This year, five Ole swimmers qualified for the event. Swimming the 200 freestyle relay were Emily Love 06, Alisha Cowell 06, Katy Brentz 05 and Kate Blum 06. The 400 free relay and the 800 free relay were led by Blum, Brentz, newcomer Christina Roberts 08 and Cowell. Brentz also swam in two individual events: the 50 free and the 100 free.
The ladies finished strong against their competition. In the 200, 400 and 800 free relays, they earned 13th, 14th and 15th place, respectively. The women swam the 200 relay in 1:38.22, the 400 relay in 3:35.98 and the 800 relay in 7:51.27. Brentz took 12th in the 50 free, finishing in 24.53 and 16th in the 100 free, clocking in at 53.86.
The Oles scored in all of their events, finishing with 24 team points and ending up with a 33rd-place overall finish. This year, 53 teams scored points at Nationals. The NCAA Championship went to Emory University, and Olafs neighboring team, Carleton, took an impressive sixth place finish.
Freestyle and relay events certainly seemed to be the womens strengths this season. The other teams had individual stars, but we had great relay teams and lots of strong freestyle swimmers, Cowell said.
Undoubtedly, the ladies are thrilled with their 2004-05 season.
We had a lot of depth this season. We got first in the conference, and sent several women to nationals, Cowell said.
The women are also proud of their team as a whole.
Our team chemistry was excellent this year. We had wonderful seniors, and had fun in and out of the pool, Love said. We were also extra-dedicated this year, and had more energy going into the season.
Although the Oles will lose several strong seniors, including Katie Detwiler and Jenna Kubat, the Oles are looking forward to next season.
Were really pumped for next season. We will have an excellent junior class and strong senior leaders. We hope to have a big team make it back to nationals, and have more participants in individual competition, Love said.
The season isnt over for mens swimming, as they head to Hope College to swim in the mens national event, beginning March 17 and ending on the 20th.