Women's Swimming & Diving Championship Preview

Women's Swimming & Diving Championship Preview

MINNEAPOLIS -- The 2010-11 MIAC Women's Swimming & Diving Championships begin Thursday, Feb. 17 and run through Saturday, Feb. 19, at the University of Minnesota's Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. The three-day event will feature two sessions each day – one in the morning and one in the evening.

The three morning sessions will feature preliminary races and diving, followed by event finals in the daily evening sessions. Each day the morning sessions begin at 10:30 a.m., and following an afternoon break the evening sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m. The MIAC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships will be held simultaneously with the women’s event.
The Gustavus women’s team returns as one of the favorites to win the 2010-11 MIAC Championship after the Gusties cruised to the team title a year ago. Gustavus won the event with a total score of 744, which left a sizeable distance between itself and second-place Carleton (588.5). A year ago St. Thomas (497), St. Olaf (473) and Saint Benedict (387) rounded out the top five.
This year the Gusties appear to be in the mix to repeat, but it might not be quite as easy as their 155.5-point victory in 2009-10. The two Northfield schools – Carleton and St. Olaf – appear to be two of Gustavus’ biggest challengers based on their performances thus far in 2010-11. Also, St. Thomas, Saint Benedict and St. Catherine enter the MIAC Championships hoping to have a say in the title picture as well. Meanwhile Macalester, Concordia, Saint Mary’s, Augsburg and Hamline all feature some talented individuals and relay teams that could generate some excitement in the Golden Gophers’ home pool.

On the individual landscape, both the reigning MIAC Women’s Swimmer-of-the-Year and the MIAC Women’s Diver-of-the-Year both return to significant fanfare in 2010-11. St. Thomas swimmer Becca Ney is back for her senior season after earning the league’s top swimming honor as a junior, thanks to her three first-place finishes (the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle events) at last year’s MIAC Championships. And Concordia diver Amy Glubzinski is also back. Her 3-meter score of 423.65 again leads all conference divers heading into the championships after she won the event last season.
However, the reigning MIAC Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach-of-the-Year – Gustavus’ Jon Carlson – has a few returning champions of his own back in the pool this season. Gusties’ junior Steph Korba won individual titles in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly events a year ago, and sophomore Carley Mosher was also a double winner in the 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard backstroke. Senior Marnie Luke was the champ in the 400-yard individual medley and another Gustavus senior – Anika Erickson – won last year’s 200-yard breaststroke.
The other returning champ from a year ago is St. Catherine’s Sarah Moody, who claimed the 1-meter diving championship a year ago and returns with her sights set on another victory on the 1-meter platform, and she also appears to be Glubzinski’s top competition on the 3-meter board as well, along with St. Thomas’ Jennifer Easton. Among the other swimmers to watch are Carleton’s Kale Zicafoose, Gustavus’ Kelsey Lucia and Laura Drake, St. Olaf's Alli Beardsley and Lindsey Lee and Saint Benedict freshman Ellen Dean.
Between the returning talent, exciting newcomers and competitive spirit, the MIAC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships is poised to be one of the conference’s marquee events again in 2011. With the U of M Aquatic Center serving as the perfect backdrop, the excitement, passion and sportsmanship between the coaches, student-athletes and fans is second to none.

For those who can't attend the championships, every session will be covered with a live video webcast provided by Webcast America (click here). Results of each event will also be posted online shortly after the conclusion of each event. In addition, the MIAC has set up an exclusive Web site for the 2010-11 MIAC Swimming & Diving Championships. The site features an event schedule, ticket information, venue information and a map, as well as links to the live broadcast and stats and the site will be constantly updated throughout the event with recaps, photos and more.

Macalester College and St. Olaf College are serving as this year's host institutions.

2010-11 MIAC Swimming & Diving Championships Home Page
Webcast America's Live Broadcast
MIAC Women's Swimming & Diving Home Page
2010-11 MIAC Men's Swimming and Diving Championship Preview

Listed below are team-by-team previews for all 11 MIAC teams competing in the 2011 MIAC Swimming & Diving Championships.

Skip to: AUG | CAR | CON | GAC | HU | MAC | CSB | SCU | SMU | STO | UST |


Coach: Kasi Clauson Lange (1st season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 11th (62 points)

Augsburg Championship Preview

While the Augsburg squad is a small one, there is optimism for improvement for this year's group of Auggie women's swimmers. Augsburg will have competitors in four individual events and four relays at the championships for first-year head coach Kasi Clauson Lange, a 2008 Augsburg alumnae who holds 24 Augsburg school records.

Two first-year swimmers, Kelsey Hlavac (FY, Carlisle, Pa./Cumberland Valley HS) and Samantha Hebzynski (FY, Maple Grove, Minn.), will be competing in three events each. Hlavac has been a strong competitor in distance events this season, setting personal-bests in both the 1,650-yard freestyle (20:05.06) and 500-yard freestyle (5:50.38). Her 500 time is the second-fastest in school history, while her 1,650 time is the third-fastest. Hlavac will also compete in the 200-yard backstroke (2:33.58 seed time).
Hebzynski has improved all season long in multiple disciplines, and will be competing in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:21.76 seed time), 500-yard freestyle (6:07.02) and 200-yard backstroke (2:33.92).

Augsburg will also be competing in four relay events -- 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley on Thursday, the 200-yard medley on Friday and the 400-yard freestyle on Saturday.

Coach: Andy Clark (18th season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 2nd (588.5 points)

Carleton Championship Preview

The Carleton women’s swimming and diving team, champions in 2009 and runners-up at last year’s conference championship, enters the 2011 MIAC Championships off a near-perfect dual-meet season.


The Knights lost but one head-to-head match-up this season, falling to rival St. Olaf by a mere two points. Senior All-American Kale Zicafoose (Omaha, Neb./Westside) paces the Knights, as she holds the MIAC’s top times in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events. Zicafoose is ranked third in the 100-yard butterfly, and is joined in the top 11 by senior Louise Buckler (Blaine, Minn./St. Paul Academy) and Grace Cormier (So./Rockford, Ill.Boylan Catholic) in that event. Junior Annie Metcalf (Bath, Maine/Morse) is ranked in the top eight in the 200 backstroke, as well as the 400-yard individual medley.
Sophomore Molly Spence (Tacoma, Wash./Woodrow Wilson) finished second in the mile last year and also earned All-MIAC honors with a third-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle, and should be among the favorites in both of those events.
The Knights have a pair of the top young freestylers in the conference in Milana Socha (Fy./Chesterton, Ind.) and Sophie Pilhofer (So./Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Visitation). Pilhofer is unbeaten against MIAC competition in the 50-yard freestyle this year and holds the MIAC’s top time of 24.22. Socha is seeded eighth in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle event. Buckler and Erin McDuffie (So./Anchorage, Alaska/Service) will back those two in the sprint freestyle events.
Diver Sydney Weydemeyer (Sr./Santa Fe, N.M.) scored in the one-meter and was All-MIAC on the three-meter board a year ago and will give the Knights key points.
Relays should prove key for the Knights, as they should be in the mix for top-three finishes in all five relays.


Coach: Julie Lucier (12th season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 7th (254 points)

Concordia Championship Preview

The storyline for the 2011 MIAC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship Meet for Concordia will once again be a strong diving crew and solid individual performances. The Cobbers enter the conference meet with four divers ranked in the top 9 in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events and have three swimmers ranked in the top 20 in individual races.

Once again the Cobbers will look to score big team points in both of the diving events. Leading the CC divers is senior Amy Glubzinski (Novi, Mich.) who recently provisionally qualified for the NCAA National Meet by posting a score of 423.65 in the 3-meter event at the St. Kate’s Invite. She has the top score in the MIAC in the 3-meter this season.

Besides Glubzinski, Kira Hausauer (So., Moorhead, Minn.), Molly Hansvick (Jr., Litchfield, Minn.), Allison Hall (Jr., Eagan, Minn./Eastview HS) and Mary Kate Kelly (Jr., Centennial, Colo./Cherry Creek HS) all have scores in the top 10 in either the 1-meter or the 3-meter. Hausauer has the No.3 score in the 3-meter and the No.9 mark in the 1-meter while Hansvick is fourth in the 3-meter and seventh in the 1-meter and Kelly is third in the 1-meter and seventh in the 3-meter. Hall currently has the sixth highest score in the 3-meter competition.    
Katie Coleman (Sr., Marshall, Minn.). has been the team’s most consistent swimmer over the past two seasons. Last year she finished eighth in the 1650-yard freestyle and 10th in the 500-yard freestyle at the MIAC Meet and is ranked in the top 26 in both of those events heading into this year’s meet. Coleman is 15th in the 1650-yard freestyle heading into the meet and also has a top 25 time in the 200-yard backstroke
Junior Paige Scarborough (Alexandria, Minn./Jefferson) is Coleman’s long-distance companion. Scarborough is ranked 19th in the conference in the 1650-yard freestyle and also has the 15th fastest time in the 1000-yard freestyle – an even not offered at the conference meet.
The top young swimmer for Concordia this season has been Kara Shugren (Fr., Isanti, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti HS). Shugren has posted multiple top 3 finishes this season and owns top 25 times in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke. She is ranked 13th in the 100-yard breaststroke, the top seed of any CC swimmer heading into the conference meet, and is 22nd in the 200-yard breaststroke.     
Coleman, Scarborough and Shugren will also be featured in the top Cobber relays. CC’s best bet for recording multiple relay points at the conference meet will be the 800-yard freestyle relay where they are ranked sixth in the conference heading into the MIAC Meet.


Coach: Jon Carlson (20th season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 1st (744 points)

Gustavus Championship Preview

Led by a strong combination of returning veterans and first year standouts, the Gustavus women’s swimming and diving team looks to be a contender yet again for the MIAC Championship. The Gusties have won three of the last four league titles. The 2011 MIAC Championships held at the Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota on Feb 17-19. 

“We had a really good regular season. Talent wise, we are as good of a team as we have ever been, but the conference has gotten a lot stronger,” said Head Coach Jon Carlson. He expects a five-team battle at the top between Carleton, St. Olaf, St. Thomas, and Saint Ben’s. “It is amazing how much St. Olaf has improved in one year and Carleton has really come on strong in January. On top of that, St. Thomas is swimming great right now and we know Saint Ben’s is going to taper like crazy.”
The Gusties return All-Conference performers Dajana Vidovic, Sarah Hund, Carley Mosher, Anika Erickson, Steph Korba, Marnie Luke, and Serena Elthon. Sophomore Carley Mosher is the top returning swimmer from last season. Mosher will look to defend her title in the 200 IM and 200 backstroke. She enters the MIAC Championships as the top swimmer in both the 500 free (5:14.74) and 200 IM (2:13.77). Mosher also ranks third in the 200 back (2:10.91), and fourth in the 100 back (59.70).
Junior Steph Korba is the reigning MIAC Champion in the 100 and 200 butterfly. She currently ranks fifth in both the 100 (1:01.55) and 200 butterfly (2:18.28). Seniors Anika Erickson and Marnie Luke are Gustavus’ other two defending champions from a year ago. Luke won the 400 IM, while Erickson is a two-time champion in the 200 breaststroke. Erickson ranks seventh in the 200 breaststroke (2:33.12), while Luke also ranks seventh in the 400 IM (4:54.03). 
The Gusties have great depth in the freestyle races with talented veterans Dajana Vidovic, Sarah Hund, Serena Elthon, and junior Melissa Aune. Vidovic has the third fastest time in the 100 (54.04), while ranking fourth in the 200 (1:58.40) and sixth in the 50 (24.71). Hund is third in the 50 (24.32) and fifth in the 100 (54.15). Elthon enters ranked fourth in the 50 (24.61), while Aune is third in the 1000 (11:03.79). Newcomers Alissa Tinklenberg, Kelsey Lucia, and Brogan Barr will also look to make a splash in the freestyle. Tinklenberg has recorded a top-five time in four freestyle races including the 200 (3rd, 1:58.09), 500 (2nd, 5:15.43), 1000 (4th, 11:05.13), 1650 (1st, 18:16.62). Lucia has the fastest time in the 100 (53.01) and is ranked second in the 50 (24.24). Barr ranks second in the 1650 (18:25.62), fifth in the 500 (5:18.31), and fourth in the 400 IM (4:50.80). 
First-year Laura Drake will add depth in both the breaststroke and individual medley races. She holds the second fastest mark in both the 200 (2:13.81) and 400 IM (4:48.06) races. Drake is also ranked second in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.48) and third in the 200 breaststroke (2:29.72.).
In the diving competition, Coach Carlson expects solid scores from a balanced trio of divers in senior Darcy Reller, junior Alicia Alvarado, and first-year Haley Totzke.
The Gusties will need to put together a complete meet from top to bottom in order to compete for a championship according to Carlson. “We need everybody to swim well. It is one of those years where it is not going to be your top kids who will carry you, its going to be the depth that you have,” said Carlson. “I think the girls are ready and they are starting to come together as a team. They realize that every swimmer on the roster is important if they are going to win.”
Coach Carlson’s squad enters the conference championships as the team to beat in the freestyle relay events. Gustavus currently has the top time in the 200, 400, and 800-free relays.


Coach: Frank Vaccaro (2nd season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 9th (128 points)

Hamline Championship Preview

Hamline will field a pair of athletes in competition at the MIAC championships this weekend.


Ingrid Haugan (Fy., New Brighton, Minn.) will handle the diving responsibilities for the Pipers while Angela Lesnak (So., Chisholm, Minn.) will swim in the 100 breaststroke for the Pipers on Friday.


Coach: Beth Whittle (1st season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 8th (212.5 points)

Macalester Championship Preview
Under interim head coach Beth Whittle, a former NCAA Division III champion at Linfield (Ore.), the Macalester Scots are looking to move up from last year’s eighth-place conference finish. 
Former conference breaststroke champion Karoline Hart (Jr., Rexford, N.Y. / Niskayuna) missed the fall semester part of the schedule while on study abroad, as well as the winter break training trip, but could still be a factor. Grace Fleming (Jr., Northampton, Mass.) has also returned since missing fall semester and is regaining top form. She was fourth at last year’s MIAC championships in both the 500- and 1650-yard freestyle, as well as fifth in the 200 free. Fleming will shorten up and swim in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles.
The Scots are looking for team points in the diving events behind the skills of school-record holder Renee Jordan (Fy., Anchorage, Ak. / Steller Secondary School), who won 1-meter diving at the Grinnell Invitational with a Mac record score of 424.75. She’ll dive on both boards and also swim in the 50 freestyle.
Claire Eder (Sr., Evanston, Ill. / Evanston Township) is looking to score points in the backstroke and IM events, while sprint freestyle Suzanne Oh (So., Waukesha, Wis.) has also been a top point scorer for the Scots.

Saint Benedict

Coach: Kathy Walker (9th season) and Mike Ritchie (13th season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 5th (387 points)
Saint Benedict Championship Preview

The College of Saint Benedict swim and dive team arrives at the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships eager to compete, looking forward to a top three finish this year.  After training in Puerto Rico over winter break, the Blazers are excited to take on the competition.

First-year Ellen Dean is a top point earner for the Blazers, ranked second overall behind St. Kate’s Bridget Perkins.  Being chosen as a Blazer Athlete of the Week as well as a MIAC Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Week, she is sure to be a threat.  Dean is ranked first in the MIAC in the 200 yard butterfly and is less than one second from beating Ashley Holderness’s 1996 school record of 2:12:40.  Dean is also less than two seconds away from breaking the school record in the 100 yard butterfly, another event she is sure to dominate.
First-year Emily Roberts is sure to make a splash in the 100 yard backstroke with consistent times less than one second away from a school record, last set in 1998 by Noelle Peterson.
The Blazer relays will be a force with first-year Lauren Kessler and sister sophomore Samantha Kessler. Sophomore Mary Wood, first-year Emily Roberts, first-year Kristin Beste, and sophomore Katie Kaiser should add speed and experience to the relays.
Lauren Kessler was the most recent swimmer to be chosen as the Blazer Athlete of the Week. Emily Roberts has also been named Blazer Athlete of the Week, showing great determination and skill in the pool.

The Blazers finished either first or second in six of ten meets, including a big win at the St. Kate’s Invitational where the Blazers competed against five other teams.

St. Catherine

Coach: Shana Erickson (1st season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 6th (262 points)

St. Catherine Championship Preview

The Wildcats return all of their point scorers from the 2010 MIAC Championship meet, where they posted their highest team finish in 17 years.  The 2011 squad is poised to build off that 2010 success, heading into the meet with athletes ranked first in their events.  Junior Sarah Moody returns to defend her 1-meter diving title and she has already posted NCAA qualifying performances in both 1-meter and 3-meter diving this season.  Junior Bridget Perkins owns the top time in the 100 fly in the MIAC this season and also has the ability to score in the 100 free. 

Sophomores Steffanie Jurusik and Allison Witt are both threats to score in multiple events.  The 200 IM could be a big event for the Wildcats, as both Jurusik and Witt have times in the top 16.  Jurusik is also ranked high in the 100 and 200 back, while Witt could score in the 200 breast and 400 IM.  Junior Mary Walters (200 back) and sophomore Lena Anderson (200 breast) provide depth for the Wildcats, with both ranked in the top 16 in their respective events.    

The Wildcats look to have strong showings in all five relay events, with a pool of five athletes to mix and match on relay legs.  Sarah Vrudny joins with Anderson, Perkins, Jurusik, and Witt on the various relays, and the Wildcats will be taking aim at top five finishes and several school records. 

Saint Mary's

Coach: Eric Lindquist (12th season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 10th (104 points)

Saint Mary's Championship Preview
The 2009-2010 season was a dream season for Saint Mary's University's Mark Ross (Dubuque, Iowa).

A dream season with a storybook ending.

Ross proved to be one of the Cardinals' top performers all season, and the then-freshman used the conference's biggest stage to write the picture-perfect ending.

Ross had a hand in setting seven SMU school records at the season-ending Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships, helping the Cardinals to a sixth-place finish.

Which leaves head coach Eric Lindquist with just one nagging question — what type of sequel can Ross and the Cardinals write at this year’s MIAC Championships?

“Mark had a great freshman year and no question he turned a few heads around the conference,” said Lindquist. “The expectations on Mark — and the rest of the men's and women's teams — are going to be higher this year.
“And everyone in this program is up to the challenge.”

On paper, Lindquist's two teams are in stark contrast — the Cardinal men are a roster of seven, while more than twice that many (16 to be exact) make up the women's roster.

“On paper, the guys' roster might look a little small,” said Lindquist, who is without three of his top performers from a year ago in John Fox, Tim Tysk and Neil Heacox. “But this is a group of hard-working guys who are going to surprise a few people this year.”

Led by veterans Kristina Empanger (Chaska, Minn.), Rachel Steinkamp (Lakeville, Minn.), Liz Flynn (Mahtomedi, Minn.) and Nikki Farmer, the Cardinal women are not only deep, but talented as well.

“We graduated some very solid leaders, but we return some individuals who will be able to step right into those leadership roles,” said Lindquist. “Liz and Nikki have had solid years, and I'm expecting more of the same at the conference championships. Kristina and Rachel are in the midst of solid senior seasons, and we’ve got a number of others poised for breakout performances this week.
 “We should be in for a wild ride.”

St. Olaf

Coach: Dave Hauck (37th season) and Bob Hauck (22nd season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 4th (473 points)

St. Olaf Championship Preview

The St. Olaf women's swimming and diving team will go for its 16th MIAC title this weekend. The Oles, who won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006, were fourth at the event last year.

The Oles will look to senior Ali Beardsley, sophomore Meghan Weiss and first years Lindsey Lee and Carolyn Bernhardt. Beardsley has the league's best times in the 400 IM and 1000 Free, the second best time in the 200 IM and the fourth-best mark in the 500 Free. Weiss owns the top time in the 200 Free and the No. 4 time in the 100 Free. Lee has the top times in the 100 Breast and 200 Breast while Bernhardt has top-three times in the 100 Back (3rd) and 200 Back (2nd).

St. Thomas

Coach: Tom Hodgson (32nd season)
2009-10 Championship Finish: 3rd (497 points)

St. Thomas Championship Preview

The Tommie women will look to again post a top-five team finish at this week’s MIAC Championships. The three-day competition starts Thursday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

Led by the meet’s Most Outstanding women's swimmer, Becca Ney, UST took third place out of 11 teams last season. It was the second consecutive third-place team finish for a Tommie program that just five years earlier placed ninth at the conference meet.
All-American Jena Root graduated, but Ney, who had a hand in four victories and two seconds in the 2010 meet, is back for her senior season.
In the 2010-11 conference season-best performance lists, the Tommies are seeded second in the 400 and 800 free relays and rank third in the 200 free relay, all with Hayley Trace, Ney, Erin Hogan and Lizzy Gross. The Toms are also seeded third in the 400 medley with Ney, Karly Harrod, Katie Bromback and Trace.
Ney is seeded in the top 10 in five individuals events – second in the 100 free (53.53), second in the 200 free (1:57.94), fifth in the 50 free (24.64), fifth in the 100 back (1:00.32) and 10th in the 200 IM (2:17.53).
Junior diver Jennifer Easton is seeded first (11 dives) and second (six dives) on the one-meter board, and fifth on the three-meter board.
Bromback is seeded second in the 200 fly (2:13.98), fourth in the 100 fly (1:01.48) and 10th in the 400 IM (4:57.18).
Junior Sam Simon is seeded fourth in the 1,650 free (18:33.82) and sixth in the 1,000 free (11:10.29).
Harrod is seeded fifth in the 100 breast (1:11.0) and sixth in the 200 breast (2:32.34).
Trace is seeded sixth in the 100 free (54.23) and eighth in the 100 back (1:01.24).
Gross is seeded sixth in the 500 free (5:19.50).