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Luther faces Eau Claire in first swim meet of the season

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Luther faces Eau Claire in first swim meet of the season

Luther and Eau Claire swimmers dive into the water at the gun.

Luther and Eau Claire swimmers dive into the water at the gun.

Olivia Enquist (‘19) |Chips

Luther and Eau Claire swimmers dive into the water at the gun.

Olivia Enquist (‘19) |Chips

Olivia Enquist (‘19) |Chips

Luther and Eau Claire swimmers dive into the water at the gun.

Olivia Enquist, Staff Writer

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Luther College Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive Team hosted their first home meet of the season against the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Saturday, Oct. 28. Both teams lost their respective meets. The men’s team lost, 145.5-88.5, while the women’s team lost 138-101.

At the meet, UW-Eau Claire set three pool records in addition to their win. Eau Claire senior Collin Miller set the pool record in the 50 free with a time of 2:00.88. Eau Claire junior Jessica Short won the 200-yard IM while also breaking the pool record with a time of 2.14.93. Senior Dayton Miller set also set the pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke, clocking in at 2:15.84.

Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach Nicole Kaupp commented on the home opening meet and how she thought the team swam.

“The cool thing about the first two dual meets that we have this year is that we swam them last year,” Kaupp said. “I thought last year when we swam against Eau Claire we were really outmatched. This year it was close. We won more races.

We don’t necessarily have the depth that they have, as they just have more swimmers than us. However, in terms of speed and in terms of racing we were right there with them. It was exciting to see that.”

Luther Women’s Swim Team members Sam Kraft (‘18) and Linnea Lee-Brown (‘21) led Luther with two first-place finishes each. Kraft won the 1000 freestyle by 28 seconds and the 500 freestyle by 31 seconds. Lee-Brown won the 50 freestyle, beating Emily Ries of UW-Eau Claire by .04 seconds. Lee-Brown also won the 100 freestyle by almost two seconds.

Kraft commented on how Luther performed in relation to prior years.

“Last year when we faced Eau Claire, we lost by something like 200 points to 80 points,” Kraft said. “Looking at this year, it’s a huge difference. The team this year only lost by a margin of around 30 points, which is not too bad. It’s really nice to see the progress from where we came last year to this year.”

Men’s Team co-captain Hunter Barnard (‘18) commented on the progress that the team has made since both last year and the beginning of this swim and dive season.

“We did lose, but if you compare the scores from this year to last year it’s a closer margin,” Barnard said. “There’s been progress. Especially since we have a smaller team this year than last year.”

On the Luther’s men’s team, Matt Staver (‘20), Peder Smith (‘20), and Ian Christopherson (‘18) led Luther, posting two first-place finishes each. Staver won the 1000 freestyle with a 12 second lead and also won the 200 butterfly by almost a full second. Smith won the 500 freestyle with a lead of nearly eight seconds and also the 200 freestyle. Christopherson won in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.

Kraft described some of the specific techniques that the team has been using outside of the pool to improve as the season has progressed.

“The team has been in the weight room a lot this year,” Kraft said. “On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we get up at six in the morning to work on improving our strength. The team has also been doing a lot of running this year, which is something that we haven’t done as much of in the past.”

Kaupp described how she saw the team’s training as an integral part of the progress that they have made since last year.

“I thought that the swimmers and divers attacked the meet in a way that was indicative of how they have been training so far this year,” Kaupp said. “They looked prepared and they were confident in their abilities. They were willing to put it out there for each race..”

At the meet, divers Megan Broadbent (‘18) and Elizabeth Bonin (‘18) finished first in one-meter and three-meter diving respectively. Broadbent won the one-meter competition with a total of 221.20, while Bonin finished with 195.30. In three-meter, Bonin beat Broadbent by only two points at 225.40 to 223.20.

Barnard described what he is looking forward to as the season progresses.

“I’m excited for the [Liberal Arts Championships], which will be happening later in the season,” Barnard said. “It’ll be here at Luther. It’s the first time that Luther has ever hosted the event, which will be exciting. In the short term, I am excited to see how we keep developing as a team.”

Luther’s next meet is Saturday, Nov. 4 at 1:00 p.m when they host Grinnell College.

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