Katie Vogl, Saint Benedict

Marshall, Minn. / Marshall
Week of: 2012-02-13

In all sports, coaches hope their athletes show continuous improvement throughout the season. In that case, the Saint Benedict swimming and diving coaches should be thrilled with freshman swimmer Katie Vogl (Marshall, Minn.). The first-year Blazer set new lifetime best times in three events at Saturday's MIAC Invitational while earning a first-place finish in each event. For her performance, Vogl has been named the MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week.

Vogl won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 56.43, the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:04.06 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:35.41 at Saturday's meet hosted by St. Thomas at Anderson Pool in St. Paul, Minn. In the process, Vogl took two full seconds off her time in the 100, four seconds off her 200 and a whopping 14 seconds off her previous best in the 500 to set a new lifetime best time in each event. No team scores were kept at the meet.

 

The Blazers hope their swimmers continue to record their best times as the 2012 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships loom this weekend, which will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. There will be two sessions each day, with preliminaries in the morning at 10:30 a.m. and finals each evening at 6:30 p.m. All six sessions will be broadcast live by the MIAC and Webcast America. Visit the 2012 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships home page for complete information.

Erin McDuffie, Carleton

Anchorage, Alaska / Service
Week of: 2012-02-06

The Carleton women's swimming and diving team got to test the waters for the MIAC Championships over the weekend at a similarly big event in the same pool, and the results were extremely encouraging for both the Knights and junior swimmer Erin McDuffie (Anchorage, Alaska/Service). McDuffie emerged as one of the top Division III freestylers at the meet, setting season-best times in two events and recording the fastest time of all D-III entrants in both events as well. For her performances, McDuffie has been named the MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week.

McDuffie's big performance began with a season-best time of 53.40 in the 100-yard freestyle to best the rest of the Division III swimmers in the event. For an encore, she set a new lifetime best time in the 200-yard freestyle by shaving more than three seconds off her previous best time. Her new personal record of 1:57.87 helped her finish 12th overall in the event and No. 1 among the D-III swimmers. Both of her new season-best times rank fourth in the MIAC this season on the conference's Top Times list. No team scores were recorded at the Minnesota Challenge.

McDuffie and the Knights will take the upcoming weekend off to prepare for the 2012 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships, which will be held Feb. 16-18, also at the University of Minnesota's Aquatic Center. There will be two sessions each day and the entire event will broadcast live online by the MIAC and Webcast America.

Jennifer Easton, St. Thomas

Eden Prairie, Minn. / Eden Prairie
Week of: 2012-01-30

The St. Thomas women's swimming and diving team couldn't possibly ask for more out of diver Jennifer Easton (Eden Prairie, Minn.) than what the senior All-American contributed over the weekend. In Friday's dual and Saturday's invitational, Easton swept both the 1- and 3-meter diving events in both competitions, setting two new school records in the process. However, her crowning achievement came in Saturday's 1-meter competition. Easton recorded a winning score of 461.50, which is a new MIAC record, beating out Carleton's Angie Soucek who set the previous mark in 2001. For per record-setting performance, Easton has been named the MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week.

Easton's record diving performance came Saturday at the St. Catherine Invitational, where she also won the 3-meter diving title with a score of 416.10. Both victories were absolutely essential to the Tommies, who edged Saint Benedict for the team title by less than a point, 700.0 to 699.5. Easton's record-setting performance came just a day after she also set a school record with a score of 273.15 on the 1-meter board for six dives. She won that event, as well as the 3-meter (267.50) in a home dual with Gustavus, to help UST seriously challenge the defending conference champs in a 158-141 loss. Easton now holds the top score in the MIAC in both 1-meter diving events (11 and six dives), the top 3-meter score for six dives, and she ranks second in the conference for 3-meter, 11 dives.

 

This weekend, Easton will try to re-create her diving magic when St. Thomas competes in the two-day Minnesota Challenge on both Friday and Saturday. Friday's action is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. , with Saturday's competition to begin at noon. The event will be held at the University of Minnesota's Aquatic Center, which will also again be the location for the 2012 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships on Feb. 16, 17 and 18.

Meghan Weiss, St. Olaf

St. Paul, Minn. / Visitation
Week of: 2012-01-23

The St. Olaf women's swimming and diving team emerged victorious at Saturday's "Meet of the Saints" hosted by St. Thomas, narrowly beating Saint Benedict for the team title, meaning junior Meghan Weiss (St. Paul, Minn./Visitation) picked a good day to have the best meet of her career thus far. Weiss won four individual freestyle events and also led one relay team to victory Saturday, recording her season-best time in all four events. For her performance, Weiss has been named the MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week.

Weiss claimed individual victory in the 100-, 200-, and 500-yard freestyle races, and also swam a leg in the first-place 400-yard freestyle relay team with an impressive split. She won the 100 in 53.66, the 200 in 1:56.05, the 500 in 5:11.98 and her 53.00 split helped the 400 free relay team win with a time of 3:40.13. Her points proved to be crucial to the Oles' team success, as her team scored 736 points to the Blazers' total of 732 in a tightly contested race for first place. The host Tommies were in the mix too, finishing third with 730 and St. Cloud State came in fourth with a total of 128.

The Oles and their junior star swimmer have just two more tune-ups to get ready for the 2012 MIAC Championships, which should be hotly contested if the Meet of the Saints is any indication. Saturday, St. Olaf will square off in a cross-town rivalry dual meet against Carleton, and will spend the following weekend at the Minnesota Challenge before taking time off to prepare for the MIAC meet, which will be Feb. 16-18 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center

Emily Punkyo, St. Thomas

Duluth, Minn. / East
Week of: 2012-01-16

The St. Thomas women's swimming and diving team scored a dual-meet win against cross-town rival St. Catherine, 139-112, this week, thanks largely to a Tommie first-year phenom. Freshman swimmer Emily Punyko (Duluth, Minn./East) led the way in the win for UST with an individual win and school record in one event and two relay wins, including a historic split in one of the victories. For her record-setting performances and contributions to the team's victory, Punyko has been named the MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week.

Punyko led off the Tommies' first-place effort in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a split of 25.06 seconds, and she was even better in her other two events. In the winning 200-yard medley relay, Punyko recorded a split of 29.96, making her the first UST woman to break 30 seconds in a flying-start 50-yard breaststroke. She also claimed first place in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.34. That time is a new St. Thomas school record, a new Aquatic center pool record and the fastest time in the MIAC thus far in 2011-12.

The Tommies and their star freshman have a couple more important meets coming up in their home pool in the next two weeks. Saturday, they'll host the Meet of the Saints , which is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start. Next Friday (Jan. 27), St. Thomas will again be home to host defending MIAC champion Gustavus for a dual meet in St. Paul as well.

Renee Jordan, Macalester

Anchorage, Alaska / Stellar Secondary
Week of: 2012-01-09

The Macalester women's swimming and diving team split its double dual meet Saturday at St. Olaf, losing to the host Oles 93-30 but defeating Hamline, 81-37. However, the big story for the Scots was the performance of diver Renee Jordan (Anchorage, Alaska/Steller Secondary). The sophomore rewrote the Macalester 1-meter diving record books, setting new school and pool records and besting the national qualifying standards for both six and 11 dives off the 1-meter board while finishing first in each event. For her record-setting performance, Jordan has been named the MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week.

Because the facility was lacking a 3-meter board, the two different 1-meter competitions were held instead, and that worked just fine for Jordan. She won the 1-meter, six-dive event with a score of 280.40, and she added a victory in the 1-meter, 11-dive event with a score of 459.75. Both of those scores are new Macalester school records, and they set a new standard for St. Olaf's pool as well. In addition, both met the national standard, and qualified Jordan for the Division III swimming and diving national championships in each event. Jordan now ranks first in the MIAC in 1 meter, 11 dives, and she ranks second in 1 meter, six dives behind St. Catherine's Sarah Moody, last year's MIAC Diver-of-the-Year.

The Scots are currently enjoying an eight-day break. They will return to the water next Monday, Jan. 16, to host UW-River Falls in a nonconference dual meet at the Leonard Center at noon. it will be Macalester's first home competition of the 2012 calendar year, and their first home meet in almost two full months. The Scots will swim five more times in January and February as they prepare for the 2012 MIAC Championships, which will be held Feb. 16-18 at the University of Minnesota's Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.

Morgan Peterson, Saint Benedict

Rogers, Ark./St. Pius X
Week of: 2011-12-12

Saint Benedict freshman Morgan Peterson (Rogers, Ark./St. Pius X) is already swimming like a seasoned veteran in just the second month of her collegiate career. Just a week after setting a new Blazers' school record, the first-year swimmer won three events to help her team win a dual meet Saturday against St. Thomas, 168-132, and she now holds the fastest time in the conference in two different events. For her performance, Peterson has been named the MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week.

Saturday, Peterson was both versatile and dominant, with first-place finishes in three very different events. She claimed victory in the 200-yard freestyle, the 200yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley while helping the Blazers beat the visiting Tommies in head-to-head competition. The three-win performance was just the latest highlight of Peterson's stellar first season at Saint Benedict. A week earlier she broke the CSB school record in the 400-yard individual medley, and she holds the MIAC's top times in that event and the 200-yard individual medley.

The win over St. Thomas concluded the 2011 portion of the Saint Benedict swimming and diving schedule. The Blazers will take three weeks off for finals and the Holidays before returning to action in a much warmer climate thanks to a winter training trip. CSB's next competition will be the Orange Bowl Classic in Key Largo, Fla., on Jan. 3. It's next meet in Minnesota will be at Carleton on Jan. 14, and then just over a month between that event and the MIAC Championships on Feb. 16-18.

Alissa Tinklenberg, Gustavus

Willmar, Minn. / Willmar
Week of: 2011-12-05

It's almost impossible to have a busier weekend than Gustavus' Alissa Tinklenberg (Willmar, Minn.) had last weekend. The sophomore swimmer competed in seven total events - three individual races and four relays - and set a new MIAC season-best time in each event while meeting four NCAA 'B' cuts and finishing no worse than fourth in a single event at the Falcon Invite, which was hosted by UW-River Falls at the University of Minnesota last Friday and Saturday. For her performance, Tinklenberg was named the MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week.

In the seven events, Tinklenberg turned in five second-place performances, one third, and one fourth against good competition as one of the season's most popular meets. Tinklenberg finished second and met the NCAA 'B' cut in the 100-yard backstroke (58.00), 200-yard backstroke (2:05.44) and 400-yard medley relay (3:57.30). She also met the 'B' cut in the 200-yard medley relay (1:48.61) while turning in a third-place finish. She added second-place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:35.83) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:31.83) and a fourth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle (5:07.29). Team scores were not recorded at the Falcon Invite, but Tinklenberg's cumulative performance no doubt would have been worth big points to the Gusties, as each time is the best recorded in the conference this season.

After such a busy weekend, Tinklenberg and her teammates will get some well-deserved time off for finals and the Holidays, before heading to a warmer climate to resume their season at a fun event. The Gusties will participate in the Citrus Classic Dec. 26 to Jan. 2 in Mesa, Ariz., before returning to the north for a busy January scheduled, leading up to the MIAC Championships in late February, which will also be held at the U of M.

Ellen Dean, Saint Benedict

Bothell, Wash.Henry M. Jackson
Week of: 2011-11-21

Saint Benedict swimmer Ellen Dean (Bothell, Wash./Henry M. Jackson) had a breakout season last year as a freshman, and it appears she's ready to continue her progression as a sophomore in 2011-12. Dean was tremendous Saturday at the Gustavus Invitational, winning two events, finishing third in another and setting a new pool record to help the Blazers finish second in the competitive three-team invite. For her performance, Dean has been named the MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week.

Dean's top individual highlight from Saturday's standout performance was her first-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly. Dean won the race with a time of 2:12.31, which was more than seven seconds faster than the runner up, and a new Gustavus pool record. She added a first-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly, with a winning time of 1:00.81. It was a much closer race, as Dean won by less than a half-second to beat four Division II swimmers from Minnesota State-Mankato who all joined her in the top five. Dean added a third-place finish in the 400-yard individual medley to her busy day, recording a time of 4:53.23, which was just four seconds out of second and eight seconds from making her a triple winner. Saint Benedict beat D-II Mankato by more than 300 points for second, while the host school - Gustavus - claimed first-place with a score of 1,333.

The Blazers and their super sophomore will enjoy a short break over the holiday week before wrapping the 2011 portion of their schedule with two December meets. On Dec. 2-3 Saint Benedict will compete at the Falcon Invitational, hosted by UW-River Falls at the University of Minnesota's aquatic center in Minneapolis. It follows that up by hosting St. Thomas in conjunction with Saint John's in Collegeville on Dec. 10 before taking the rest of the month off from competition due to finals and semester break.

Jennifer Easton, St. Thomas

Eden Prairie, Minn. / Eden Prairie
Week of: 2011-11-14

Saturday, the St. Thomas women's swimming and diving team scored an impressive dual meet win over MIAC rival Carleton in the Knight's home pool, winning by a score of 175-121. Not only did Tommie senior Jennifer Easton (Eden Prairie, Minn.) contribute to the win by winning both diving events in the dual, she set new school and pool records in the process and qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships. For her remarkable performance, Easton has been named the MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week.

Easton finished first on the 3-meter diving board with a score of 245.80, however, it was her performance on the 1-meter board Saturday that made the biggest metaphorical splash. She racked up a score of 277.90, which didn't just secure her a first-place finish at the dual meet, it also broke the St. Thomas school record, the Thorpe Pool record and it met the qualifying standard for the 2012 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving National Championships. Easton's record-setting performance came in just the third meet of the year for the Tommies.

St. Thomas and its star senior diver will be back in action Saturday at the Roger Ahlman Invitational in St. Paul at 9 .m. The Tommies will take next week off from competition before returning to the pool in December. St. Thomas will host a two-day invitational on Dec. 2-3 in its home pool at the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex.

Sarah Moody, St. Catherine

Centerville, Minn. / Centennial
Week of: 2011-11-07

St. Catherine senior Sarah Moody (Centerville, Minn./Centennial) appears to have picked up right where she left off after completing an amazing junior season on the diving board a year ago. Moody - the 2011 MIAC Women's Diver-of-the-Year - started the 2011-12 season exceptionally strong with a pair of first-place finishes Friday at the Northfield Women's Quad, hosted by Carleton. The Wildcats' star won both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving titles at the meet while qualifying for nationals on the 3-meter board. Thanks to her performance, Moody has been selected as the first 2011 MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week of the 2011-12 season.

 

Moody finished first on the 1-meter board with a score of 235.15, and she won the 3-meter board with a score of 265.90, beating divers from Carleton, St. Olaf and Division III Minnesota State University-Moorhead. She beat the runner up by 16.6 points on the 1-meter board, and won by 30 points on the 3-meter board. Both of her scored easily qualified her for the 2012 MIAC Championships - where she won both events last year - and her 3-meter score met the 2012 NCAA Division III qualifying standard.

The St. Catherine swimming and diving team and its star diver will continue the early part of its 2011-12 schedule this week, starting with its participation Tuesday in the "Hour of Power." The Wildcats will then take 10 days off before competing in the Concordia/Augsburg double dual on Nov. 18 on the St. Catherine campus and the Roger Ahlman Invite at Macalester on Nov. 19.