December 7, 2017
This past weekend was a busy one for the Wheaton Women’s Swim team. Starting Friday, Dec. 1, at 9:30 a.m., the women dove in against Washington (Mo.) University, Hope College, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Whitewater and Augustana College. The Thunder took home second place with 839.5 team points. WashU claimed first with 978 points. Hope took third behind Wheaton, UW-Stevens Point came in fourth and Augustana in fifth.
During the first day of the Wheaton Invitational, the Thunder women were off to a strong start. The 200-yard freestyle relay, comprised of juniors Brooke Barnes and Kristen Garner and sophomores Michaela Sandeno and Maggie Franke, took first place with a time of 1:37.41. Barnes went on to place first in the 100-yard freestyle at 51.47 seconds, earning her a qualification for the NCAA championships, and Franke finished in second place with a time of 53.28 seconds.
Barnes said, “as far as [her] finishes go, it’s just God’s graciousness and I’m happy to have a team support me after my successes … as well as my failures.”
In the 100-yard breaststroke, Sandeno gained another first-place win for the Thunder. Her time of 1:07.94 was the seventh-fastest in program history. Freshman Kiki Rogers finished fourth behind Sandeno, and senior Alice Zhang placed sixth.
At 10 a.m. the following day, the women were back in the pool for prelims. In finals, Sandeno took first in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:25.55), sweeping the stroke. Barnes finished first in the 50-yard freestyle (23.83) and had the top qualifying time in the 200-yard freestyle (1:53.30), but did not swim in the finals. Her qualifying time was seventh fastest in program history. Sophomore Ashley Bowen conquered the 1650-yard freestyle, leading by over seven seconds with a time of 18:00.94.
Garner finished sixth behind Barnes in the 50-yard freestyle (25.43). Franke took second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:56.44), with Bowen (1:59.20) and freshman Kirsten Peters (2:01.01) finishing sixth and seventh, respectively. Peters also finished seventh in the 100-yard backstroke (1:03.94), just slightly behind sophomore Aleah Perkins (1:03.61) who claimed fifth.
The women finished the meet out with a bang, winning the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:33.78. The team was made up of Barnes, Bowen, Garner and Franke. While Wheaton didn’t win the meet, they had many swimmers put up impressive individual times. Sandeno commented that she is, “pumped to see how the end of the season goes and especially conference … This meet excited a lot of swimmers and got us excited for times at the end of the season.” The Thunder are taking a well-deserved break, jumping back into competition at Hope College for their Quad Meet Jan. 13.