Swimming: Bears hold up against Mo. elite squads

| Sports Reporter

Washington University’s swimming and diving team went up against the top swimmers in Missouri and posted several strong peformances.

In a meet dominated by the University of Missouri, which took first place in all 16 events, the women’s squad took fifth out of seven. The Lady Bears edged out Lindenwood University and Stephens College. Missouri State, Drury and Saint Louis University placed ahead of the women.

In men’s action, the Bears were unable to defeat any opponents in the team score. Missouri State, Mizzou, Drury, Missouri S&T, SLU and Lindenwood finished ahead of the men’s squad.

Yet no one on either side was upset by losing in the team standings.

“Nobody gets really discouraged if we lose to Mizzou, but it’s a really good chance to race really fast teams,” said sophomore Catherine Rafferty-Millett, who finished 11th in the 100 individual medley with a 1:02.94.

Rafferty-Millett also combined with freshman Veronica Tse, sophomore Amy VanLishout and freshman Meghan Powers to place fourth in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:45.36.

On the men’s side, senior captain Dan Arteaga finished sixth place in the 50 butterfly with a time of 23.75 seconds and seventh in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.74 seconds. Senior captain Dima Galkin went 1:00.45 to finish 12th in the 100 breaststroke, and his 28.04 seconds was good for 13th in the 50 breaststroke.

“There [were] a lot of good teams there this weekend,” Arteaga said. “It was definitely a good experience overall.”

Other noteworthy performances included freshmen on both the men’s and women’s sides for the Bears. Powers, in addition to her performance in the 400 free relay, also finished 11th in the 100 butterfly and 15th in the 50 butterfly. Tse finished 12th in the 50 breaststroke and 15th in the 50 freestyle.

“I was around my time for this point in the season,” Powers said. “I mean, I’d like to go a little faster, ultimately, but not bad for the beginning.”

For the men’s team, freshman Brendan Morin swam with the 200 freestyle relay team and finished sixth, along with senior co-captains Arteaga, Alex Beyer and Brian Kushner.

“It was good competition. You don’t see people that fast in D-III, and they were flying,” Morin said. “It’s good to have someone much faster than you to race against, because it gives you a good idea of where you’re at.”

While the team didn’t gain any first-place finishes or team victories this weekend, there is much to be gained from meets like these.

“It really motivates us, because the teams that we raced against are more like the teams we’re going to be facing at nationals and at conference championships,” Rafferty-Millett said. “Obviously we’re not winning events at Mizzou, so it motivates us to train harder because we see how fast the competition really is out there.”

The Bears face Division I Southern Illinois University-Carbondale on Oct. 30.

With additional reporting by Johann Qua Hiansen