From Nov. 18 to 20, the swim team raced at the House of Champions meet hosted by Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Flyers recorded a total of 13 NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championship ‘B’ standard qualifying marks and broke three school records.
The men started off the meet right with seniors Filip Bjorkohlm, Ruben van Leeuwen, Ari Kissel and Mariano Sosa achieving ‘B’ cuts on the first day of competition. Bjorkholm finished sixth in the 500 freestyle and clocked in a time of 4:33.87 (B cut: 4:34.84). Soon after, Kissel and Sosa raced in the 200 Individual Medley (IM) finishing fourth with 1:50.99 and eighth with 1:52.63, respectively, (B cut: 1:51.29). Furthermore, Van Leeuwen finished sixth in the 50 freestyle with a 20.30 (B cut: 20.72).
On day two, Sosa achieved the B cut in the 400 IM, recording a 3:57.50 (B cut: 4:00.42) in the prelims and placing second overall in the finals with 3:57.80. Van Leeuwen qualified first for the finals of the 200 freestyle and later won the event with a 1:36.25 (B cut: 1:40.29), which broke the old record of 1:36.45, also owned by van Leeuwen. He currently holds the nation’s leading time in the event among Division II. Senior Rhys Taylor joined his teammates by finishing seventh in the 100 breaststroke with a 55.52 (B cut: 55.56).
During the last day, seniors Jackson Mugg and Taylor placed fourth and fifth in the 1650 freestyle with a 15:54.53 (B cut: 16:00.35). Sosa and van Leeuwen finished third in the 200 backstroke with a 1:48.21 (B cut: 1:49.47) and 200 butterfly with a 1:49.06 (B cut: 1:51.29), respectively.
On the women’s side, sophomore Larissa Alves achieved the ‘B’ cut in the 400 IM with a 4:29.48 (B cut: 4:30.57). The time also broke the old 2017 school record of 4:30.10 held by Caitlin Krull. Moreover, Alves became the new record holder in the 200 IM breaking Sarah Kenis’ 2014 time of 2:06.52 with a 2:06.07. Alves is currently ranked 23rd in the 200 IM and 24th in the 400 IM nationally.
Head Coach Evan Sholudko is proud of what his swimmers accomplished during the midseason meet and is looking forward to seeing them perform at the conference championship in February.
“My expectations at the meet were relatively satisfied by how the team did,” said Sholudko. “They did way better than I expected with such a large portion of people going best times.”
Sholudko was hired at the beginning of the fall season and explained it has been a challenging but rewarding experience to be in charge of a new team.
“I think anytime you get to know a new group it can be difficult to gain everybody’s trust,” said Sholudko. “But the swimmers have been great about it and really were hungry for something fresh so that itself helped us mesh well and hopefully will help us mesh for however many years we get to do so.”
The Flyers will be back in action in the spring as they will face the University of Chicago on Jan. 14, at the Myers-McLoraine Pool in Chicago.
Photo Credit: Luis Chavez