MIAC swimmers and divers set for NCAA Championships

Maggie Webster

INDIANAPOLIS – The 2018 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Wednesday through Saturday in Indianapolis, Ind. and the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) will be well-rested and ready for action.

MIAC student-athletes have been prepping for national completion since the Conference Championships in mid-February and will aim to make a splash on the national stage later this week, with three individual qualifiers and six relay teams on the women's side and another trio to go along with one relay team in the men's events. The MIAC also has 17 optional entries, as all qualified swimmers have the option to compete in up to three events at the national showcase.


Gustavus swimmers Maggie Webster and Kate Reilly will both compete in the women's 50-yard freestyle. Webster is seeded third in the field (23.13) while Reilly is ninth (23.49). Webster also made the cut in the 100-yard freestyle (51.59) and earned an optional entry in the 200-yard freestyle. Reilly nabbed optional spots in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard freestyle as well. St. Olaf sophomore Caitlin Croasdell will represent the Oles, seeded 20th in the women's 1650-yard freestyle (17:12.65). The sophomore swimmer earned additional optional entries in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles. MIAC Swimmer of the Year Kaitlyn Strauss has optional entries as an individual in the 200-yard butterfly and 500-yard freestyle.

Six women's relay teams from the MIAC will also be in competition. The Gusties' 200-yard freestyle relay team of Webster, Reilly, Kennedy Holwerda and Alyssa Lokensgard locked down the fifth seed by way of their performance at the 2018 MIAC Championships (1:33.73), while the 200-yard medley relay team of Webster, Reilly, Holwerda and Madeline Westendorp is seeded 15th (1:44.66). St. Thomas qualified four relay teams for nationals – the MIAC champion 400-yard freestyle relay team of Strauss, Tiana Molitor, Alex Howard and Kate Smarjesse is seeded 15th (3:28.74), while the same foursome is seeded 18th in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:34.90). Strauss and Howard are joined by Kirsten Nelson and Melissa Rose on the 17th-seeded 400-yard medley relay team (3:60.55), while Molitor, Rose and Smarjesse team with Haley Cassens on the 19th-seeded 200-yard medley relay team (1:44.93). Gustavus has three more optional entries in the 400-yard medley and freestyle relays, as well as the 800-yard freestyle relay, while St. Thomas has an optional entry in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

On the men's side, 2018 MIAC Swimmer of the Year Bailey Biwer of St. Thomas is seeded fourth in the 100-yard butterfly (48.29) and 17th in the 200-yard butterfly (1:49.30), while last season's Conference award winner, Gustavus' Tanner Sonnek, is seeded third in the 100-yard breaststroke (54.79) and fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:00.61) thanks to record-breaking times in both events at the 2018 MIAC Championships. Sonnek also earned an optional entry in the men's 200-yard individual medley. Meanwhile, four-time MIAC Men's Diver of the Year Andrew Grabowski is headed to nationals in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions.

After setting a new MIAC record in the 200-yard freestyle relay, the St. Thomas team of Biwer, Tom Negaard, Hunter Neilsen and Charles Hynes is seeded seventh (1:21.44). Negaard earned an optional entry in the 100-yard backstroke, while the Tommies landed four more optional entries in the 200- and 400-yard medley relays and 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays.

The 2018 National Championships will be hosted by Franklin College and the Indiana Sports Corporation at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana. A total of 579 participants (526 swimmers and 53 divers) will compete in the Championships.

Student-athletes qualified for the swimming portion of the Championships by meeting the established minimum time for the events in which they entered. Divers were determined by performances achieved at the regional diving meets Feb. 24-25. The complete lists of all swimmers competing in the championships - including team-by-team entries and the official psych sheets - are available at http://www.usaswimming.org/ncaa.

NCAA.com will video stream all sessions Wednesday through Saturday of the championships.

 2018 MIAC Men's Swimming and Diving National Qualifiers
Seed Name Institution Class Event Seed Time
3 Tanner Sonnek Gustavus Jr. 100-Yard Breaststroke 54.79
4 Tanner Sonnek Gustavus Jr. 200-Yard Breaststroke 2:00.61
4 Bailey Biwer St. Thomas Sr. 100-Yard Butterfly 48.29
17 Bailey Biwer St. Thomas Sr. 200-Yard Butterfly 1:49.30
-- Andrew Grabowski St. Thomas Sr. 1-meter Diving --
-- Andrew Grabowski St. Thomas Sr. 3-meter Diving --
7 Tom Negaard
Bailey Biwer
Hunter Neilsen
Charles Hynes
St. Thomas   200-Yard Freestyle Relay 1:21.44
 2018 MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving National Qualifiers
Seed Name Institution Class Event Seed Time
3 Maggie Webster Gustavus Jr. 50-Yard Freestyle 23.13
24 Maggie Webster Gustavus Jr. 100-Yard Freestyle 51.59
9 Kate Reilly Gustavus Sr. 50-Yard Freestyle 23.49
20 Caitlin Croasdell St. Olaf So. 1650-Yard Freestyle 17:12.65
5 Kennedy Holwerda
Maggie Webster
Alyssa Lokensgard
Kate Reilly
Gustavus   200-Yard Freestyle Relay 1:33.73
15 Kennedy Holwerda
Madeline Westendorp
Kate Reilly
Maggie Webster
Gustavus   200-Yard Medley Realy 1:44.66
15 Tiana Molitor
Kaitlyn Strauss
Alex Howard
Kate Smarjesse
St. Thomas   400-Yard Freestyle Relay 3:28.74
17 Kirsten Nelson
Melissa Rose
Kaitlyn Strauss
Alex Howard
St. Thomas   400-Yard Medley Relay 3:50.55
18 Alex Howard
Tiana Molitor
Kate Smarjesse
Kaitlyn Strauss
St. Thomas   200-Yard Freestyle Relay 1:34.90
19 Tiana Molitor
Melissa Rose
Haley Cassens
Kate Smarjesse
St. Thomas   200-Yard Medley Relay 1:44.93

Optional Entries
Tanner Sonnek | Jr. | Gustavus | Men 200 Yard IM | 1:52.19 |

Tom Negaard | Jr. | St. Thomas | Men 100 Yard Backstroke | 50.13 |
Maggie Webster | Gustavus | Women 200 Yard Freestyle | 1:54.32 |
Kate Reilly | Gustavus | Women 100 Yard Butterfly | 56.99 |
Kate Reilly | Gustavus | Women 100 Yard Freestyle | 52.65 |
Caitlin Croasdell | So. | St. Olaf | Women 500 Yard Freestyle | 5:06.02 |
Caitlin Croasdell | St. Olaf | Women 200 Yard Freestyle | 2:02.17 |
Kaitlyn Strauss | Jr. | St. Thomas | Women 500 Yard Freestyle | 4:59.92 |
Kaitlyn Strauss | St. Thomas | Women 200 Yard Butterfly | 2:05.16 |
St. Thomas | Men 200 Yard Medley Relay | 1:30.97 |
St. Thomas | Men 400 Yard Medley Relay | 3:21.45 |
St. Thomas | Men 800 Yard Freestyle Relay | 6:47.69 |
St. Thomas | Men 400 Yard Freestyle Relay | 3:05.31 |
Gustavus | Women 400 Yard Medley Relay | 3:53.34 |
Gustavus | Women 800 Yard Freestyle Relay | 7:45.71 |
Gustavus | Women 400 Yard Freestyle Relay | 3:29.68 |
St. Thomas | Women 800 Yard Freestyle Relay | 7:39.65 |

NCAA Press Release | 2018 Championships Schedule |