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Scot’s Swimmers Make History

February 20, 2012

MONMOUTH, Ill. – The Monmouth College women set four records and recorded their highest finish in the history of the program at the Midwest Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in Appleton, Wis.

      Monmouth’s 12-woman squad placed enough swimmers in the top eight to bring home third place from the weekend’s championships. Their previous best had been fourth last year. The Fighting Scots men placed fifth, just five points out of fourth and 30 points away from third.

      The women picked up double points with two swimmers in the top eight of five events. Krysta Sparks and Rachel Holm finished 2-3 in the 200-yard butterfly. Sparks swam a personal-best 2:16.97, finishing just over a second off the winning time. The pair also scored top eight points in the 100 fly where Sparks swam a school-record 1:00.78 to place third. Holm was seventh. Sparks also took sixth in the 200 IM.

      Erica McAloon turned in a Monmouth record and Erin Willhite chalked up a personal-best as the tandem placed in the top eight of the 100 freestyle. McAloon’s 56.24 was good for a tie for fifth and Willhite’s 56.62 placed her seventh. The pair traded positions in the 50 free as Willhite turned in a school-record 25.70 to place third and McAloon was fourth with a career-best 25.88. Willhite also clocked a personal-best 1:04.02 to place eighth in the 100 backstroke.

      McAloon also turned in a PR in the 100 breaststroke where she earned a top eight spot with Amanda Zaidel. McAloon’s 1:10.37 was the fourth-best time, 28-hundredths out of third. Zaidel was sixth, three seconds behind McAloon. Zaidel also took fifth in the 200 breaststroke.

      Dani Gordon logged a lifetime-best to place eighth in the 200 backstroke. The sophomore’s 2:20.10 was just over a second behind the seventh-place swimmer.

      The women set one school mark and narrowly missed another in the relays. Kendra Kuehl, McAloon, Willhite and Gordon set the new Monmouth standard in the 800 freestyle relay. The quartet touched in 8:17.29 to place fourth.

      Holm joined Willhite, Gordon and McAloon in the near-record setting 400 freestyle relay. The foursome’s 3:48.67 placed them fifth and was just 18-hundredths off the Scots’ record.

      Colleen Zumpf joined Holm, McAloon and Willhite to open the weekend with a third-place effort in the 200 free relay. The squad’s 1:44.05 was a Monmouth honor roll time and was less than a second behind the runner-up.

      The 400 medley relay notched a Monmouth honor roll time and placed fourth. Gordon, McAloon, Sparks and Willhite touched in 4:14.55, less than a second out of third. The 200 medley team of Gordon, Zaidel, Sparks and Holm brought home fourth in that event.

      The women also picked up crucial points in the diving well where Clarissa Henby and Abby McGuire went off the 1-meter. Henby scored a school-record 349.10 points in the 11 dive event to place eighth. McGuire came in 11th with a lifetime-best score of 306.70.

      On the men’s side, Josh Dunn finished his conference career with three top three finishes. He swam to a second-place finish in the 100 freestyle, less than a half second back with a time of 48.12. Gabe Baginski added top eight points in the event, placing eighth. Dunn took third in the 200 IM with a 1:59.19, a second out of the runner-up spot. He also took third in the 100 fly.

      Brett Dunn took second in the 400 IM. His swim of 4:30.97 was six seconds off the winning pace. Joe Testolin joined Dunn in the top eight of the 200 backstroke. Dunn recorded a PR of 2:04.61 to finish fifth, two spots ahead of Testolin.

      It was a personal-best for Baginski in the 200 freestyle where he was third, a little more than a half second out of second-place with a swim of 1:44.48. He was out-touched in the 500 free where his 4:52.31 put him fifth, 16-hundredths out of a fourth-place finish.

      A pair of top eight swims was turned in by Zach Heilman in the breaststroke events. He clocked a personal-best 2:15.25 to place fifth in the 200 breaststroke and was seventh in the 100.

      The meet-ending 400 freestyle relay team just missed a Scots’ record. Baginski, Testolin and both Dunns placed third in 3:16.63. The time was a mere nine one-hundredths off the school record. The foursome took second in the 800 free relay with a Monmouth honor roll mark of 7:10.39.

      James Corbeil joined Baginski and the Dunns in the 200 free relay. The squad clocked a 1:30.29 to take fourth, less than two seconds behind the third-place team.

 Dan Nolan

Monmouth College Sports Information Director

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