a bulkhead) 8-foot deep racing area pool will open around Thanksgiving time of 2010.
What a great day to be a Tommie!

Coaches, Swimming & Diving

Leading the Way

Only in recent years has our team been so large that we haven’t been able to take almost everyone to the MIAC Championships. Conference and NCAA rules limit the squad size to 18 competitors for each gender, and with our team roster this year at 28 women and 25 men (with four of those studying abroad this term), we tapered a number of kids for the Minnesota Challenge.
Their job was to swim great, of course, and show the rest of the team what the taper would do, and what magic the MIAC team had to look forward to…and they didn’t disappoint.
To a person, they swam out of their heads. We had 100% seasons best, lots of lifetime personal bests, and lots and lots of big drops. A “Big Drop” in swimming is taking like two seconds per 100 yards off your season’s best time if you’re a woman, maybe three seconds if you’re a man.
At right, Pat Hangge and Louie Czech take their marks for the 50 Free.
Well, all weekend long, the Pathfinders took turns making the Big Drops. Erin Weber started the party by dropping 17 seconds in the 500, then Louis Czech dropped 3+ in the 100 Back, breaking the 1:00 barrier. Marcy Warren too three seconds off her 100 fly, and her freestyle splits in the relays were every bit as good. Caitlin Gill hit seasons bests every time she hit the water in her best meet in two years…Kristen Luedtke took 6.5 seconds off her 200 Breast, and half that off of her 100. And the 200 Freestylers were even better: Janet Manthey and Bridget Kaper dropped 4…Pat Hangge dropped 6, and Sam Johnson (who was insane all weekend) took 8.5 off of his 200 Free, then turned around and went 51.66 on the 400 Free Relay, his best 100 all year by about four seconds and a lifetime PR by a bunch.
At right: The women’s 400 Free Relay. Janet Manthey’s last event as a collegiate swimmer.
You can just imagine the emotion, and also how excited their teammates were…not just for these great swims, but as they now look forward to their own taper, they have an idea of how incredibly fast they will be in a few days…thanks to our Pathfinders!

Photos by Debbie Root.

Coaches, Swimming & Diving

The Ones at the End of the Pool

If you’ve been to a Tommie swim meet, you’ve seen them…the swimmers and divers who stand at the end of the lane and cheer on their teammates. We do this as well as any team in our conference (in my totally unbiased opinion), and it says something about the quality of our kids that so many of them are there for their teammates.

Yet, out of this very generous group, there are some who are there all the time. Not just when their best friends or roommates are swimming, but all the time.
I’m not foolish enough to try to list them, for fear of leaving someone off the list…but there are a few that certainly deserve recognition as representative of this group. Like Bridget Kapler and Kaysa Mestnik, pictured above, cheering on Ian Watters. Another major force in the cheering department is junior D-man Tyler Chase, whose enthusiasm is as positive as it is loud.

Photo by Debbie Root.

Above, L-R: Tony Linn, Jill Otterson, guest cheering specialist Lindsey Fatze (my niece), and the ubiquitous Bridget Kapler.
Sometimes, it gets a little intense. Here, Janet Manthey, Matt Moore, Krista Horejsi, and Tony Linn point out that there is a Blazer worth catching in the next lane.

Photo by Mike Eckern

And what goes around, comes around. Here, Jill Otterson is in the water, and Janet, Sydney Kuramoto, and Krista provide the encouragement. Their sincerity and passion is clearly evident in the expression on their faces. How can we fail when we have support like that?

photo by Greg Smith </p