Swimming and diving defeats Saint Louis University in fall opener

Will Slatin | Contributing Reporter

The Washington University swimming and diving team beat Division I Saint Louis University in a competitive dual meet at the I.E. Millstone Pool this past Friday. The men’s team ended with 11 first place finishes, resulting in a final score of 149-74 over SLU. The women’s team fell, 136-105, but the combined score put the Bears ahead, 254-210, for the win.

The highlight of the meet came in the last race of the night, the 200-yard freestyle relay. After falling behind SLU in the first three legs of the event, senior Simon Deshusses managed to catch up with and out-touch the competition by a mere 0.39 seconds.

“Relays are focus events for us,” head coach Brad Shively said after the meet. “We have a lot of pride in being good at our relays.”

The Red and Green also placed first in the men’s and women’s 200-yard medley relay and second in the women’s 200-yard freestyle relay.

One notable swim from the individual events came from freshman Mason Kelber and his distance freestyle. Kelber finished first in both the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:44.57) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:42.23). The team was impressed with Kelber’s performance, especially as Friday was the first college meet for the freshman swimmers.

“There were a lot of hearty swims,” Shively said. “It took guts, putting our head down and getting into the wall.”

In the diving well, the Bears saw success with junior Matthew Grottkau and freshman Rosie Finglass each winning the 1-meter dive competition. Grottkau also placed first in the 3-meter dives while Finglass secured second on the women’s side.

The tough competition, large crowd and dramatic last event resulted in an exhilarating atmosphere in the Millstone pool. “Cheering was really fun. It was really loud and I was very impressed by it,” said freshman Maggie Teng on her first meet as part of the team.

Wash. U. will face SLU again this week at the University of Missouri for the Show-Me-Showdown invitational on Oct. 4. The meet will consist of teams from all around Missouri, including some of the best Division III schools in the country. Despite the upcoming meet, difficult workouts will continue as usual.

“The next few weeks has a lot of hard training,” said captain senior Chase Van Patten. “There are a lot of technique issues we’re still working on because it’s the beginning of the season.”

The difficult training will be done with long-term, end-of-season goals in mind. “It’s

gonna take a lot of work, a lot of focus and a lot of balance, but we’d like to be amongst the elite teams in the country,” Shively said.

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