Bears finalize preparation for Wheaton at WU Thanksgiving meet

Lodewyk sets NCAA provisional time in 1,650-free

| Sports Reporter

Senior co-captain Jessie Lodewyk’s NCAA provisional cut in the 1,650-yard freestyle highlighted a strong weekend of Washington University swimming. The men placed fifth while the women took third at the Washington University Thanksgiving Invitational meet on November 20 and 21.

Lodewyk earned the top spot in the mile with a 17:47.25 performance, and took third place in both the 200 and 500-freestyle. “The mile’s a really funny race. Everyone has a different style,” Lodewyk said. “It pushes you to do things differently.”

The Bears’ competition came from several states and NCAA divisions. Teams included Division I University of Evansville, IUPUI, Colorado School of Mines, Hannibal-Lagrange, Saint Louis University (DI), Lindenwood University (DII), Albion College and Ohio Wesleyan University. According to senior captain Alex Beyer, some of the other teams had tapered for the meet, while Wash. U. will wait to do so in preparation for Wheaton.

“[We are at] a tough stage in our schedule…[Wheaton] is our most important meet other than conference and nationals,” Beyer, the winner in the 500 freestyle and runner-up in the 200 breaststroke said.

The men’s squad claimed some of the top spots in the sprint freestyle races. Junior David Chao was third in the 50-freestyle and the top performer in both the 100 and 200 freestyle, while senior captain Dan Arteaga was fourth in the 50 and 100 races. Chao noted that effort in his turns helped in the races.

“It took us awhile to get pumped up,” Chao said. “Our main focus is the meet in two weekends.”

The Bears were successful in distance events. In the men’s heat, sophomore Chris Valach won the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:37.66 and fifth in the 500-freestyle.

Sophomore Karina Stridh and freshman Meg Powers each earned second place finishes for the team, Stridh in the 50 freestyle and Powers in the 200-butterfly. According to Lodewyk, the Bears were boosted by performances from junior Micki Duncan, sophomore Erika Antisdale and sophomore Kerri Blumer. Blumer placed eleventh in the 500-freestyle, an event she normally does not compete in.

“I was really, really excited,” Blumer said of the race. “I’ve been having trouble [in other events], I wanted to switch things up.”

The spirited squad stayed at the meet until the last Wash. U. swimmer, sophomore Evan Dorshorst, finished his mile swim.

“I feel really special…you get the entire team behind you. It definitely pumps you up,” Dorshorst said.

The Bears next competition is the Wheaton Invitational on Dec. 4-5 in Wheaton, Ill. where the Red and Green hope to submit several automatic and provisional qualifying times in various events.

-With additional reporting by Johann Qua Hiansen