Swim and dive teams open their seasons with wins over Southwestern at home

The Trinity men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams opened their fall season with dual-meet victories over the Southwestern Pirates Saturday, Oct. 26, at Trinity’s Hixon Natatorium.

Trinity’s men beat Southwestern University 188-107, and the Tiger women were victorious by a score of 215-77.

“The teams prepare mainly by training a lot and pushing each other at practice to get ready for meets. We also usually have practices the morning of the meet, so we can use some of that time to work on the more technical parts, like starts and turns,” said assistant swim coach Michael Schuber.

Senior Katie Sheldon, who earned All-American honors last season, won the women’s 1-meter diving, with 239.05. Sophomore Ashley Heline, who also earned All-America honors, was runner-up at 235.85. The high board went to Heline (248.10), while first year Mollie Patzke was second (234.40), and Sheldon placed third (214.90).

Sophomore Kara Beauchamp, the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Swimmer of the Year in 2013, won three individual events: the 200-yard freestyle at 1:59.67 minutes, 200-yard breaststroke (2:30.03), and the 200-yard individual medley (2:14.10).

Senior Melanie Gustafson was also the winner of three races: the 200-yard butterfly (2:12.80), 500-yard freestyle (5:22.50), and the 1,000-yard freestyle (11:07.78).

“We started training later this season so practices have been more intense this year. We train over two hours a day, six days a week,” Gustafson said.

Junior Lydia Jones sprinted to victories in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.10 seconds and the 100-yard freestyle (54.48). Jones also swam on the first-place 400-yard freestyle relay (3:44.02), with sophomore Leah Selznick, first year Kate Bommer and senior Rachel Berude. The team of Jones, sophomore Becca Bond, junior Kelly Holton and senior Meghan Varner won the opening race, the 200-yard medley relay (1:53.52).

Holton took the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.35), while Bond was the winner of the 200-yard backstroke (2:18.22).

“Everyone’s times showed the hard work that we have been putting into each practice, and I’m happy with the final results because we worked hard to achieve them. Southwestern is one of our main competitors in our conference, so having both our men’s and women’s team beat them this early in the season was good,” Beauchamp said.

In men’s diving, junior Galve Deleste won the 1-meter (150.35) and 3-meter (151.80) boards. Sophomore Philip Whalen was runner-up on the 1-meter (136.55), and sophomore Calvin New placed second on the 3-meter (140.75).

Sophomore Andrew Thiesse was the winner of the 200-yard freestyle (1:48.81) and 1,000-yard freestyle (10:24.85). Junior Stephen Culberson was the first-place finisher in the 50-yard freestyle (21.76) and the 100-yard freestyle (47.62).

Senior Arthur Daigh took the 100-yard backstroke (56.45) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:01.98).

Sophomore Brandon Tunon emerged as the top swimmer in the 100-yard butterfly (54.25), and sophomore Nikita Chirkov won the 200-yard individual medley (2:04.68).

The Tigers won the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:19.76), with Tunon, Culberson, sophomore Jon Hoffman and junior Adam Thomas doing the honors.

“Overall the performance was great, especially for the men’s team. We were hit hard by the loss of our best diver, Stuart Sproul, but we are trying to follow in his footsteps and dive as best we can. I feel like the team performed well, especially for it being the first meet of the year. Nerves are always high and emotions show, but they all did great. I’m happy to be part of such a loving and close team,” said Deleste.

The Trinity swim and dive teams will travel to Midland, Texas, on Nov. 9 to take on UT-Permian Basin in a dual meet.