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Swimmers compete at Wooster Invitational

Saeed Husain

Sports Editor

The Fighting Scots Swimming and Diving teams hosted their largest event of the year this past week over the course of three days.  The annual meet was held from Thursday, Nov. 29, to Saturday, Dec. 1, with 12 teams participating. Events, as customary, were held at both Wooster High School (swimming), and the Timken Natatorium (diving). 

The men placed fourth all three days of the competition, while the women moved from fourth on the first day to third on the second, ultimately finishing second in the Invitational. The Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Spartans dominated the competition on both the men’s and women’s side, receiving a total of 2025 and 2163 points respectively. 

Day 1

With the opening night featuring all swimming events, the teams headed out to the Wooster High School, competing at the Ellen Shapiro Natatorium. 

In the marquee event of the night, Cameron Gelwicks ’19 and Nell Kacmarek ’20 won the men’s and women’s 500-meter freestyle respectively. Gelwicks was just shy of his program record during the preliminary heats for the 500, coming short by two seconds. Clocking in at 4:38.58, he earned the top time for the finals. In the evening session, Gelwicks came in at a similar 4:39.54.

After finishing second in the prelims with a time of 5:16.08, Kacmarek cut three seconds off to get the win at 5:13.26.

Ryan Campbell ’19 and Emma Fikse ’19 brought in the bulk of Wooster’s non-relay scoring, with both competing, and qualifying for the championship heat in the 500-meter freestyle. Campbell missed his personal best by just two seconds with a time of 4:42.76, placing fourth. Fikse grabbed the third spot, clocking in at 5:14.49.

The 400-meter medley delivered a strong performance by the Scots, with both of the women’s teams finishing within the top nine. Coming in at fourth place for Wooster were Hannah Langer ’21, Molly Likins ’22, Anne Bowers ’21 and Fikse, who finished in 4:01.78. Mia Chen ’22, Madison Whitman ’21, Annabelle Hopkins ’19 and Kate Murphy ’21 came in at ninth with a time of 4:06.33. Earlier, Brooke Brown ’21 opened the meet alongside the trio of Fikse, Likins and Murphy in the 200-meter freestyle relay, placing seventh with a time of 1:39.84.

For the men in the 200-meter freestyle relay, the quartet of Trey Schopen ’20, Gelwicks, Burke Poeting ’19 and Campbell came in at 1:25.61, which earned them fifth-place in the “A” relays. Schopen and Gelwicks capped the night, while Josh Gluck ’21 and Craig Klumpp ’21 were in the 400-meter medley relay that recoded a time of 3:30.94.

Amongst other top-16 individual swims for the Scots included the performance by Kera Sells ’21, where she placed 15th in the 500-meter freestyle, with a time of 5:28.49. 

Sells, commenting on her performance, said that she feels closer to the goals she had set for herself at the beginning of the semester. 

“My personal experience at the meet tells me that I’m getting closer to my goal times, and once we get to our big conference meet (NCAC Championships in Granville, Ohio, from Feb. 13 to 16) I’ll be seeded really well in my events and I believe that I can make my goal times that I set at the beginning of the season,” she said. 

By the end of the night, Wooster stood at fourth-place in both the men’s and women’s standings. The Fighting Scots took 259 and 241.5 points respectively. The CWRU Spartans led the pack with 528 points on the men’s side, and 579.5 points on the women’s side.

Day 2

Three school records being broken and an NCAA D3 “B” cut headlined the Scot’s performance at day two of the Wooster Invitational. 

Likins was successful in breaking a 20-year-old Wooster record in the 100-meter breast, clocking in at a time of 1:05.06. However, Likins still had to settle for second place, with Edinboro University’s Yana Miletska ’20 coming in first at 1:04.30.

Two school records were broken by Schopen in the 100-meter butterfly, and the 100-meter backstroke. The junior placed second in the butterfly, with a time of 49.02, while he took the blue ribbon in the backstroke, clocking in at a time of 50.40. 

Kalla Sturonas ’19, touted to be the team’s butterfly specialist, finished third place in the 100-meter butterfly, with a time of 59.15. She also placed third clocking in at 1:47.61, with the group of Likins, Murphy, herself and Brown in the 200-meter medley relay.

Day 3

The final day saw the Scots placed fourth in the men’s with 693 points, and second in the women’s 745.5 points. 

The women came out with full flair in the distance race, as Kacmarek and Fikse kept the first two spots black and gold in the 1650-meter freestyle, finishing with times of 17:52.35, and 17:59.66 respectively.

In the 100-meter individual-medley (IM) at a time of 1:02.42, Brown came in at first place. Hopkins and Likins did not finish far behind with 1:04.97 and 1:05.03, to get the fourth and fifth spots. 

Likins was also in the 200-meter breaststroke, where with a time of 2:23.45, she finished second. In the same event, Whitman placed eighth, clocking in at 2:29.71.

Two Scots came in the top six for the 200-meter fly, with Bowers second with 2:14.13, and Sturonas sixth at 2:15.92.

To seal the women’s events, the 400-meter free relay quartet of Fikse, Brown, Kacmarek and Murphy came in at sixth place with a time of 3:39.53.

For the men on the third day, Gelwicks claimed the lone blue ribbon, when he clocked in at 46.36 in the 100-meter freestyle. Campbell placed eighth with a time of 47.43.

Gelwicks was overall pleased with how he swam in the Invitational, though he felt that his times could be improved. 

“Overall I was happy with how I swam. The times weren’t exactly what I wanted but winning all three individuals was awesome for our teams standing,” he said.

Reflecting on the team from last year, he stated that this season has been more packed from the last, which meant that he felt more tired this time around. 

“This year was definitely a change from last year, we kept up the yardage for a little longer than last year so I was a little more tired heading into the meet,” said Gelwicks. 

Klumpp, Sam Muse ’22, Wylie Greeson ’22 and Poeting claimed spots from fifth to eighth in the 100-meter IM, recording times of 56.82, 56.94, 56.95 and 57.02. Garret Layde ’19 finished fifth in the 200-meter fly with a time of 1:56.99.

To finish up the men’s events, the 400-meter free relay squad of Gelwicks, Wyatt Foss ’21, Michael Crookshanks ’19 and Campbell were fifth, clocking in at 3:09.75.

Gelwicks felt positive about the team’s performance. 

“I was happy with our teams performance. We moved up to fourth, and was just short of getting third which was huge. I think we gained a lot of confidence from the invite. Going into the last part of our season we will have the toughest meets of our schedule, but I feel like we will perform extremely well, which will set us up nicely for conference,” said Gelwicks.

The Fighting Scots return to action after winter break, when they face John Carroll University on Jan. 18, and then against Allegheny College and Ohio Wesleyan University on Jan. 19. Support your fellow Scots at the Timken Natatorium and the Wooster High School. 

 

(Photo from Wooster Athletics)

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