FeaturedSportsTigers lap the competition at SCAC Championships

Swimming and Diving sweeps top awards, set several conference records
Alejandra GerlachFebruary 19, 2020313 min
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Photo by Kate Nuelle

The Tiger swimmers and divers dominated the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Swimming and Diving Championships held at Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio between Feb. 12 and 15. The women’s team brought home the first-place title for the 17th consecutive year and the men’s team earned the championship back after losing it last year. Trinity athletes took all four of the SCAC Swimmers and Divers of the Meet awards, while head swimming coach Scott Trompeter head swimming coach Scott Trompeter and head diving coach Stan Randall led the Men’s & Women’s Coaching Staffs of the Year.

The Tigers had strong swimming across the board. The women’s swimming team set two new SCAC records in relays. Sophomores Morgen Reyna, Meghan Magill and Libby Goode and junior Mabel Fowler set the new SCAC record for the women’s 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:36.27. Fowler, Reyna and seniors Elizabeth Nelson and Star Rosales captured the new SCAC record for the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:27.84.

According to Rosales, breaking the SCAC record for the 400-yard freestyle relay was a memorable experience.

“It was amazing that we could come together as a team and break a record. The support that we received from our team and coaches left me speechless and feeling very loved,” Rosales said.

The men’s swimming team also performed well in the relays, winning both the men’s 200- yard medley and the men’s 800-yard freestyle relay for the second time in three years. First-year Matt Lanzara, sophomores Spencer Steward and Ben Adams and junior Shamzi Alkaff placed first in the 200-yard medley with a time of 1:32.82, while junior Beau Tipton, sophomore Daniel Sarman, senior Eric Grace and first-year Grayden Nelson came out ahead in the 800-yard freestyle with a Davis Natatorium record-time of 6:48.46.

The Tigers saw their first victory in the men’s 400-yard medley since 2017 secured by Lanzara, senior Elliott Fleming, Tipton and Alkaff. Trinity also had a close call in the men’s 200-yard freestyle relay, where Alkaff, first-year Nolan Antony and juniors Eamon Morris and Leon Faulk came in second, narrowly losing to Southwestern University by .01 seconds.

Both Tipton and Fowler notched individual SCAC records, earning them the titles of Men’s and Women’s Swimmers of the Meet respectively. Tipton won both the men’s 500-yard freestyle and the men’s 200-yard butterfly, setting the SCAC record in the latter with a time of 1:48.60 that is also a provisional qualifying mark for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III meet. In addition to winning the women’s 200-yard backstroke and coming in first in the women’s 200-yard freestyle for the third year in a row, Fowler set the SCAC record for the women’s 500-yard freestyle at 4:57.37.

According to Fowler, her initial goal entering the meet was to set a personal best, not to break the previous SCAC record.

“[Setting the record for the 500-yard freestyle] was really incredible. I didn’t realize that I was that close to setting the record … So it wasn’t even a goal going in, I just kind of saw it at the meet and luckily my final swim was really, really good. Honestly, I was just going for a personal best, not the record necessarily, but it was the best of both worlds when it happened,” Fowler said.

In diving, junior Anthony Liva earned first place in the men’s 1-meter dive and the men’s 3-meter dive, and his latter dive’s score of 576.40 registered as an NCAA qualifying score. Liva was also awarded the title of Men’s Diver of the Meet.

Another notable diving achievement comes from sophomore Maren Merwarth, who defended her first place title in the women’s 3-meter dive and earned Women’s Diver of the Meet honors for the second year in a row. Merwarth’s finish marked the 15th consecutive win for a Tiger diver in the women’s 3-meter board.

According to Merwarth, she focuses on competing against her past performances, which made winning the same accolades she won last year satisfying.

“It’s really cool, actually. It’s like beating your own best score. You work really hard all season to get the same result because if you fall short, then I guess you didn’t work as hard as you should have. I guess that’s how I look at it, anyway,” Merwarth said.

Trinity secured the top three spots in the women’s one-meter dive, with first-year Mya Tio coming in third, Merwarth in second and sophomore Katarina Partalas in first.

According to Fowler, the results of these four days at the Davis Natatorium are the culmination of everything that the athletes have done since they began training.

“I definitely think this is a huge reflection on our training since August. I mean we get here at school, we start training right away from the get-go. We stay here over winter break to train. Our whole season up to this point leads down to those four days at Conference, and I think that our performances were absolutely reflective of how we did and how hard we trained,” Fowler said.

Although the conference season has officially ended, the swimming and diving teams continue to practice as diving prepares for the NCAA Regional meet, and swimming waits for the national rankings to be released on Feb. 27 to find out whether they will be in the lanes at Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Alejandra Gerlach

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