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Swimmers net third in first home meet

November 18, 2011

Kimarri Campbell/The Courier - The Scots’ swimmers placed third at the Monmouth Invitational on Saturday, Nov. 12. Their next meet will be held at Grinnell College on Nov. 2.

The Monmouth College swim team dived right into their first home meet of the season by breaking records and receiving third place for both the men’s and women’s teams.

The men’s team won the 800-yard relay and clocked a time of 7:39.09 becoming the fastest time in the event.  The relay consisted of Gabe Baginski, Joe Testolin, Brett Dunn and Josh Dunn.

“Our relay just knew to end the meet on a good note and put all we had left together to finish the meet strong,” said senior Josh Dunn. “After the meet was over and we had our team dinner with the parents we found out that we had broken the 800-yard relay record for the pool. That was just something I thought was a good way to end the meet even though we had no idea we could break it.  It was nice being able to look to the side of the pool and see everyone on the team standing up for the 800-yard relay. I think it got all of us really excited for the relay at the end.”

Baginski was successful in his individual events. He opened the meet with a second place finish in the 1650 free, clocked a personal best in the 200 backstroke and won the 500 freestyle by five seconds.

Josh Dunn also had a career best at the invite in the 400 individual medley (IM). He also took second in the 100 butterfly and the 100 freestyle.

“I have never swam the 400 IM and was unsure how well I would do,” said Josh Dunn. “I haven’t ever trained before for that race but I knew I would do well in it.  I felt strong during the race and knew I could give more when it comes time to swim it again.”

The women’s team also had a strong meet with earning second place in the 800 freestyle relay. The relay included Erin Willhite, Krysta Sparks, Kendra Kuehl and Erica McAloon. The relay clocked an 8:52.13 finishing 15 seconds ahead of the third place team.

“For the 800 relay, Kendra and I had already swam the 200 free earlier in the meet, so I’d say that was our preparation,” said McAloon. “Other than that, we just told each other to do what we had to do and remain strong throughout the entire race.”

Along with the second place finish, Sparks also had two individual third places in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. McAloon took third in the 200 freestyle, and Kuehl swam a personal best of 5:16.96 in the 400 IM, finishing fourth.

Outside the pool, the women’s team racked up points with three women divers: Clarissa Henby, Abby McQuire and Ashley Rippentrop. The trio competed at the YMCA.

First-time diver, McGuire explained how she practiced to prepare for the meet.

“I prepared for the meet by doing dives over and over and doing dry land work outs with the swim team,” said McGuire.

The Monmouth Invitational included Monmouth College, Lake Forest College, Loras College, Milliken University, Knox College, Illinois College and Robert Morris University. The teams’ next meet will be Dec. 2-3 at the Grinnell Invitational.

“This is our big mid-season meet, so the team is going to work hard for the next couple weeks, then Coach de la Pena is going to cut down the workouts a bit to give us a short rest so we are ready to swim fast at the meet,” said junior Amanda Zaidel. “We’ll definitely all be thinking about how we can improve our stroke technique in order to swim faster.”

Kelsey Beshears
Sports Editor

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