The William Jewell College men and women’s swim teams recently travelled to Crawfordsville, Ind. to compete in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships. The women’s team finished fourth and the men’s team sixth overall. In addition to setting personal best times, the team broke 21 school records. Madeline Allen, first-year nursing major, and Paige Meredith, junior business administration and ACT-in major, qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships. Allen is the first first-year to qualify for the National Championship in the history of Jewell’s program and will be competing in the women’s 1000 freestyle. Meredith qualified for the second year in a row and will compete in three events: the 200 individual medley, the 100 butterfly and the 200 butterfly.
“My favorite part of conference was getting to be a part of the women’s 800 free relay because we not only shattered our school record, but we also finished third. This was the highest our women’s relay has ever scored before. We were all really excited,” said Alex Millhuff, sophomore chemistry major.
Millhuff, along with Allen, Meredith and Shea Marcinski, sophomore Sapnish, education, and ACT-in major, finished third with an NCAA B qualifying time.
João Pedro Granato, sophomore international relations major, set multiple personal bests as well as placing second in the 1650 free and third in the 1000 free.
“All teams were very prepared and the meet had very fast times for every event. Our team was also very strong and we put up a good fight against nationally ranked teams. My favorite part about conference was seeing everyone cheering you on behind your lanes and on the sides of the pool. The atmosphere was really great and the team was very united,” said Granato.
Coach Mark Gole was pleased with the team’s performance both in the pool and in the classroom, as they had the highest team GPA to date last semester.
“I am extremely proud of the men’s and women’s teams for the commitment that they make to their academics, swimming and each other. We ask a great deal out of them in every aspect here at Jewell. I am proud of their accomplishments, but I am more proud of the people they become as a result of their hard work and dedication,” said Gole.
For the seniors on the team, this was the last meet of their college career.
Max Bennett, senior business administration major, set both personal bests and school records at conference.
“Overall, as a team, I feel that we have improved significantly, and it showed at conference. We are slowly building a stronger, better, and faster team as the years go by. I am satisfied with ending my college swimming career at this stage of my life. I have ended this chapter and I am excited about starting the newest chapter in my life,” said Bennett.
Haley Ramsey, senior psychology and ACT-In major, also swam well at conference. Gole mentioned Ramsey’s third place finish in the 200 fly and school record she set. After spending many hours practicing and competing over the last four years, the move to not swimming anymore can be difficult.
“It feels very strange to be finished with swimming. I’m low-key having an identity crisis,” said Ramsey.
Overall, many were proud of the team’s performance.
“Overall, conference was great because we finally were able to see all the work we put into the season pay off. I’m proud of my teammates for everything they have accomplished this season. We deserved to swim fast,” said Millhuff.