The Trinity men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams won their third consecutive Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship last weekend in Rockwall, Texas. The competition extended from the 12th-15th. The men’s swim team scored 819 points in the competition, outscoring second-place Southwestern University 603.5 points by a large margin, and the women’s team scored 904 points, compared to second-place Colorado College’s 693 points. Both the men’s and women’s teams captured Swimmer of the Meet and Diver of the Meet awards this year. The Tiger men’s coaches were also selected as the SCAC Coaching Staff of the Year.
In men’s swimming events, Junior Stephen Culberson was selected as the SCAC Men’s Swimmer of the Meet. Culberson won the 100-yd freestyle with a B cut team of 44.62, breaking the SCAC Championships Meet record. He also took first in the 100-yd butterfly (50.34) and the 50-yd freestyle (20.25). The various men’s relays teams won four different events, including the 200-yd (1:21.64), 400-yd and 800-yd (6:52.88) freestyle relays as well as the 200-yd medley relay (1:33.54). The team of Culberson, Jon Hoffman, junior Adam Thomas and first year Isaac Johnson won the 400-yd freestyle relay with a B cut time of 3.03.22.
“The guys were lights out. I think the guys had the best meet in school history. They swam out of their minds. Our team was really strong this year. The captains really kept the team together and their hard work showed by the whole team swimming fast. I think this was a big step for the men’s team,” said head coach Michael Schuber.
Sophomore Andrew Thiesse won first in the 500-yd freestyle (4:33.45) and the 1650-yd freestyle events (16:21.88). Sophomore Nikita Chirkov placed second in the 400-yd IM (4:08.33). Hoffman took first in the 200-yd IM (1:52.99). Thomas placed second in the 50-yd freestyle event (20.28). Many Tigers broke both school and personal records.
In women’s events, Kara Beauchamp repeated as the SCAC Women’s Swimmer of the Meet. She barely missed breaking the SCAC Meet record in the 200-yd breaststroke with her B cut time of 2:20.71.
Beauchamp also took first in the 200-yd IM (2:06.27) and the 400-yd IM with a B cut time of 4.27.40. The team of Beauchamp, juniors Lydia Jones and Sarah Miller and senior Leah Selznick took first in the 800-yd freestyle relay (7:48.29). Jones took first in the 50-yd freestyle event (24:08), second in the 100-yd freestyle event (52.53) and first in the 200-yd freestyle event with a B cut time of 1:53.39.
Sophomore Becca Bond won the 100-yd backstroke event with a time of 58.62, and placed third in the 200-yd backstroke (2:08.90).
“My goal from the beginning of the year was to win the 100-back, so I was really happy about that; I just happened to do everything right, just like I needed to in the finals, to pull through and win. In the 200-back I dropped four seconds, which was something that I had really worked for all year,” Bond said. “My goal was to go under 2:10 and I ended up going 2:08 and getting third, so I was pretty excited about that. As a whole, the team was ahead from Wednesday to Saturday. We swam extremely well the entire four days.”
Senior Melanie Gustafson took first in the 1650-yd freestyle event with a B cut time of 17:38.74, and Miller placed second in the same race with a time of 18:10.57. Gustafson also placed second in the 400-yd IM with a B cut time of 4:34.24 and first in the 500-yd freestyle (5:03.69). Senior Meghan Varner placed second in the 500-yd freestyle event (5:14.54).
Trinity had several B cut times for the weekend, and will now wait for the official selections for the NCAA Championships.
Trinity diving also swept the SCAC competition; sophomores Philip Whalen and Ashley Heline won Diver of the Meet awards. For the women’s competition, Heline won both the one-meter and the three-meter boards. Senior Katie Sheldon took second on the three-meter board and first year Mollie Patzke took third. On the one-meter board, Sheldon, Patzke and senior Gabi Caglieris placed second, third and fourth, respectively.
“We had an outstanding week, both men and women. All the divers performed really well; we’ve had an outstanding year and all the divers have contributed to our success,” said head coach Stan Randall.
For the men’s competition, Whalen won the three-meter board and junior Galve Deleste took second.
Deleste took second on the one-meter board and Whalen took third.
“The weekend was fantastic. Winning the three-meter meant so much to me. I couldn’t have asked for anything better to finish the weekend on Saturday morning and then at night being nominated for Diver of the Meet,” Whalen said. “As a team, we did really great. It really showed our progress and all the hard work we put in, all the way back since October-the everyday training and practicing, the funny moments we had, the stressful times””it all showed in our performance last weekend. I couldn’t ask for a better end of the season for me or my team.”