Scots prepare for championship tourney
February 19, 2016
Photo courtesy of Dan Nolan
This weekend, the Scots swimming and diving teams will compete in the Midwest Conference Championships. The Scots will look to bring home a pair of titles, a goal they have been preparing to achieve all season long.
“Our last meet was a welcomed surprise,” said junior Shayne Stone. “We had some of our best times during some of our hardest practices. We did not expect to swim all that well. With conference approaching we swam events that would mimic what we would swim in conference.”
Last season, the men finished fourth in the championship meet while the women’s team finished in fifth place. The Scots will look for strong performances from key swimmers in order to take the Midwest Conference crown.
On the men’s side of the pool, junior Cristian Corbett and sophomore Sebastian Hernandez have been providing a competitive spark with their superb performances in the 500 and 1650 freestyle events all season long. Hernandez currently holds a slight edge over Corbett in the 1650, where the sophomore is ranked eighth.
“Hernandez and I are constantly going at it in the distance events,” said Corbett. “I love that we can feed off of each like that in a healthy way. We are constantly motivating each other to do better, but at the same time, we want to blow the other out of the water.”
The men will also look to sophomore Riley Hess and juniors Andrew Domkuski and Matt Engebretsen for point contribution. Hess competes in the IM and butterfly events and has begun to look in top shape as conference rolls around.
Domkuski and Engebretsen look to bring the same competitive spark that Corbett and Hernandez bring to the pool. The pair of swimmers both compete in in the 50 freestyle event. Engebretsen will also look to contribute points to the Scots by performing well in his 100 and 200 events.
For the women, the Scots will look to the diving well as big contributions to their team point total. The Scots feature sophomore Brenna Bowers and junior Brooke Boldt alongside three-time regional qualifier Allie Vallance.
“I’m very excited to see what conference brings this season,” said Vallance. “Both freshman and sophomore year I finished second behind a very talented diver from Lake Forest College. Last year she graduated, so we will have to see if all my hard work and effort I put into this season can get my first place this year.”
Vallance missed a few meets due to injuries she sustained over the course of the season, but returned recently to take third in their final diving competition before conference. Her performance was only outdone by a pair of Division I athletes who competed in the meet.
The Scots will also look to junior Claire Woodrow and senior Cassidy O’Connell as key point contributors for women’s team. Woodrow is ranked fourth in the 500-yard freestyle and sixth in the 1650 and hopes to contribute big points to for the Scots.
O’Connell has top seven times in the two breaststroke events and the 400 individual medley. Despite nagging injuries, O’Connell’s attention to detail in her preparation could be the key to her securing points for her team.
“Cassidy is feeling good,” said head coach Tom Burek. “We pulled back on some of her training to accommodate the rehab process. She felt good in our last meet three weeks ago and we’ve adjusted her taper and weight training accordingly.”
The Scots will kick off the three-day conference meet today in Grinnell, Iowa. Good luck to all the Scots athletes as they look to bring home the conference titles.