Anna Hargrove started the run up to the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships by setting the Albion College record in the 200-yard freestyle in her final home meet.
The senior from Milan, Mich., achieved a time of 1:55.10, a pool record, as the Britons completed the dual meet portion of the season with a 119-60 victory over Olivet College. Her performance individually and with fellow seniors Lauren Pawelec, Haley DeFeyter and Claire Wittkowski in the 200 freestyle relay, bodes well for the league meet which begins Feb. 17.
“We raced Anna in a time trial this equivalent weekend last year, and she was right at the pool record, but it doesn’t count in practice,” Albion Head Coach Jake Taber said. “It was nice to see her get that in an official meet setting.
“Anna is a senior and we’ve had a good track record with getting her to peak when it matters most,” Taber added. “I think that’s a swim she will build on. She should go into the MIAA Championships with a ton of confidence.”
Pawelec and Wittkowski were awarded first place points in the 500 freestyle and the 200 breaststroke, respectively. First-year swimmer Camila Manrique achieved the top time in the 500 freestyle (5:38.88), and junior Kylene Slocum claimed the fastest time in the breaststroke (2:36.93).
“This meet was perfect for our seniors,” Taber said. “Looking across the board, how much fun was it for the 200 free relay to end the meet with the only four seniors on the women’s team? That was awesome.”
Lauren Young took first place in both diving events, Molly Blank sprinted to a time of 24.77 seconds in the 50 freestyle, Syriah Dobis reached the wall in the 100 freestyle in 56.88 seconds, Haley Wallis finished the 200 backstroke in 2:19.59, Anna Moore posted a time of 26.89 seconds in the 50 butterfly, and Abigail Slager finished the 200 individual medley in 2:18.92.
The way the Albion College swimmers and divers performed Friday night, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships can’t start soon enough.
Seniors Mike Crinion and Justin DuChene achieved lifetime best performances, junior Sebastian Tostado broke the school record in the 200-yard backstroke by nearly two seconds and sophomore Parker Belmore claimed the pool record in the 200 freestyle as Albion scored a 100-53 victory over Olivet College in its final dual meet of the season.
“Sebastian has been so close to the pool record on a handful of occasions,” Albion Head Coach Jake Taber said. “For him to go out and break the school record at the same time was great. I think he’ll be fine at the MIAA Championships.”
Tostado lapped the field in the backstroke, finishing the race in 1:53.86. Dave Diegel previously held the school standard with a time of 1:55.72 set in 1992.
Tostado also would have scored first place with a swim of 4:20.02 in the 400 individual medley, but he was entered as an exhibition as Albion had control of the team score.
Crinion’s diving scores were 229.72 on 1-meter and 209.77 on 3-meter, and DuChene completed the 200 breaststroke in 2:33.72. Taber was also encouraged by DuChene’s time of 2:18.40 in the 200 butterfly.
Blake Blair, another senior, set an encouraging time of 5:00.98 in the 500 freestyle.
Belmore set a blistering time of 1:43.94 in the freestyle.
Jake Burris, a first-year student-athlete who has been leading Albion’s diving corps all season, was entered as an exhibition and he did not count toward the team score. He still managed scores of 278.32 for the 1-meter and 306.75 for the 3-meter.
Also scoring first place points for Albion were Kyle Harvey in the 200 breaststroke (2:18.83), Nick Deppner in the 50 freestyle (22.24 seconds), and Tom Parsons in the 100 freestyle (48.89 seconds).
Calvin College will host the MIAA Championships Feb. 17-20. Until then, Albion will have to trust in the process of preparing for the meet.
“We’ve done the work,” Taber said. “We need to trust the rest. We need to make sure we get our lineup just right. We’ve put a lot of time, energy, critique and thought into that. We’re hopeful that will make a difference in two weeks.