Swim and dive teams defend conference title
It was the moment they had been waiting for. A year of hard work was all coming down to this. The Trinity University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams stepped up to the plate “” or rather the block “” and swept the SCAC conference meet, defending their titles as reigning champs.
The women’s team had won the meet 13 consecutive times before, so it would seem that the Tigers would go into the competition confident they had the win in the bag. However, they faced some unexpected challenges in the weeks leading up to the championship.
“About half of the girl’s team, including me, actually caught the flu before we were supposed to leave, so we were a little worried that we would feel tired and slow during our races,” said Erin Crooks, sophomore.
The team also lost some valuable seniors.
“We graduated five point-scoring seniors last year, and Colorado College was definitely going into the meet ready to knock us off,” said Meg Chase, junior.
Despite their uncertainty, the Tigers blew their competition out of the water. Junior Lindsay Hagmann was a standout, winning the 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 freestyle, in which she set the conference meet and open record. She was named Women’s Swimmer of the Meet.
The Men’s Swimmer of the Meet also hailed from Trinity. First-year Jacob Hurrell-Zitelman earned the honor after winning the 1,650 and 500 yard freestyle events and the 400 yard individual medley.
“I was seeded to win all of my events, but that didn’t mean I had no pre-race anxieties. It was definitely a prideful relief after I accomplished what I did,” Hurrell-Zitelman said. “It made me realize I can compete with the best, which is a good feeling.”
The divers also had an impressive showing. Sarah Kate Mrkonich won the women’s one-meter diving competition, while Chad King placed first in the men’s three meter. A number of other Trinity divers medaled. Senior Mollie Patzke placed third and fourth on the three- and one-meter events and expresses excitement for the next meet that the whole team shares.
“To be a part of the swim and dive team is really special. It’s a dynasty and there’s pressure to preserve the streak,” Patzke said. “I think that serves as extra motivation. It’s awesome to be a part of.”