December 7, 2017
The Wheaton Men’s Swimming team also had the Wheaton Invitational on Friday, Dec. 1 at 9:30 a.m. They placed third with 682 team points. UW-Stevens Point placed first (1141.5), followed by Washington (Mo.) University (890). Hope College placed fourth with 317 points and Augustana finished in fifth (293).
In the first day of competition, junior Chris Szymczak won the 200-yard backstroke with a four second cushion, finishing in 1:50.05. His time qualified as a NCAA B-cut time, giving him a bid to make it to the NCAA Championships at the end of the season. Senior Addison Coen finished fourth behind Szymczak (1:56.59).
The Thunder’s 200-yard freestyle relay team, comprised of Szymczak, senior Jack O’Connor, junior Stephen Larson and freshman Christian Cameron, took second place with a time of 1:23.45. O’Connor and Szymczak were also on the 400-yard medley, along with senior Chris Dingfield and junior Daniel Deysher, that claimed second with a time of 3:27.30. Dingfield also went on to earn a third-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly.
On Saturday, Szymczak swept in backstroke, claiming first in the 100-yard back. His time of 49.46 seconds earned him a NCAA select time and broke the 1999 meet record of 49.96. O’Connor won the 200-yard freestyle, from the outside lane eight, with a time of 1:41.82, which is seventh fastest in program history. O’Connor also placed seventh in the 50-yard freestyle (21.64). He trailed right behind freshman Will Rinne, who finished at 21.52.
Rinne also placed second in the 100-yard butterfly, just barely missing a NCAA B-cut time with 49.96 seconds, the fourth fastest time in program history for the event. Fellow freshman Christian Cameron finished fourth with a time of 51.09 seconds, which is the ninth fastest in program history. Dingfield finished fifth at 52.43 seconds. During the prelims, Dingfield swam a time of 50.47, which is seventh fastest in program history.
Sophomore Micah Kimel also swam the 200-yard freestyle in 1:43.47 minutes, taking fourth place. In addition to the 400 medley, Deysher competed in the 200-yard breaststroke, placing seventh with a time of 2:12.50.
The Thunder head into winter break feeling good about the rest of their season. O’Connor stated that, “overall, [he] was happy with the team’s performance last weekend, but now we know how much work we have to do before we are ready for conference.” Wheaton will be back in the pool after Christmas break, travelling to Holland, Michigan for Hope College’s Quad Meet Jan. 13.