Friday's meet got underway with the 400 yard medley relay. The Ole women were strong off the blocks, but could not hold off Gustavus in the freestyle leg and ended up with a second place finish. The men, led by a fantastic start in the backstroke by Tom Kukla '07, handily claimed the win in their half of the event.
St. Olaf dominated in the women's 1000 freestyle, an exhausting race consisting of 40 lengths of the pool. Led by Kelly Dolan '07 and Lainie Cassel '08, St. Olaf was able to finish 1-2-3, demonstrating the team's depth and setting a high standard for the rest of the meet. The men also claimed both first and second place in the event.
With the score at 81-67 in St. Olaf's favor, the meet switched to diving. The diving competition was highlighted by a dazzling performance from Christian Lorentzen '07, who qualified for nationals by receiving an 8.5 score on one of his dives and winning the competition with a score of 182.71. Brad Wourms '05 also turned in a strong performance, taking second place with a score of 166.25.
Cassel, who had just taken a second in the 1000 free, showed her versatility by also winning the 200 butterfly for the women. Mark Glineburg '06 won a very close race on the men's side, beating Gustavus' Will Sutor by just one-tenth of a second.
Ole swimmers once again showed their power in the 200 backstroke. The women were able to finish 1-3-4, but the highlight came from the men's side, where Kukla won easily and also qualified for nationals. For his efforts, Kukla was named the MIAC Swimmer of the Week.
"For this to happen so early in the season is extraordinary," head coach Bob Hauck said of Kukla's performance.
Following the 200 backstroke, came perhaps the most exciting event of the meet, the 500 freestyle. Dolan opened with a strong lead and won going away. In one of the most exciting moments of the meet, Jenna Kubat '05 beat out Gustavus' Larkin Davis, and Cassel charged out of sixth place to take third.
Although both St. Olaf teams secured solid wins over Gustavus, the outcome was far from certain at the beginning of the meet.
"I was really nervous going into this meet, but I swam a personal best in the 1000 which I'm really happy about," said Joe Anderson '07, who had wins in the 1000 and 500 freestyle events. "There's nothing like this meet until conference."