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Swimmers look to make waves at conference

February 10, 2012

Kyla Quigley/ The Courier - Sophomore Zach Heilman takes second in the 200 breaststroke on Saturday’s meet against Western Illinois University, Valparasio University and Augustana College. The team has a bye weekend and will head to the conference meet Feb. 17-19.

The Monmouth College swim team had their final meet before conference this weekend at the Pepper Natatorium. One pool record and some personal-bests highlighted the Scots’ final home meet.

The swim team competed against teams from Valparaiso University, Western Illinois University and Augustana College.

Sophomore Gabe Baginski finished with a pair of firsts and set a pool record in the process. Baginski bested the Monmouth pool record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:46.42. He also touched first in the 500 freestyle in 4:56.46.

Senior Josh Dunn added the other men’s win by finishing the 100 freestyle in 49.38 before taking fourth in the 200 individual medley after swimming a 2:07.13.

The Monmouth Lady Scots turned in three career-best swims and just narrowly missed a fourth.

Krysta Sparks picked up two runner-up finishes and beat her personal-best in the 200 butterfly. The senior posted a 2:25.66 to take second in the 200 fly, beating teammate Rachel Holm who clocked in at  2:27.76. Both times rank in the Midwest Conference’s top five.

Sparks also took second in the 200 individual medley with a 2:22.61. Sparks along with junior Amanda Zaidel placed in the 200 breaststroke where each got their season-best performance. Sparks touched in 2:38.72, and Zaidel touched in with a 2:41.68.

Freshmen Erin Willhite took second in the 100 freestyle after touching in with a 57.64. Willhite also swam in the 100 backstroke, in which she timed in with a personal best, 1:07.03, to place third.

The Lady Scots’ third career-best came from sophomore Dani Gordon’s third place finish in the 200 backstroke. Her time of 2:22.47 was only two seconds short of second place.

Just nine-hundredths of a second kept junior Erica McAloon from joining her three teammates with career-bests. McAloon took third in the 100 breaststroke with her season-best 1:12.67.

A pair of Western University swimmers surrounded sophomore Zach Heilman in the 200 breaststroke but his 2:23.80 was good for second-place. Just one second kept him from a top three finish, while Heilman’s 1:06.30 placed him a solid fourth.

Sophomore Brett Dunn and senior Joe Testolin finished in the top five in the 200 backstroke. The younger Dunn brother turned in a 2:09.78 while Testolin swam a 2:11.10. The men’s 400 medley relay of Baginski, Heilman, Testolin and Josh Dunn turned in a 3:49.13, while the 400 freestyle relay replaced Heilman with Brett Dunn to barely beat Western and place fourth in 3:25.25.

Monmouth’s women placed second and third in the 400 medley relay. Gordon, McAloon, Sparks and Willhite improved their time to a 4:19.98 to take second while seniors Kendra Kuehl and Colleen Zumpf joined Zaidel and Holm to place third in 4:26.81. McAloon, Gordon, Holm and Willhite ended with the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:55.93.

The men’s and women’s teams will head back to the pool for the next couple of weeks before taking off for the Midwest Conference Championships on Feb. 17-19 in Appleton, Wis.

Frank Wasielewski
Contributing Writer

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