Luther College Chips

Swim and dive finish third and sixth at Liberal Arts Championships

Pilar Dritz (‘18) swims butterfly at LAC.

Pilar Dritz (‘18) swims butterfly at LAC.

Photos coutesy of Photo Bureau

Photos coutesy of Photo Bureau

Pilar Dritz (‘18) swims butterfly at LAC.

Cara Keith, Staff Writer

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Luther College hosted the Liberal Arts Swimming and Diving Championship (LAC) on Wednesday, Feb. 14 through Saturday, Feb. 17. This was the first time Luther has hosted this end-of-season event.

LAC is the last chance for swimmers and divers to post times or scores that qualify them to compete in the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championships. At the meet, each swimmer can compete in a maximum of seven total events, only three of which can be individual events.

The Women’s Swim Team placed third out of 11. Linnea Lee-Brown (‘21) became a Liberal Arts champion when she swam the 50-meter freestyle and finished first with a time of 24.06. Lee-Brown also went on to place fourth in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 55.0. During the 800-meter freestyle relay, Pilar Dritz (‘18), Sam Kraft (‘18), Martha Stelter (‘19), and Sofie Wallock (‘18) placed third with a time of 8:09.13. Kraft went on to finish third in the 500-meter freestyle with a time of 5:09.91. Kraft also placed second in the 1650-meter freestyle with a time of 17:42.06. In three-meter diving, Megan Broadbent (‘18) finished third with 383.75 points and Elizabeth Bonin (‘18) finished fourth with 361.45 points.

The Men’s Swim Team placed sixth out of nine teams. Matt Staver (‘20), Peder Smith (‘20), Soren Gloege Torp (‘21), and Hunter Barnard (‘18) placed fourth in the 800-meterfreestyle relay with a time of 7:11.08. Smith placed fourth in the 400-meter IM with a time of 4:11.77 and Staver went on to place fifth in the 400-meter IM with a time of 4:19.45. In the 200-meter medley relay, Zach Martin (‘19), Landon Albro (‘21), Staver, and Smith received 6th place with a time of 1:38.86.

Preparations to host the championship started well in advance. Head Swim and Dive Coach Nicole Kaupp initiated the process in 2016.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau
Trevor Kao (‘18) dives from the three-meter board.

“It started when I got hired here two years ago,” Kaupp said. “I wondered why we hadn’t hosted the meet, just because we have a pretty great facility, so I started asking questions just to figure out what it would take to host. We put together a bid and last January we submitted the bid. Then in April the coaches voted on it and they voted to have the meet here.”

Prior to the meet, Kraft, a co-captain of the women’s team, felt confident about the team’s ability to compete in the championship, especially in the home pool.

“I think this year is going to be the best yet because we have trained incredibly hard,” Kraft said. “It’s at home this year so I think it’s more hyped up and everyone’s excited to swim in a home pool. We swam this pool every day so we know our turns and we know our walls.”

Barnard, a co-captain of the men’s team explains how he expected the team to perform.

“All of the guys expect to get out of their comfort zone and race the guy next to them in order to make it back to the finals session,” Barnard said. “In the past we’ve had a strong presence in the finals session so that is always our main focus during prelims.”

Lilly Nelson (‘21) explained how her first championship affected her swimming career.

“LAC was so fulfilling because it showed all the hard work that we’ve been putting in all year,” Nelson said. “It took lots of dedication to be able to improve, and as a team, I feel like we’ve come so far. The team has so much spirit and I’m proud to be part of the family.”

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