Gustavus women make it five MIAC S&D titles in a row

Gustavus women make it five MIAC S&D titles in a row

MINNEAPOLIS --The Gustavus Adolphus College women's swimming and diving team etched its place into Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) history Saturday night to cap a brilliant three-day performance. The Gusties cruised to their fifth-straight conference title at the 2014 MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, and they now own the second-longest championship streak in league history.

The Gusties' current run of success now only trails the St. Olaf women, which won 11-straight MIAC titles starting in 1987. Gustavus had been tied with Hamline for the next-best streak, as the Pipers won the first four conference crowns. Head Coach Jon Carlson's club has now won nine overall MIAC titles, which also trails only the Oles' 15 championships atop the MIAC record books. This is Gustavus' seventh title in eight years, with only a Carleton title in 2008-09 interrupting the streak.

In addition to the team title, Gustavus took home two of the top individual honors, as senior Alissa Tinklenberg repeated as the MIAC Women's Swimmer-of-the-Year, and Carlson was honored by his peers as the 2014 MIAC Women's Swimming Coach-of-the-Year. St. Catherine's Jenna Nagy had a breakout performance to earn 2014 MIAC Women's Diver-of-the-Year honors, and Macalester's Jake Dunn was named the MIAC Diving Coach-of-the-Year for the second year in a row.

The Gustie women made it five in a row with a decisive performance, scoring 886.50 points to win by a margin of nearly 200. St. Thomas was second with 697, and St. Olaf rounded out the top three with 507.5 points. Saint Benedict scored 368 and edged Carleton (350) for fourth place. St. Catherine was sixth with 275, Macalester was seventh with 226 and Concordia came in eighth with 129 points. Augsburg scored 115 to finish ninth and Hamline edged Saint Mary's, 78-70, to round out the top 10 and complete the 2014 women's standings.


Gustavus senior Alissa Tinklenberg wrote a perfect final chapter to her MIAC career with another record-setting performance. The Gustie senior broke her own record in winning her third-straight MIAC 200-yard backstroke title with a time of 1:59.59, beating her old MIAC record of 1:59.66. She also won her third-straight 100-back title with a MIAC record time on Friday, and Thursday she won the 50-yard freestyle.

Gustavus' Alissa Tinklenberg and St. Catherine's Jenna Nagy
received the top 2014 MIAC individual honors Saturday.
(Photo by Megan Gaard, MIAC)

Tinklenberg wasn't done with her record-setting career quite yet. She anchored the Gustavus team in the final event of the night - the 400-yard freestyle relay - and the Gusties set a new MIAC record with a 2013 NCAA selection time of 3:26.77. Tinklenberg was joined by Katie Olson, Leah Anderson and Dani Klunk. Gustavus won four of the five relays, setting three new MIAC records, over the weekend.

Another Gustie - Jenny Strom - had a similarly dazzling performance while winning her third-straight MIAC 200-yard breaststroke title. Strom set a new MIAC record with her victorious time of 2:17.11, which met the NCAA selection standard. It was also Strom's third individual title of 2014, as she won her third-straight 100-breast title Friday, and the 500-yard freestyle title Thursday.

The veterans weren't the only contributors to Gustavus' title. Rookie sensation Dani Klunk completed her first MIAC Championships with another stunning performance, with a new MIAC record in the 200-yard butterfly. She met the B cut with her record time of 2:06.45, and added that title to her win in the 200-yard individual medley, and she was the runner-up in the 100-fly.

The Gusties also got a championship performance from Katie Olson in the 100-yard freestyle. Her winning time of 51.61 met the NCAA B cut. She defeated a talented field, as Carleton's Milana Socha (51.67) and St. Olaf's Maddie Lee (52.14) added to their All-MIAC haul while also meeting the B cut in the 100-free.

It was a bittersweet night on the women's diving board, as Macalester star senior Renee Jordan was injured during competition and had to withdraw. St. Catherine rookie Jenna Nagy scored 394.65 to win the 1-meter title a cap her stellar MIAC championship debut. Macalester's Hunter Hedenberg was second in an event she won a year ago with 380.35 points.

St. Thomas also had a three-time champion crowned Saturday. Elise Guenther swam away with her third-straight title in the mile with a winning time of 17:48.98. Guenther is a junior, so she will have a chance to make it a career sweep in the mile in 2015.

In the 200-back, Tinklenberg's record led the talented field, as finishers 2-4 all met the B cut. Carleton's Maria Wetzel was second, Gustavus' first-year Hayley Booher was third and St. Olaf's Abbey Schnaith was fourth. Ditto for the 200-breast, where St. Thomas' Emily Punyko (second) and St. Olaf's Maggie Boling (third) both earned All-MIAC honors and met the B cut.

Following the conclusion of the meet, there was a brief awards ceremony to honor the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team, team champions, individual award winners including Swimmers, Divers and Coaches-of-the-Year. The top three swimmers in each race were named All-Conference. A complete list of MIAC Swimming and Diving award winners will be released in the coming week.

Before the meet began, the conference honored St. Thomas Head Coach Tom Hodgson, who will retire on May 31 after leading the Tommie men and women for 35 seasons. The MIAC coaches presented Hodgson with a card, flowers and a framed photo of all the coaches as mementos from his outstanding career, and in honor of his service to MIAC swimming and diving and the conference's student-athletes.

Fans can relive all the action of the 2014 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships online. The event home page has complete results, recaps, photo galleries and highlight videos from an exciting weekend. All photos are available for purchase directly from the galleries. All six sessions are also archived online thanks to Webcast America, and fans can purchase DVDs or watch each session on-demand.

The MIAC would like to thank 2014 MIAC Swimming and Diving Champioships host institutions Gustavus Adolphus College and Hamline University. The conference also thanks Webcast America, Twin Cities Orthopedics, The Commons Hotel and Pure Blue Swim. 

2014 MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships - Session 6
Results | Photos | Highlight Video | Archived Video | Event Home Page | 


Women's Team Scores     
1. Gustavus - 886.5
2. St. Thomas - 697
3. St. Olaf - 507.5
4. Saint Benedict - 368
5. Carleton - 350   
6. St. Catherine - 275
7. Macalester - 226
8. Concordia - 129
9. Augsburg - 115
10. Hamline - 78
11. Saint Mary's - 70

2014 MIAC Women's Swimming & Diving Awards

Women's Swimmer-of-the-Year: Alissa Tinklenberg, Gustavus, Sr.

Women's Diver-of-the-Year: Jenna Nagy, St. Catherine, Jr.

Women's Swimming Coach-of-the-Year: Jon Carlson, Gustavus

Diving Coach-of-the-Year: Jake Dunn, Macalester

2014 MIAC Women's All-Conference Individuals   

1-meter diving
1. Jenna Nagy, St. Catherine, Fy., 394.65
2. Hunter Hedenberg, Macalester, So., 380.35
3. Megan Lawson, Saint Benedict, 372.10

1,650-yard freestyle
1. Elise Guenther, St. Thomas, Jr., 17:48.98, R3
2. Libby Larson, Gustavus, Jr., 17:57.00
3. McKenna Jones, Gustavus, Jr., 17:59.44

200-yard backstroke
1. Alissa Tinklenberg, Gustavus, Sr., 1:59.59, M*, R3, ST13
2. Maria Wetzel, Carleton, Fy., 2:03.99, B
3. Hayley Booher, Gustavus, Fy., 2:04.45, B

100-yard freestyle
1. Katie Olson, Gustavus, Jr., 51.61, B
2. Milana Socha, Carleton, Sr., 51.67, B
3. Maddie Lee, St. Olaf, So., 52.14, B

200-yard breaststroke
1. Jenny Strom, Gustavus, Jr., 2:17.11, M*, R3, ST13
2. Emily Punyko, St. Thomas, Jr., 2:21.34, B
3. Maggie Boling, St. Olaf, Sr., 2:23.89, B

200-yard butterfly
1. Dani Klunk, Gustavus, Fy., 2:06.45, M*, B
2. Courtney Grunewald, St. Thomas, Fy., 2:08.92
3. Mariann Kukielka, St. Thomas, Jr., 2:09.96

400-yard freestyle relay
1. Gustavus, 3:26.77, M*, ST13
(Katie Olson, Leah Anderson, Dani Klunk, Alissa Tinklenberg)
2. St. Olaf, 3:30.76, B
(Abbey Schnaith, Carolyn Bernhardt, Sarah Kemp, Maddie Lee)
3. St. Thomas, 3:21.81
(Erin Hogan, Emily Punyko, Courtney Grunewald, Hayley Trace) 


Key: M - Meet Record; M* - MIAC Record; R - Repeat Champion; R3 - 3-time Champion, R4 - 4-time Champion; A - NCAA 'A' Qualifying Standard; B - NCAA 'B' Qualifying Standard; ST13 - 2013 NCAA Selection Time.

2014 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships Home Page