GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The University of North Dakota women's swimming a diving team defeated South Dakota State 166.5-127.5 this evening at the Hyslop Pool as UND hosted the Jackrabbits in the first of two North Dakota/South Dakota duals this weekend.
"Our women swam very well tonight," head coach Steve Parsons said. "We knew SDSU had a pretty tough team and that we would need to be on top of our game if we were to win."
North Dakota opened with a second-place finish in the 400 medley relay as the South Dakota State 'A' team touched first with a time of 3:57.77. UND's 'A' team of junior Veronica Medon (Huntsville, Ontario), sophomore Camille Merwin (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), senior Caitlin Conci (Craig, Colo.), and junior Kara Fisher (Fergus Falls, Minn.) finished shortly after, touching at 3:58.38.
Sophomore Morgan Lynch (Elk River, Minn.) grabbed UND's first individual title, winning the 1,000 free with a time of 10:23.75, and freshman Allison Tonsager (Ramsey, Minn.) finished fifth with a time of 11:27.47. Sophomore Kelsey Richels (Wahpeton, N.D.) won the 200 free with a time of 1:54.39, and freshman Erin Grabanski (Grand Forks, N.D.) took fifth with a time of 2:02.65.
Richels picked up her second event title of the night as she swam to a first-place finish in the 100 free (53.29). Freshman Rachael Wessman (Fargo, N.D.) came in fourth with a time of 55.83.
In the 100 back, Medon took second with a time of 59.13, and sophomore Sami Puk (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) followed at 1:01.22 for third place. After taking second to SDSU's Morgan McLain in the 100 back, Medon got revenge in the 200 back, beating McLain's time of 2:06.85 by more than two seconds, touching at 2:04.87.
McLain and Medon battled again in the 400 IM, but as with the 100 back, SDSU came out the victor. McLain clocked in at 4:35.14 while Medon touched at 4:40.66.
Conci nabbed her first win of the night, taking first in the 200 fly with a time of 2:10.36. Later in the evening, she won the 100 fly title, clocking in at 58.35.
Lynch picked up a win in the 500 free, finishing at 5:09.09. She touched over four seconds sooner than SDSU's second-place finisher.
Fisher swam to a second-place finish in the 100 breast (1:08.17) and Merwin finished fourth (1:10.34). In the 200 breast, Merwin nabbed second place (2:29.13) and freshman Kelli Renner (Aberdeen, S.D.) took fourth (2:39.03).
North Dakota finished 1-2-3 in the 50 free as Wessman, senior Katelyn Johnson (Albany, Ore.) and senior Samantha Simon (Barrington, Ill.) touched one after another. Wessman led the way with a time of 24.49, followed by Johnson at 24.96 and Simon at 25.22.
North Dakota closed the pool events with a first-place finish as 'A' team of Richels, Fisher, Wessman, and Puk clocked in at 3:35.16.
On the boards, sophomore Rachael Waldbillig (Circle Pines, Minn.) took the 3-meter with a score of 267.60. Senior Megan Keidel (Bismarck, N.D.) followed in second (266.15) and sophomore Alexis Thomsen (Chisago, Minn.) finished third (214.10).
On the 1-meter, Waldbillig and Keidel flip-flopped for the top finish as Keidel posted a score of 257.60 for first and Waldbillig took second with a score of 233.05. Thomsen finished third with a mark of 230.20.
North Dakota will return to the pool tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. as it faces South Dakota in the final meet before the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Swimming and Diving Championships.
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