Men’s Swimming heats up the San Jose water

Harriet Siegrist (TheLorian)

DUBUQUE, IA – Nearly a year after their last competition back in February 2020, the Duhawks came back to competition in historic fashion to open their 2020 – 2021 season. On Jan. 23, the men’s (1-0) and women’s (0-1) team stepped out onto the San Jose pool deck seeking a win against their rival Coe College. After a tough battle, the men’s team were victorious against the Kohawks, scoring 115 points to their 110. The last time the men’s team won in a Coe matchup was in 2014. For the women, the Duhawks fell short, with a score of 69 points to the Kohawks 130 points.

“Saturday was a great opening meet for the women’s team, even though the score didn’t favor our way,” said senior Sarah Shafer about the meet, “there was still some great swims and a lot of potential to build off of for the end of the season.”

To start the meet, the 200-medley relay team of sophomores Nina Schiro and Kinsey Bogen, Shafer, and sophomore Taylor Hrabak took first in 1:58.77, out touching the Kohawks by nearly five seconds. Seniors AJ Gainer, Tim LaGrange, John Lynch, and sophomore Charlie Holmes also took first in a time of 1:44.85. With only two minutes of rest, Hrabak dove right back in for the 1000-yard freestyle, joined by senior Harriet Siegrist. The pair placed second (12:36.40) and third (14:01.63) respectively. Making his career debut, first-year Brad LaGrange swam to victory in the 1000-yard freestyle, finishing at 11:13.87. Sophomore Chris Grunke followed behind placing third (12:32.66).

Coming back from the relay one event earlier, Schiro and Bogen were back again, this time in the 200-yard freestyle. Schiro took second in a time of 2:10.00 and Bogen followed behind, placing third at 2:12.70. The pair was joined by first-year Gabi Held, touching in sixth with a time of 2:34.52. For the men, sophomore Zach Nelson and junior Jacob Priewe joined first-year Bobby Solis to go third (1:59.18), fifth (2:07.16), and sixth (2:12.82) respectively.

In the 50-yard freestyle, three seniors were seeking the top spot. Shafer was joined by senior Marissa Schroeder, making her swimming debut, and senior Brianna Gourley. Shafer touched at 26.21, just missing first and claiming silver. Schroeder was close behind, coming in fourth (28.16), and Gourley sixth (31.17). For the men, Gainer joined first-year Izaak Miller and Holmes. Gainer came in second (23.57), immediately followed by Miller in third (25.07), and Holmes in fourth (25.23). In the 200-yard IM, first-year Elli Stine placed second with a time of 2:45.09. On the men’s side, first-years Payton Markowski and Jon Broas teamed up with junior Cole Rabedaux. Markowski and Broas were separated less than a second apart, with Markowski grabbing silver at 2:17.57, and Broas claiming bronze at 2:18.88. Rabedeaux took fifth at 2:25.84.

Looking to make their diving debuts, Schroeder and junior Nicholas Schlader took their first diving session to the diving well. Schroeder nabbed second with 91.05 points, and Schlader won the event with 127.90 points. In the second session, Schlader would complete six more dives before taking first again, this time earning 161.10 points.

Returning back to the competition pool, Lynch and Grunke took second (2:10.11) and third (2:24.40) respectively in the 200-yard butterfly. In the 100-yard freestyle, Bogen took third at 1:00.00. On the men’s side, the sophomore Brad LaGrange, Gainer, and Holmes trio took second (51.01), third (52.40), and fourth (56.74). In the 200-yard backstroke, Shafer had a dominant win, with a time of 2:19.31, and Schiro followed closely behind taking second (2:20.34). On the men’s side, Broas took second (2:15.98), with Nelson close behind in third (2:20.38).

In the 500-yard freestyle, Hrabak returned to the water, placing second (5:54.33). First-year Brian Day took third in his first race of the day, going 5:45.52. In the 200-yard breaststroke, Siegrist placed second, touching at 3:10.25. And on the men’s side, the pair of senior Tim LaGrange and Day would be separated by only 1.01 seconds, with LaGrange taking second (2:26.36), and Day third (2:27.37). In the final race of the day, the LaGrange brothers would join Lynch and Miller for one final win, this time in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The Duhawks finished in a time of 1:34.88.

Reflecting back on the meet, Gainer had a lot of excitement about how the team performed. “As a senior, I have experienced our team being on the opposite side of the stick more times than we would have liked, and finally pulling out a win against a very respected and highly touted team felt amazing!”

Gainer continued, “This year has been an absolute grind from day one, and seeing our men’s team come together and achieve something that we haven’t achieved since 2014 was really special, and I am so proud of everyone on this team!”

The Duhawks look forward to next week as they travel to Decorah, IA to face Luther College. The meet starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, and will be livestreamed on the Loras College Swim & Dive Facebook page. For full meet results visit Duhawks.com.

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