The Loras Swim and Dive team had an impressive season, breaking many records and taking home some hardware. On Feb. 14 through the 17, the Duhawks hit the waters at Luther College for the 2018 Liberal Arts Championships.
On Wednesday, day one, the 800 freestyle relay of first-year AJ Gainer, junior Manuel Gudino, sophomore Brandon Pillars and first-year Tim LaGrange swam into sixth place. With a time of 7:44.28, it was just shy of their personal best as a relay.
Junior diver Nick Baron competed in the men’s one meter diving following the swimming event. With a personal best score of 334.35 points, he took home a bronze medal against five other divers.
Day two, it was the team of junior Mac Faldet, Gainer, first-year John Lynch and red shirt senior Ike Casey that captured the third place spot. Taking home bronze in the 200 freestyle relay, they sprinted in with a time of 1:26.11.
First-year Sarah Shafer was just shy of stealing the show in the women’s 50 yard freestyle. With a time of 24.43, she claimed silver and broke an eight-year-old Loras record in that event.
In the men’s 50 freestyle, Casey sped into a solid 19.96 seconds. He also broke his previous record that he set for Loras last year.
Junior Mikaela Lengwin had an impressive performance as well. On women’s three meter diving, she took home gold with a score of 427.25 points, granting her a spot in the NCAA Regional Diving Championships in San Antonio, Texas held later in March.
Heading into day three, Shafer continued with her outstanding swims. In the 100 yard butterfly, she took first place with a time of 57.23 seconds, and crushed the Loras record by over two seconds. Casey, once again, showed up his competition by taking first in the men’s 200 freestyle. He also crushed the Duhawk record by almost a full second in a time of 1:41.89.
Faldet earned another gold for Loras in the 100 yard breaststroke in 56.15 seconds, crushing the second place finisher by a full two seconds. In the men’s three meter diving, Baron took home another bronze medal with an impressive score of 320.10 points.
At the end of day three, the men’s 200 yard medley relay of Lynch, Faldet, Pillars and Casey captures a silver medal. With a time of 1:34. 36, they set yet again another Duhawk record in that event.
On the fourth and final day, senior Kim Breaux flew her way to taking bronze in the women’s 200 butterfly with a final time of 2:14.16. Casey continued to come on top in his events, taking home gold in the men’s 100 yard freestyle.
In the men’s 200 yard breaststroke, Faldet came in fierce. With a time of 2:03.32, he set a pool and school record and claimed another victory. Lengwin also brought in another gold medal for the Duhawks in the women’s one meter diving, scoring 412. 95 points.
“I thought it went really well across the board! We had some fantastic swims and significant time drops on both men’s and women’s team which is a perfect way to end the regular season, as well as motivating me and Mac (Faldet) through the next month leading up to Nationals. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend,” said Casey.
The women’s team took fifth place out of 11 teams, while the men took fourth out of nine. The Duhawks will end the season with a winning record of 7-6 on the women’s side and a 3-9 record on the men’s. 10 school records were broken over the weekend as well. Swimmers Casey and Faldet will continue to train as they anticipate an announcement to see if they head to the NCAA Division III National Championships in Bloomington, IN held later in March.
Kaitlyn LaGrange is a sophomore majoring in Media Studies and Public Relations at Loras College. She is the producer and anchor for LCTV's Sports Shorts. Kaitlyn is on the Loras Swimming and Diving Team, Wind Ensemble, and a writer for The Lorian.