Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

SU Swim Sets Several Records at Conference

    The Seattle University swim teams recently concluded their season at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) conference championship meet last week—and they went out with a bang.

    Numerous personal bests were set by Seattle U swimmers along with several school records.

    “Seven school records were set on the final day, overall I’m real happy,” said head coach Craig Nisgor. “We had over 70 lifetime best swims at the meet.”

    Seniors Tomas Mendez-Beck and Nichlas Morell ended their careers with new school records in the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke events. Mendez-Beck broke his own 200 butterfly school record in preliminaries with a time of 1:48.44. He would finish 6th. Morell finished ninth overall in the 200 back stroke at 1:46.26. That broke the previous school mark of 1:47.68 set by Joe Wertz in 2011.

    In the final event of the meet and of her career, Senior Nicole Doi helped the women’s 400 freestyle-relay team set a new school record in 3:29.68.

    “It’s great for the seniors to finish their careers in a big way,” Nisgor said. “They really helped to get this team where they are now.”

    Some of the most significant time drops came in the distance events. In fact, all of the distance swimmers ended up with personal best times at the meet. Both Nick Connors and Bethany Gehrke set new school standards in the Men’s and Women’s 1650 freestyle.

    Both records were snapped by nearly 7 seconds, Connors in 15:50.14 and Gehrke at 17:14.29. Connors finished ninth in the men’s event and Gehrke tenth for the women. Connors blasted his previous best time by nearly 20 seconds. Impressively, Gehrke also broke the 1000m freestyle record in the middle of the 1650 with a split time of 10:28.71.

    “Distance really stepped up in a big way,” noted Nisgor.

    It’s easy to see that the conference meet brought out the best in both Redhawk teams with so many improved times.

    “It’s something I’ve seen a lot of people grow into. For many of our swimmers this is the biggest meet they’ve ever been to,” Nisgor said.“But once you get past that its great stuff, they really brought it to another level.”

    The Redhawks need to order a new volume for their record books as improvements came from across the roster. Major leaps were made at the conference meet but that was a reflection of the season as a whole.

    “When you look at the progression, our win loss record really isn’t reflective of what our team has done this year,” said Nisgor. “I look at the numbers, and in one meet, 25 percent of the all-time top times were put up in conference this year.”

    That’s an astounding mark to be put up by a team in a single meet, especially in a team of predominately freshman swimmers. Several impressive swims were put up by underclassmen.

    Sophomore Gabe Wheeler swam a 2:01.60 in the 200 breaststroke which put him at second on Seattle U’s all time list. The top time won an NCAA Division II national championship.

    Another sophomore, Jane Liggett, set a new record in the women’s 200 butterfly at 2:05.05 during the preliminary round. She finished 13th in the event. Liggett also helped the Women’s 200 Medley quartet set a new school standard in 1:45.60.

    Freshman Tanner Schelling blazed through the freestyle sprints. He posted personal bests and school second bests in both the 50 and 100 freestyles. With times of 20.56 and 45.47 respectively. He trails only Jordan Anderson in both events. Schelling’s best times were in the preliminaries.

    Overall the men finished seventh in the conference meet and the women eighth. However, the speedy times were put up by so many underclassmen, giving the Redhawks a very solid foundation to build upon.

    “The future is definitely looking bright. The night we got back we already had people itching to get back into the pool, that tells you the kind of swimmers we have,” Nisgor said. “A couple of the ladies coming for next season are already faster than the school records so that helps us.”

    Look out for Redhawk swimming as they look to make an even bigger leap heading into next year.

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