Swimming posts five school records at two-day Wheaton Invitational
Lagieski swam to a record time of 56.36 on Friday before eclipsing it with a 55.90 mark in a time trial the next afternoon. Accompanying Lagieski with their own record-setting performances were junior Matt Nutter in the 200 backstroke, sophomore Amanda Stadermann in the 200 butterfly and sophomore Sophie Gan in the 200 breaststroke. Sophomores Katie Anderson and Kristalyn McAfee, Gan and freshman Lauren Carlos broke the school record in the 200 medley relay.
Outside of the individual performances that came to set a tone for the Bear swimmers over the weekend, team performance was also a source of pride. The No. 4 Wash. U. women finished with a total of 1,057 points, outscoring host Wheaton College, which finished with a distant 786.5. The No. 8 men’s team won in similar fashion with a total of 1,031 points, easily outdistancing University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point by 327 points.
“In a meet like this, we just want to go out there and give them an opportunity to swim fast,” head coach Brad Shively said. “The wins are nice, but I feel that they should be proud of a lot of fast times, a lot of NCAA qualifying standards…we broke five school records, which definitely makes you feel good.”
With only one meet in the prior four weeks leading up to Wheaton, the Bears brought forward a new level of energy.
“This was the point [in our season] where we were going to rest a little bit and just really get out there and race,” junior Sara Taege said. “It was like a championship meet. It was the first time for us to see the freshmen really rest up and get out there with the suits on and have that championship meet mentality.”
The Wheaton Invitational was also Wash. U.’s first opportunity this season to participate in a two-day meet and served as a measuring stick for the Bears as they prepare for the University Athletic Association Championships looming two months away. Looking forward to these crucial meets, Shively was cautiously optimistic about his team’s chances for the spring semester.
“I’m certainly confident that we have a group of young men and young women who are going to be excited for their future opportunities,” Shively said. “They’re not going to let up right now—they are going to be excited for the opportunities in front of them. And if they do take advantage of those opportunities, if they continue to work hard and stay focused, then they have a chance to compete at a very high level.”
Lagieski emphasized the importance of the team’s focus going into next semester.
“Coming off this meet, we got a lot B-cuts and a lot of qualifier selection times from last year. We have a training trip coming up in a couple weeks to improve our fitness and get even more ready for conference so we can be even faster. Obviously, we also want to set as many school records, team records as we can. But a big thing for our team is to get ready for nationals—that’s one of our biggest goals right now.”