Exciting third session sets up action-packed Friday night at MIAC S&D

Exciting third session sets up action-packed Friday night at MIAC S&D

MINNEAPOLIS – The 2017 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Swimming and Diving Championships continued with an action-packed preliminary session Friday morning at the University of Minnesota Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center. The results certainly set the stage for a thrilling finals session that will crown individual and relay champions in a total of 15 events Friday evening. 


The morning started in a big way for Carleton, as Maria Wetzel and Alex Mathson each recorded the fastest time in each gender's 400-yard individual medley prelims. Wetzel finished with a B-cut time of 4:33.78, and St. Thomas's Kate Washenberger also met the B cut with a time of 4:35.62. Three-time defending champ Hayley Booher of Gustavus recorded the sixth-best time (4:38.77). Matson had the fastest men's time of 4:08.08, with St. Thomas' Jason Tri right behind at 4:08.16, and Gustavus' Zach Dawson another second back at 4:09.17.

In the women's 100-yard butterfly prelims, St. Olaf's Claire Walters (56.60) recorded the top time, just ahead of St. Thomas' Katelyn Strauss (56.73), with both recording B-cut times. In the men's 100 fly prelims, St. Thomas swept the top four spots and five of the top six, with Bailey Biwer (49.15) meeting the B cut and teammates Nick Cox (49.90) and Mikey Solfelt (51.35) right behind.

The 200-yard freestyle prelims saw two Tommies at the top. Alex Howard (1:53.16) recorded the top women's time and defending champ Warren Melton (1:40.89) had the men's best mark. Carleton's Alex Braiedy (1:54.84) and Gustavus' Nicole Lohman (1:55.09) also had top-three time for the women, and Gustavus' Matt Allison (1:41.87) and St. Thomas' Luke Schneeman (1:42.66) were just behind Melton.

UST teammates Melissa Rose (1:05.26, B cut) and Ashley Christensen (1:06.21) took the top two spots in the women's 100-yard breaststroke prelims, and Tommies occupied four of the top seven spots. Carleton's Ada Meyer swam third in 1:06.24. Gustavus' Tanner Sonnek had one of the morning's best performances, with a 2016 NCAA Seleciton time of 55.17 to lead the men's 100 breast prelims, with St. Olaf teammates Nathaniel France (56.18, B cut) and Gus Reynolds (57.25) also recording top-three prelim times.

St. Thomas' Emma Paulson continued to star in the women's 100-yard backstroke prelims, as the two-time defending champ and reigning MIAC and NCAA Swimmer-of-the-Year met the B-cut with a prelim-leading time of 57.21. St. Olaf's Kelly Punyko (57.79) had the next best time, with St. Thomas' Tiana Molitor next (57.91) and Hamline's Taylor Martinek delivering a Piper highlight with the fourth-best time (58.46). In the men's 100-back prelims St. Olaf's John Loepfe (50.06, B cut) and Abe Eyman Casey (51.58) each had the top-three times with St. Thomas' Tom Negaard in the middle at 50.11.

The MIAC women also finished up the 3-meter diving prelims and semifinals, and two decorated divers are at the top heading into Friday's finals. Two-time MIAC Diver-of-the-Year Jenna Nagy led with a score of 424.25, which is an NCAA A Qualifying score. Last year's Diver-of-the-Year and defending 3-meter champ Courtney Miller of St. Olaf met the B Qualifying score with a second-place total of 4:03.45, and St. Thomas' Kellie Pruitt is seeded third (363.85). Impressively, Nagy met the A cut, and the divers placed 2-through-14 all met the B cut score.

The 2017 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships will continue Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. with the second championship session. In addition to the women's 3-meter diving finals and swimming finals in the 400-IM, 100-fly, 200-free, 100-breast and 100-back, the session will also feature championship races in the 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay. The heat sheet is available online.

The meet will continue with two more sessions Saturday. The morning session will begin at 10:30 a.m. (doors at 9 p.m.) and will feature preliminary races. Saturday's championship doors will open at 2:30 p.m. for preliminary heats of the 1,650-yard freestyle and diving.

Tickets are available at either a single-session rate, or all-session passes will also be available for fans who plan to attend the entire event. Single-session passes cost $10 for adults and $5 for students, and all-session passes have been reduced to $30 for adults and $15 for students. Heat sheets are included in the cost of admission. Children 5 and under are admitted free, and MIAC passes will be honored for all six session. No other passes or discounts will be accepted.

As in years past, all six sessions will be broadcast live online thanks to Webcast America. Fans will also be able to watched archived video of each session following the event and purchase DVDs of the broadcasts via Webcast America's site. MIAC Media's Mike Gallagher will handle play-by-play duties for four of the six sessions. There will also be "live" results available online with results updated shortly after the conclusion of each event for fans following the action from afar.

The MIAC has an exclusive Web site for the 2017 MIAC Swimming & Diving Championships. The site features the complete event schedulepsych sheetticket information and venue information. The site will be constantly updated throughout the event with heat sheets, links to follow the action live, results, recaps, photos and more.

Fans can also monitor MIAC men's swimming and diving on-the-go thanks to the the MIAC mobile app, which is a free download for both Apple and Android devices. Also, connect to the conference on its FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube pages and use the official event hashtag #MIACSD to interact throughout the championships.

2017 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships - Session 3
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