February 22 2018
The Wheaton Women’s Swim team entered their postseason this past week. From Feb. 15 — Feb. 17, they competed in the CCIW Swimming Championships. The Thunder women earned a second-place team finish with 654 points. Carthage College took home the gold for the first time in their women’s team history with a team score of 940. This was the first time in 20 years that the Thunder failed to bring home the team title. Wheaton won individual meet honors with junior Brooke Barnes being named CCIW Women’s Swimmer of the Meet.
On the opening night of the conference championships, the women started in third place, behind Carthage and Illinois Wesleyan. Barnes got the only first place finish for the women that night, finishing the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.68 seconds, an NCAA B-cut time. Sophomore Maggie Franke was able to get a seventh-place finish in the same event with a time of 24.60 seconds. Sophomore Ashley Bowen gained a third-place finish in the women’s 200-yard IM (individual medley) with a time of 2:11.92. Fellow sophomore Michaela Sandeno finished eighth in the same event with a 2:16.99 time.
The next day left the Thunder still marginally in third place, three points behind Illinois Wesleyan’s 443 point total. Senior Meredith Clarkson won the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:39.22, and Barnes gained Wheaton’s second title of the night with her first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.75). The 200-yard medley relay, comprised of Clarkson, freshman Kiki Rogers, and sophomores Liz George and Franke placed second with a time of 1:49.42. The 800-yard freestyle relay team of Barnes, George, sophomore Ashley Bowen and Franke took second with 7:47.51.
With one day of competition left, the Thunder women put on the gas to claim a second-place finish. Barnes won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.40 seconds, sweeping the sprint freestyle events for the championships. She also earned an NCAA selectable time for her win. Franke finished behind Barnes in the 100 free in 53.90 seconds, earning a seventh-place finish. Clarkson also earned All-CCIW honors on Saturday with a sixth-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke (2:10.53).
The women who qualified for nationals will finish out their season at the NCAA Division III swimming championships. The DIII championships take place Apr. 21-24 in Indianapolis, IND.