Swim team back-to-back GMAC champs

By: Pulse Staff

Working hard while having a good time seems to be a theme for this year’s University of Findlay men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams according to Head Coach Andrew Makepeace. And that attitude translated into a Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) and Mountain East Conference (MEC) Championship for the second year in a row.

Makepeace says his team has a two-prong approach to competition.

“I would describe our team as gritty, yet fun. They focus when it counts most during a race and tap into something deeper,”said Makepeace. “The group as a collective is a blast to be around because they keep the mood light during good times and difficult times.”

Each team cruised to wins on Saturday, Feb. 16 with more than 300 points over the nearest competitor.

The men ended with 1,550 points and the women with 1,935.5 points.

Makepeace says this team came into the year with goals to repeat as conference champions.

“We wanted to build on the score we achieved last year for both the men and women; however, we fell short of doing that despite fielding our strongest women’s team and having an exceptional men’s team this year,” said Makepeace. “We returned about 80 percent of our scoring output on the women’s side and 60 percent of the scoring from our men’s team.”

For the women, Chris McFarland was awarded the Freshman of the Meet. She earned first place in the 100-yard backstroke final, beating the meet record with a time of 56.23. She also placed third the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.08. Junior Sydney Zimdars placed first in the 1650 yard freestyle final with a time of 17:46.45 and second in the 1000-yard freestyle.

Junior Hanna Cederholm earned first place in the 200 IM final with a time of 2:05:33 and first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:18:87.

The 50-yard freestyle champion went to senior Amanda Stiegal tying the meet record with a time of 23.72.

Junior Katy Kouvaris took first place in the 100-yard butterfly with a new meet record of 56.07. Kouvaris also earned conference champion in the women’s 200 yard butterfly with another meet record time of 2:05.55.

The Oiler’s women’s 200-yard freestyle relay team won with a time of 1:35:02.

The 400-yard freestyle relay team placed first with a time of 3:32.18.

The men and women’s team each won the 200-yard medley relay with the women setting a new meet record time of 1:43:25. The men won with a time of 1:32:66.

The men also won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:24.93 and the 800 yard freestyle relay with a time of 6:57.58.

Freshman Paul Pavala took home conference champ in the 200-yard backstroke later in the night with a new meet record of 1:50.47.

Makepeace says next up is the Fast Chance Meet hosted by Kenyon College on Feb. 23.

“Only a few of our athletes will be competing at that meet trying to further their chances of getting selected for the NCAA Championships in March or to improve their times from the championship last weekend,” said Makepeace. “The Kenyon pool is a significant upgrade in facility from which we competed last weekend (aka a faster pool for faster times) and should allow us better results. “

He said after the meet at Kenyon College, the team will be on to the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis which begin March 12.

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