Swimming: 11 NCAA marks at Wheaton meet

| Sports Editor

The Washington University men’s and women’s swim teams underscored their third and fourth place finishes at the Wheaton Invitational with 11 NCAA-qualifying times for the weekend.

This event was the Bears’ last competition of the fall season and is considered their most important meet behind the University Athletic Association and NCAA championships. In preparation for the invitational, the team “tapered,” reducing the amount of yardage in workouts at practice each day leading up to the meet.

“We decrease our yardage and kind of rest for the meet,” senior captain Jessie Lodewyk said. “It’s really a mental thing. Mentally and physically you just start to get really hyped up about the swim meet. When you get there it’s all mental, really preparing and racing hard. We definitely attacked our races and really stepped up our performance.”

Senior captain Alex Beyer’s first place finish in the 500 freestyle of 4:27.07 and a time of 3:58.43 in the preliminary race for the 400 individual medley earned him two NCAA automatic qualifying times.

“Overall it was a pretty decent meet; times were decent,” Beyer said. “We’re still not at where we want to be at the end of the season, so we have a lot of work left to do.”

The team capped off the meet with a first-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay that earned an NCAA provisional cut, as well as a new meet and pool record. The relay squad of Beyer, senior captain Dan Arteaga, freshman Mark Minowitz and junior David Chao finished the race in 3:04.02.

Two additional relays earned NCAA provisional cuts: the 200 freestyle relay of Arteaga, Beyer, freshman Brendan Morin and Chao, and the 400 medley relay of junior Kartik Anjur, Beyer, Arteaga and Chao. Both were first-place finishes.

The women’s squad placed fourth out of six teams, but earned four NCAA provisional cuts at the meet. Lodewyk led the Bears with two cuts, placing first in the 200 freestyle and finishing runner-up in the 500 freestyle. “I was really excited about my times,” Lodewyk said. “I’ve historically had a really bad Wheaton meet, so I was really excited to go those times at mid-season. I had someone to race against the whole meet, and that’s when I swim my best.”

Junior Karin Underwood won the 200 backstroke and earned a provisional cut with her time of 2:08.10 in the preliminary race. Freshman Meg Powers also finished first with a time of 59.52 in the 100 butterfly. Sophomore Karina Stridh was runner-up in the 100 backstroke, and her preliminary time of 59.63 also qualified for a provisional cut.

“We had some really good swims,” Lodewyk said. “There were some people that stepped up in a really big way…People took it up to the next level and performed the way they needed to perform.”

The Bears return to competition on Jan. 8. Their dual meet with Lindenwood University will be hosted at the Millstone Pool and is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.