EVANSTON, Ill.-- The University of North Dakota men's and women's swimming teams completed a very successful three-day TYR Invite hosted by Northwestern University Friday through Sunday. The UND men were sixth in the team standings with the UND women placing seventh thanks to numerous season-best times. All told, every event but one in which UND competed saw a new top season time etched at this meet.
"Overall, I was very pleased with our results from this invitational," UND head coach Chris Maiello said. "There was some outstanding competition and it was great for our program to rise up and swim fast times.
"On the final day our distance group did very well in the miles with season best times all around. I am hoping our athletes have a good Thanksgiving break and I look forward to training camp in the new year."
The final day saw the milers come out strong with Morgan Lynch leading that charge in the first race, finishing 11th with her 17:20.67 time, a season-best time for the senior. Ali Church was close behind with her top season time of 17:32.06. Kristin Ainsworth was seventh in the 200 backstroke, going 2:06.32 in the finals. The 200 breaststroke saw Camille Merwin take seventh, finishing in 2:21.43.
On the men's side, Colin MacQuarrie got into the championship final and raced his way to fourth place with his 22.17 clocking Sunday evening. Aaron Chanas-LaRue took 14th with a 16:43.09 time in the 1650 free with Ethan Schrader in 16th at 16:59.64 and C.J. Kannawin in 18th with a 17:21.69 time. Adam Gannon was seventh in the 100 free with a 46.29 time. In the 200 breaststroke, Austin Smith took eighth, shaving more than a second-and-a-half off his prelim time (2:04.22). Dan Jacobson was 11th in the 200 butterfly with a 1:55.05 finish.
The women's 200 medley relay took eighth in 1:46.33. Camille Merwin finished sixth in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:04.18 clocking. Nicole Stevens finished second in the consolation final with here 1:04.92 time. Erin Grabanski was fourth in the 100 backstroke (57.02).
"Saturday was maybe our strongest day with 100’s of strokes, great efforts in particular from our breaststroke group, everyone in that group swam to season best times," Maiello said. "Our men’s medley relay swam very fast in almost breaking our school record in mid-season."
The men's 200 medley relay team finished fourth with a 1:30.39 time. The 800 free relay was also fourth, touching in 6:52.40. Noah Lucas was ninthe in the 200 freestyle, winning the consolation final with a 1:40.51 time, a mark that was fifth-best overall among the finals heats. Aaron Chanas-LaRue was a half-second behind him, good for 10th place (1:41.01). Austin Smith was the fourth-place finisher in the 100 breaststroke, touching in 55.65.
The women's 200 free relay finished fourth (1:35.24) to open the meet. Camille Merwin took fifith in the 50 breaststroke (29.73) for 14 team points. Courtney Funk was fifth in the 50 freestyle, touching in 23.81. Erin Grabanski was seventh in the 200 IM with her 2:06.66 time.
"Our morning prelim session was a bit off with our morning swims just off of what we were expecting," Maiello said. "At night, our team came back real strong and I am proud of their resilience."
The men also took fourth in the 200 free relay, touching in 1:22.13 and shaving more than five seconds off its seed time. Austin Smith took 10th in the 50 breaststroke (26.01) while Noah Lucas also took 10th in the 500 free (4:30.39). Adam Gannon was 13th in the 200 IM (1:53.36).
North Dakota competes next in the U.S. Winter National Championships Dec. 5-7 in Knoxville, Tenn. before breaking for the semester and hosting Grand Canyon on Jan. 10-11.
Women - Team Rankings - FINAL
1. Northwestern University 1066
2. Michigan State University 657
3. Missouri State 583
4. Bowling Green State Univ. 582
5. University of Illinois- Chicago 385
6. Truman State University 252
7. University of North Dakota 251
8. Kenyon College 199
9. University of Northern Iowa 29
Men - Team Rankings - FINAL
1. Northwestern University 1054.5
2. Michigan State University 904.5
3. Missouri State 876.5
4. University of Illinois- Chicago 370.5
5. Kenyon College 322.5
6. University of North Dakota 273.5
7. Truman State University 122