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Scots ready to take on championship meet

February 10, 2017

Photo by Michelle Ravel

Head coach Tom Burek and his men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will take the pool by storm when they head to Grinnell College to compete for the Midwest Conference Championships next weekend.

The three-day meet will follow prelims-finals format, with the top 16 fastest swimmers in each prelim event swimming to score points in the finals later that night. The Fighting Scots are hoping to improve on their 6th place finish from the previous season.

“Our team has had a really great season,” said senior captain Matt Engebretsen. “We have a lot of strength in every event, and I have no doubt the other teams will be surprised by us at this meet.”

On the men’s side, freshman Noah Barnard has crushed the sprint events, currently ranked first in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyles. Barnard is also ranked fourth in the 200-yard freestyle.

Freshman Rik Doornenbal leads the charge for the men’s distance, ranked sixth in the 1650 along with junior Sebastian Hernandez, who is ranked ninth. Senior captain Cristian Corbett will join Doornenbal and Hernandez in attempting to dominate the distance events.

Sophomore Jake Hall leads the men in the backstroke, while senior Andrew Domkuski and junior Tom Cangelosi will team up to compete in the breaststroke events. Junior captain Riley Hess will take on the individual medley events.

Seniors Claire Woodrow and Allie Vallance will lead the women’s side. Captain Woodrow will score major points in the sprint and distance freestyle events, while Vallance will attempt to defend her title of 1-meter diving champion from last year’s championships.

“Just like the men’s side, we have a ton of diversity this year,” said Woodrow. “Allie and Brooke [Boldt] will be a big factor in points for us in the diving well, so we have to do our job in the pool and perform at our best.”

The young women’s team will have major heavy-hitters with freshmen Emily Mathews and Brittany Lira and the backstroke and butterfly respectively. Junior Michelle Nafziger will tackle the breaststroke and IM events while freshmen Esther Hubbard, Morgan Abraham, Rachel Sitko and junior Melissa Barrios will join Woodrow in the distance events.

“I can’t wait to see how this team does next week,” said junior Tom Cangelosi. “We’re a pretty young team and we can definitely make a run for third, maybe even second if everything goes well for us.”

The Fighting Scots swimmers will depart next Thursday for the Midwest Conference Swimming & Diving championships. You can stream the events on the Monmouth athletics website.

Cristian Corbett
Co-Editor in Chief

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