MINNEAPOLIS – The 2019 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Swimming and Diving Championships are set to get underway this Thursday in Minneapolis.
The University of St. Thomas earned its third consecutive MIAC title and the third conference championship in program history last February; however, there is no shortage of contenders for the 2019 crown. The Tommies' string of three straight conference titles (2016-18) is the fourth-longest winning streak in MIAC history behind St. Olaf's 11 (1987-97), Gustavus' six (2009-15), and Hamline's four (1983-86). The Oles hold the MIAC record for conference championships with 15 total in women's swimming and diving.
The MIAC's eleven women's swimming and diving programs will compete in an expanded four-day meet held Thursday-Sunday at one of the nation's premier facilities, the University of Minnesota's Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. Following last season's meet, MIAC membership voted in favor of a one-year trial to expand the conference championship from three days to four.
The 2019 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Thursday, Feb. 14, through Sunday, Feb. 17, with two sessions each day. Thursday's preliminary session will consist only of the men's three-meter diving competition and will begin at 6:00 p.m. (doors open at 5:00 p.m.). Finals for the men's three-meter dive, along with the finals for the men's and women's 800 freestyle relays and 200 medley relays will begin at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday. Morning prelim sessions will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, all beginning at 10:30 a.m. (doors open at 9:00 a.m.). The evening championship sessions on those days will all begin at 6:30 p.m. Doors will open on Friday and Saturday at 5:00 p.m., with doors opening for Sunday's finale at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets are available at a single-session rate, with all-session passes also 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 are $60 for adults and $25 for students. Heat sheets are included in the cost of admission. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free, and MIAC passes will be honored for all sessions. No other passes or discounts will be accepted.
All sessions will also be broadcast live online thanks to Webcast America, and fans will be able to watch archived video of each session following the event via Webcast America's site. "Live" results will be available online throughout the meet, with official finishes posted to the MIAC website shortly after each session.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
The MIAC Swimming and Diving Championship homepage features the complete event schedule, qualifying standards, psych sheet, venue information, and ticket policy. The site will be updated throughout the event with heat sheets, stat links, results, recaps, and photos. Fans can also monitor MIAC men's swimming and diving on-the-go thanks to the MIAC mobile app, which is a free download for both Apple and Android devices.
IN THE POLLS
St. Catherine is currently ranked No. 15 in the nation in the latest TYR/CSCAA Top 25 Poll, while St. Thomas is No. 23. The Pre-NCAA Poll will be released on February 27.
FOR THE RECORD
The MIAC is in the process of overhauling its sport record books to provide a better historical perspective of the Conference and the accomplishments of its student-athletes over the last century. The 2019 MIAC Women's Swimming & Diving Record Book contains annual Conference championship information, all-time award winners, MIAC and program record-holders, and more. The information included in the record book is based on available data and research for additional historical documents is ongoing.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Augsburg diver Cassie Lehman (Jr. | Blaine, Minn. | Centennial) will head into the 2019 MIAC Championships on a high note after setting a new program record in the three-meter (11-dive) event at the team's final meet of the regular season two weeks ago. Lehman tallied a 350.30 score, winning the event and breaking her previous 11-dive school record of 345.15, set in 2017.
A MIAC champion and All-America honoree in the 100-yard freestyle two seasons ago, Carleton's Caroline Mather (Sr. | Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Mountain Vista) enters her final conference meet with the league's top time this season in the 50-yard freestyle at 23.74. A two-time MIAC Athlete of the Week during her senior campaign, Mather also ranks fourth in the conference with a time of 53.11 in the 100 free.
Concordia's Amy Warren (So. | Bismarck, N.D.) clocked in at 1:05.53 in the individual medley at January's Dragon Invite, one of four season-best times the sophomore recorded that weekend. Warren closed out the regular season with victories in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley in a dual against Minn.-Morris three weeks ago.
Gustavus swimmer Maggie Webster (Sr. | Apple Valley, Minn. | Eastview) will defend her individual MIAC titles in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. Webster enters her final conference championship meet with the league's third-fastest time in the 50 free (24.37) and ninth-fastest in the 100 free (53.94). She set the Gustie record in the 50 free with a time of 23.13 in 2018.
Taylor Martinek (Sr. | Cresco, Iowa | Crestwood) made Hamline history at last year's MIAC Championships, becoming the first Piper in two decades to win a race at the conference meet when she took home top honors in the 100 backstroke. Martinek also set and then broke the program record in the 200 backstroke on the final day of competition last year. She enters the 2019 MIAC Championships with top-10 times in the 100- (59.35) and 200-yard backstrokes (2:11.87).
Two years ago, Liv Borgmann (Sr. | Seattle, Wash. | Garfield) was one-fourth of Macalester's record-breaking 400-yard medley relay team that set a new program mark at the MIAC Championships. Borgmann will enter her last conference championship meet this week with individual top-25 MIAC times in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.94), 200 breaststroke (2:37.82), and 100 individual medley (1:07.61).
Saint Benedict diver Mallory Jarvi (Jr. | Virginia, Minn.) scored a 411.25 on the three-meter board this past Sunday afternoon to qualify for the NCAA Central Zone meet, becoming the first CSB swimmer or diver to compete in the postseason since 2002. Jarvi - on track to graduate in December - enters her final MIAC Championship meet this week looking to become just the second CSB diver ever to qualify for nationals.
Jordyn Wentzel (Fy. | Corcoran, Minn. | Delano) has taken the MIAC by storm in her debut season at St. Kate's. The rookie swimmer leads the MIAC in an astounding 10 different individual events and has already set new conference records with times of 1:01.79 in the 100-yard breaststroke and 2:03.56 in the 200-yard individual medley this season.
Saint Mary's swimmer Brooke Shefchik (So. | Stevens Point, Wis.) had a busy final meet of the regular season, picking up three first-place finishes by winning the 100 breaststroke (1:17.40), 500 freestyle (5:49.44) and 1,000 freestyle (11:53.60). The sophomore distance swimmer ranks among the MIAC's top-25 in both the 1,000 and 1,650 freestyles this season.
Marissa Wolff (So. | McFarland, Wis.) made a name for herself last season by earning All-Conference accolades in six different events, including an individual MIAC championship in the 200-yard freestyle. Wolff enters her second MIAC meet this year with three top-five MIAC times, ranking third in the 500 freestyle (5:07.78) and fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:55.87) and 1,000 freestyle (10:46.98).
An individual conference champion in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle competitions two years ago and a part of first-place relays in the 400 and 800 free and 400 medley last season, Alex Howard (Sr. | Stillwater, Minn.) will look to add an exclamation point to her St. Thomas career this weekend. The senior swimmer ranks among the conference's top-five times in a trio of events, in the top-10 in two more, and the top-15 in one other this season.