"The team gave an outstanding effort," coach Dave Hauck said. "We did everything we could to try and win; the Gusties just swam fabulously."
While the team is done for the year, seven individuals -- four women and three men -- qualified for the NCAA Championship meet. The women will send Katy Brentz '05, Katie Detwiler '05, Carly Knoell '06 and Annie Lindberg '04 to St. Louis this weekend and the men will send All-American Mark Glineburg '06, Christian Lorentzen '07 and Brad Wourms '06 to the same locale next weekend.
Brentz made her mark at the conference championships by winning the 50 yard freestyle and placing sixth in the 100 yard freestyle. Knoell nearly pulled off a sweep of the 100 and 200 yard backstroke events, but was beaten to the wall by .11 seconds in the 100. She came back to dominate the 200 yard event, however, breaking her own meet record with a 2:07.13. Lindberg showed how she earned her All-American status, winning two grueling distance races at the MIAC Championships. Lindberg took home the 500 and 1650 yard freestyle titles, along with a fourth place finish in the 400 yard individual medley.
Detwiler took home the most hardware, winning the 200 and 400 yard individual medley races before capturing the 200 yard butterfly. For her efforts, Detwiler also took home the MIAC Swimmer of the Year award.
"It was a great honor to win the award," Detwiler said. "There were a lot of people who deserved it, and I wish I could share it with all my teammates."
In addition to their individual events, the women will team up to compete in the 400 and 800 yard freestyle relays as well as the 200 and 400 yard medley relays, making for a very full weekend.
"It's going to be a tough weekend," Detwiler said. "But I am looking forward to having fun with my teammates and swimming as fast as possible. With any luck, we will come home with some All-Americans."
Glineburg earned his trip to Nationals by dominating the 400 yard individual medley, winning by 10 seconds. He also chipped in with a second-place showing in the 1650 yard freestyle and a third-place finish in the 200 yard individual medley. Glineburg will add the 200 yard butterfly to his list of races at nationals, after he was the last swimmer to qualify for the event.
Lorentzen and Wourms will compete in the one- and three-meter diving events at the NCAA meet. Lorentzen won the conference three-meter dive event while Wourms placed third.
Lorentzen also garnered what he thought was the MIAC Diver of the Year award, but was instead handed the "Driver of the Year" Award.
Even with the typo on the plaque, Lorentzen was in high spirits.
"It's still a tremendous honor," Lorentzen said. "Our bus driver got lost on the way home and the team got a good laugh about how I would not have let that happen."
That sort of good-natured ribbing provides a microcosm of the tight-knit camaraderie of the Ole swimming and diving team.
"We are the best team on campus in terms of team chemistry," Detwiler said. "We get along so well and have a blast whenever we are together."
The diving team always gets together for dinner before practice and has a team movie night once a week. They also play a role in the recruiting process, going to the high school state swim meet to show support for the future Oles.
"We are like a big family," Lorentzen said. "That was the biggest reason I chose St. Olaf. I would not trade this team for anything."
Hopefully this big family will be welcoming back seven All-Americans after they take care of business against the best Division III has to offer.