Those two schools? None other than the St. Olaf Oles and the Gustavus Gusties.
These two perennial powerhouses clashed for the first time this season Friday night at the Lund Natatorium in St. Peter, Minn.
The Ole women, fresh off their 14th MIAC Championship a year ago, cruised past the 2004-2005 MIAC runners-up by a wide margin of 136-80. The Ole men, on the other hand, were not as fortunate: They lost their first dual meet of the season by a mere two points, 122-120. On the womens side, domination was the name of the game. St. Olaf won nine of the meets 13 events, including a 1-2-3 sweep in the 1000- and 500-yard freestyle events as well as the 200-yard breaststroke.
In the 1000, Kelly Dolan 07, Carly Knoell 06 and Jennifer Marzof 08 led the charge, while Dolan, Erin Anderson 09 and Laura Haynes 09 carried the Oles in the 500. Dolan earned her third victory of the meet in the 200 breaststroke, as she, Anderson and Julia Rood 07 helped the Oles cruise to a comfortable victory.
Also winning events were Mikayla Meyer 07 (200- and 100-yard freestyle), Lannie Cassel 08 (200 butterfly), Knoell (200 backstroke), Millie Eggebroten 08 (3 meter diving) and the 400 freestyle relay team of Katie Blum 06, Meyer, Christina Roberts 08 and Emily Love 06.
"We swam really well," head coach Bob Hauck said. "Many of our athletes are stepping up to provide even more depth than we anticipated."
For the men, everything seemed to be going according to plan heading into the final event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Oles lead 118-107, knowing that the Gusties would need to get both first and second place in the relay to win.
Unfortunately, the Ole A relay was touched out by both the Gustavus A and B relays, allowing the Gusties to escape with the narrow victory. The margin between second and third place was just 0.35 seconds, and the difference between first and third was a mere 1.47 seconds.
The Oles built their early lead on the strength of outstanding performances by swimmers Mark Glineburg 06, Adam Thomas 07, Tom Kukla 07 and diver Christian Lorentzen 07. Glineberg won both the 400-yard IM and the 200-yard breaststroke, Thomas was victorious in the 200 freestyle and Kukla in the 200 backstroke. Lorentzen earned the team 18 points by himself by winning both the 1 meter and 3 meter diving events.
"While we're disappointed to lose a close meet like this, we swam really well," said Hauck. "It was a great atmosphere and a fantastic college swim meet."
The Oles quest for the 2006 MIAC Championship continues this weekend as they partake in the University of Minnesota Invitational at the University Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.